The Berkeley City Council is considering revisions to the Demolition Ordinance which would make it easy to tear down rent controlled apartments – if they are empty! This will lead to evictions and tenant harassment.
Suddenly on June 11, the Council voted to consider last-minute amendments to revisions of the Ordinance which are so substantial, they amount to a re-write of the draft. If these changes are approved on July 2, the resulting ordinance will undermine rent control.
The proposed changes come directly from requests by developer Equity Residential – Berkeley’s largest landlord – and other speculators. Council will consider them despite the strong support from tenants, the Rent Board and the Planning Commission for the June 4 draft, which provided permanently affordable housing to replace empty units.
The most important thing you can do right now is get friends to
SIGN OUR ONLINE PETITION!
We also advise tenants to write to Council, and attend the meeting July 2. There is much at stake.
- Say you support the Berkeley Tenants Union position on Item 17, the Demolition Ordinance.
- State that no occupied units should be eliminated for any reason.
- Emphasize that units emptied via the Ellis Act cannot be eliminated.
- Ask that demolished empty units be replaced with permanently affordable housing.
- Point out that a mitigation fee will not meet our housing needs soon enough.
- Argue that this new draft will violate the Neighborhood Preservation Ordinance.
Contact Berkeley City Council – please cc firstname.lastname@example.org
Item 17 July 2, 2013 (bad amendments):
June 4 draft changes (good compromise):
1973 Neighborhood Preservation Ordinance (still the law of the land)