rent control

Hundreds evicted just in time for Veterans Day holiday

Residents at the Bayview Apartments at 470 Central Ave., were given tenancy termination notices on Nov. 7, according to Catherine Pauling, spokesperson for Alameda Renters Coalition. 

The owners of the building, Sridhar Equities, delivered the notices a mere three days after City Council adopted an ordinance prohibiting no cause evictions for 65 days.

The City Council voted in favor of changing the city’s rent ordinance regarding rent increases and other provisions at its July 16 meeting. The Council voted 4-1 to include an annual general adjustment to determine rent increase limits for landlords. Councilmember Tony Daysog was the only Councilmember to oppose the new stipulation. 


Attorney and real estate broker Christopher Hanson accurately predicted effects which would result after adoption of the rent ordinances. (“Rent Control Raises its Head in Town,” Nov. 12, 2015, and “Rent Control Unfairly Taxes Landlords,” Nov. 19, 2015). These effects include loss of affordable rental housing; decline in construction of affordable housing; conversion of rentals to condominiums to co-ops; loss of tax dollars; and global warming.


Charter amendment moves ahead

The Alameda Renters Coalition (ARC) submitted its signatures for its rent adjustment ordinance the “Alameda Renter Protection and Community Stabilization Charter Amendment” to city officials on Tuesday, May 24.

The ARC says it has collected enough valid signatures to get the amendment on the November ballot. 

San Franciscans, who can no-longer afford living in the sparkling city by the sea, are reportedly flocking to the tony sections of Oakland. Nearly one third of the buyers of Oakland real estate are economic refugees from San Francisco; trucking their equity and freighting their Ikea inventory across the rusting Bay Bridge.

The Alameda city staff released its principles of agreement detailing precise guidelines for the proposed Rent Stabilization and Tenant Protection Ordinance. The ordinance will be presented to the City Council at its Feb. 16 meeting.

Regarding rent increases, the agreement states that housing providers shall not increase rents more than once every 12 months. However, there will be no cap on an increase if it is allowed during the hearing process. Landlords will, however, have to go through a rent review process. 

The City Council is scheduled to discuss rent stabilization and other tenant-related issues at its Tuesday, Jan. 5, meeting. To ensure seating is available for a larger audience, the city has changed the location of the meeting from the Council Chambers at City Hall to the Kofman Auditorium in the Historic Alameda High School, 2200 Central Ave.

Nearly all discussions of the housing crisis in Alameda seem to rest squarely on the slippery shoulders of ambiguity. One of the most ambiguous terms is “affordable housing.” In the Bay Area the expression has become a cliché to be bandied about by sidewalk politicians, demagogues, populists and sensitive people.
Nothing serves to make this expression less trite; its buoyancy depends entirely on its abstruseness. To render this platitude less abstract, could someone please identify, unequivocally, for whom is this “affordable housing” destined for.

From past experience I propose a possible solution to Alameda’s rent issue. With about 12 years on the rent review board in Vallejo, with two years as chairman, I know Vallejo’s ordinance could be used for renters and landlords in Alameda as it has been for properties in Vallejo. 
The headline in a recent commentary (“Rent Control Unfairly Taxes Landlords,” Nov. 19) said it all, but the counter to that was on page one (Landlords Sneak in under Moratorium,” Nov. 19). All this proves that we must have a better control over excessive rents in Alameda. 

Part two of two
In last week’s issue I offered my point of view of the how the rents have evolved in Alameda (“Rent Control Raises Its Head in Town,” Nov. 12.) This week I’d like to offer my brief summary of how renters and landlords addressed rent control at the Nov. 4 City Council meeting, as well as my perspective on rent control.