News and Updates

BTU Calls For Landlords to Be Fined for Campaign Violations, Again
On Thursday, May 18, 2017, Berkeley’s Fair Campaign Practices Commission (FCPC) would not decide to enforce the Berkeley Election Reform Act. Commissioner Dean Metzger asked that the staff report include past violations from the same offenders after BTU pointed out their history. In addition, Commissioner Greg Harper asked the city attorney for further information.
The next FCPC meeting will be Thursday, July 20, 2017
BTU LETTER: BTU letter for FCPC

June 13 City Council Votes on Developer Fees
On Tuesday, June 13 the City Council will hold a public hearing to increase the affordable housing mitigation fee from $34,000 ($30,000 if paid when the building permit is issued) to $37,000 ($34,000 if paid when the building permit issue is issued).  The affordable housing mitigation fee is one of the primary ways that the city funds affordable housing, making this increase extremely important.
You can let the city council know that you support the increase by emailing council@cityofberkeley.info and clerk@cityofberkeley.info

Santa Rosa Nears Rent Control Vote
“The largest contribution reported to date to the landlord committee, called “Citizens for Fair and Equitable Housing — No on C,” was $280,000 from the political action committee of the California Association of Realtors. A treasurer for the committee referred questions to the spokesman for the California Apartment Association…”
http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/6793101-181/money-pouring-in-to-fight?artslide=0

The Democratic Party Supports Rent Control
The California Democratic Party supports rent control and just cause for eviction. This is a big deal. Many California Democratic lawmakers are in the pocket of the real estate industry, just like Republicans. They regularly vote against tenants to make sure they continue getting landlord and realtor money. Just recently, only 24 of 80 legislators voted for Assemblymember Rob Bonta’s bill to stop Ellis Act evictions of SRO hotel units in Oakland. If you are scratching your head as to how a narrow bill to stop evictions of some of the most vulnerable tenants in Oakland could lose by a landslide in the California Assembly where Democrats have a two-thirds majority, you obviously haven’t been in the halls of the Capitol recently….”
http://48hills.org/2017/05/23/historic-vote-democratic-party-supports-rent-control/

Owner Move In Evictions in Local Spotlight
It is known that some landlords pretend it’s an owner move-in situation simply to evict lower-rent tenants, and then re-rent units for higher rents. Investors buying duplexes, or other small properties with only a few units, with the intention either to hold on to them or flip them, may tell long-term tenants they plan to move in, just to try to get them to move without going through a legal eviction process.”
http://www.berkeleyside.com/2017/05/25/berkeley-sees-increase-owner-move-evictions-landlords/

Congratulations Maria!
I am thrilled that Maria is taking over my seat on the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board!
“Poblet served many years as executive director at St. Peter’s Housing Committee in San Francisco and then spearheaded a merger with Just Cause Oakland in 2010 to form Causa Justa. The new group brought together one organization that had spent 25 years organizing Latinos with one that had spent 10 years organizing Blacks to push for economic and racial justice. Causa Justa is now the largest tenants’ rights group in the Bay Area. Poblet served as the organization’s executive director from 2010 until early 2017.”
http://www.berkeleyside.com/2017/05/16/prominent-tenants-rights-activist-appointed-berkeley-rent-board/

Councilperson Hahn Calls For Modifications to New Tenant Protections
http://www.dailycal.org/2017/05/31/owner-move-evictions-berkeley-rise-raising-concerns/

New Study Uses Small Sample, Ignores Rent Board Data
http://www.berkeleyside.com/2017/06/01/study-berkeley-8th-highest-rent-bay-area/

Inaccurate Report on High Rents Still Cause For Alarm
http://www.dailycal.org/2017/06/04/berkeley-rated-8th-highest-rent-bay-area/

These Were Sent By Members and Friends:

State Bill on Inclusionary Housing
http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/Clerk/City_Council/2017/05_May/Documents/2017-05-30_Item_30_Support_AB_1505.aspx

Awesome Overview of Berkeley Protections
https://www.mynd.co/landlord-journal/property-owners-cheat-sheet-berkeley

Rent Control is Neighborhood Stabilization
http://haasinstitute.berkeley.edu/rent-control-key-neighborhood-stabilization

San Jose Wants Rent Control
https://caanet.org/app/uploads/2016/08/San-Jose-Rent-Control-Guide_Interim-Ordinance.pdf

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