Housing Emergency!

Durant-Project

Other apartment buildings will be at risk if the Durant demolition is permitted.

Mayor Bates would like to us to give up, and stay out of important City business. Berkeley City Council has two meetings on Tuesday December 1st, and both agendas are packed with issues concerning housing, renters, and poverty. The meetings will be held at Longfellow instead of old City Hall: 1500 Derby, at Sacramento Street.
The already burdensome agendas now also include items held-over and postponed from the last couple of meetings, including several issues which tenants have already waited hours to see discussed:

Demolition Appeal (7 pm) Item 24
SUMMARY: Allowing the demolition presents dangerous precedents: This would be the first time Berkeley has allowed an owner to claim he can’t make a fair return on a rehabilitated building. The developer invited the Berkeley Fire Department to tear out walls and cut holes in the roof!! To grant this project as requested is to condone willful destruction of housing.
ACTION: Come to the hearing on December 1st and hold signs showing support.
More Info: http://berkeleytenants.org/?p=1477
Berkeley Citizens Action: BCA-letter-111715

Rental Housing Safety (7 pm) Item 28
SUMMARY: Landlords are letting their housing fall apart. Besides proactive inspections and confidential complaints, this would also make mold and mildew a public nuisance, and require landlords to actually turn in the self-inspection they are supposed to do each year.
ACTION: Take a photo of unsafe conditions and send to Council by November 30.
More Info: http://berkeleytenants.org/?p=1456
Wellstone Democratic Club: Wellstone-letter-111715

Affordable Housing (5:30 pm) Items 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d, 2e
SUMMARY: Common-sense measures to make city funding for affordable housing easier.
ACTION: You already signed the petition, but did you ask your friends?
http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/fund-affordable-housing-2.fb48?source=c.fb&r_by=9240326
More Info:
Sierra Club Letter: Sierra Club 10-27 Berkeley City Council Items on Affordable Housing
Daily Cal: http://www.dailycal.org/2015/11/08/housing-advisory-commission-talks-assessment-of-affordable-housing-mitigation-fee-predevelopment-funding/
Cool Map: http://ww2.kqed.org/pop/map-where-can-you-find-an-affordable-one-bedroom-near-bart-san-francisco-bay-area-oakland

See You Tuesday December 1!
Longfellow Middle School, 1500 Derby

Also on the 5:30pm Agenda:
Below Market Rate Housing Report; Housing Trust Fund Status Update; Use of Predevelopment Funds by Nonprofit Housing Builders; Report from Berkeley Housing Authority.
http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/Clerk/City_Council/2015/12_Dec/City_Council__12-01-2015_-_Special_Meeting_Agenda.aspx

Also on the 7:00pm Agenda:
Accessory Dwelling Units; Appointment to Human Welfare Commission; Police Crowd Management Policies; Lien for Noncompliance with Seismic Mitigations 1734 University; 2nd Reading of Anti-Homeless Laws.
http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/Clerk/City_Council/2015/12_Dec/City_Council__12-01-2015_-_Regular_Meeting_Agenda.aspx

 

Update from the Windfall Profits Tax Special Workshop November 17:

FundAffordableHoudingThe City Council gave the new landlord PAC, the Berkeley Rental Housing Association, a seat at the table for their very own PowerPoint on how it must be somebody else’s job to fund affordable housing. However, the Council seemed receptive at the workshop since the measure has what passes for bipartisan support, Berkeley-style: both Arreguin and Capitelli want to fund affordable housing through a reasonable increase in the business license fee. Only Mayor Bates asked aggressive questions which betrayed his ignorance of the process of crafting Council ballot measures.

Contra Costa Times Covers Landlord Tax
Satellite Affordable Housing Associates Executive Director Susan Friedland said $4 million annually would mean construction of 40-to-50 affordable units every year given that nonprofit housing developers must get about 25 percent of their funding from local sources to leverage other funds….Barton proposed a number of exemptions, including one- and two-unit and nonprofit-owned properties; rent-controlled properties with pre-1999 tenants (before vacancy decontrol allowed landlords to set rents of rent-controlled units as high as the market will bear when units are vacated); low-and-moderate income landlords; and units with federally subsidized tenants.”
http://www.contracostatimes.com/breaking-news/ci_29134727/berkeley-tax-proposed-fund-low-income-housing

Affordable Housing Panel November 14
Amy Davidson, community project coordinator for the City of Berkeley, said it takes $500,000 to develop one unit of affordable housing and then discussed the city’s $28,000 fee for developers with a complete lack of irony.
http://www.contracostatimes.com/bay-area-news/ci_29124916/berkeley-few-prospects-affordable-housing-panel-says

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