► This week’s fire at the Nash Hotel should remind us that the tenants from the buildings that burned on Telegraph Avenue and Dwight Way in late 2011 are still fighting to get their due. Replacements for both buildings are winding their way through Berkeley’s permit maze, but the City’s rules exempt these buildings from any affordable housing fees UNLESS the landlord was at fault for the damage. Since it was reported that the fire alarms were disconnected at the Lakireddy-owned building on Dwight, and tenants at the Haste-Telegraph Sequoia building have a lawsuit against the owner, fault is still being investigated. The 2227 Dwight property was at the Zoning Board on Thursday June 13, but there has been no press coverage. The Zoning Board granted the owner’s permit.
► The Berkeley Housing Authority took back 14 rental assistance vouchers they had already given to low-income families, and suspended the list of those who can get Section 8 assistance in the future, due to funding cuts from the federal government:
►As reported earlier, Berkeley Property Owners Association President Sid Lakireddy has filed a lawsuit against the four candidates for Rent Board chosen at the Tenant Convention in 2012. Another article on this lawsuit was published recently:
►A Lakireddy family property on Haste was also in the news:
► Although the City Council considered revision to the Demolition Ordinance again on June 11, and the suggestions just keep getting worse for tenants and advocates of affordable housing, there were no news stories on the latest developments. BTU will post again when the Council calendars the next round of debate – it is expected for July 2nd. Several leaders are calling for Council to send the new draft back to the Planning Comission – since the proposal they approved wasn’t so much amended as replaced!! Video of the latest changes can be viewed on the City website – discussion started just after 9:45 PM on June 11.
► There has also been no news on the State of California investigation of fair election law violations by the faux-tenant slate, Tenants United for Fairness. When Berkeley’s Fair Campaign Practices Commission issued the landlord-backed candidates the second-largest election fine in Berkeley history last month, FCPC stated that there is an ongoing investigation at the state level.