Defend Affordable Housing Tuesday

Berkeley Tenants Union has three important items at the City Council on Tuesday.
For more info, see the posts below this one. 

About the Demolition (Item 21):
If the City Council allows this demolition to go forward, the law prohibiting unmitigated demolition of rent controlled housing means nothing anymore, and all of Berkeley is at risk of being bulldozed to make way for luxury housing.

About changes to the Rental Housing Safety Program (Item 23):
One reason developers give to tear down affordable older units is that they are in really bad shape. Never mind that they continue to rent them out while simultaneously making a claim that they are unsafe. In order to preserve our housing, we must make cyclical inspections a reality in Berkeley as they are in most other major cities.

November 17 will also see the Council discuss a Windfall Profits Tax on High Rents. There will be a special workshop at 5:30 PM in order for the Council to consider a ballot measure to increase the business license tax on larger landlords and use the money to building and rehab affordable housing, including the student co-ops.

What you can do:

1) Take a picture of unsafe housing conditions and email it to City Council marked November 17, Item 23.  clerk@cityofberkeley.info  They have to get the email by noon on Tuesday.

2) Come to the Demolition Appeal at old City Hall on November 17 around 8 PM and hold a sign to support BTU and the ASUC during the appeal. We demand that the law which says

“Notwithstanding the above, the Board shall approve a Use Permit to eliminate a controlled rental unit only when it finds that…The replacement dwelling unit shall be available for occupancy to Households for Lower Income or Very Low Income Households” must mean that rent controlled housing can only be torn down if replaced unit-for-unit with permanently affordable housing! Look for us in blue BTU T Shirts to get a sign showing support. 

3) Come early to support the Windfall Profits Tax at 5:30 PM

If you can’t make the meetings, please send an email NOW
to Council marked Item 21 c/o  clerk@cityofberkeley.info

Rent Controlled housing should be torn down only if it is replaced one-for-one with permanently affordable housing. Developers should not be rewarded for allowing their buildings to fall apart.

For more information about the proposed demolition at 2631 Durant:

Letter From Student Tenants:
DurantTenantsLetter

Berkeley Tenants Union Op-Eds:
http://www.berkeleyside.com/2015/11/16/op-ed-stop-developers-from-demolishing-rent-controlled-buildings-without-replacing-them/

http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2015-11-06/article/43881?headline=Demolition-of-Rent-Controlled-Units-Sets-Bad-Precedent–Berkeley-Tenants-Union

News Articles:
http://www.berkeleyside.com/2015/06/25/berkeley-zoning-board-to-consider-demolition-on-durant/

http://www.dailycal.org/2014/08/24/56-unit-student-housing-complex-may-coming-durant-avenue/

City Documents:
http://cityofberkeley.info/Planning_and_Development/Zoning_Adjustment_Board/2631_Durant.aspx

Letter from Berkeley Neighborhoods Council:
2631 Durant Demolition Letter to City Council

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