Updates and News

Short Term Rentals held over by Berkeley City Council until Thursday July 7. BTU will post an update in a couple of days regarding the Mayor’s last-minute introduction of a proposed contract with Airbnb.

Durant Demolition approved under new demolition law which calls for mitigation of the loss of rent controlled housing through a fee to fund new low-income housing – however, the fee has not been set yet! Also, that developer has filed a lawsuit against the new version of the law.

Two Competing Landlord Taxes on Berkeley Ballot
Depending on the business license tax rate increase, the CSAH measure would fund 40 to 70 units annually, while BRHC’s would pay for just 12, Barton added. The measures also differ on exemptions. The apartment owners’ measure raises taxes on every rental housing unit currently taxed.

Gulbransen says the lack of exemptions makes their measure more equitable. The CSAH measure exempts tax increases on low-rent units housing tenants living under rent control since 1998, units rented under federally subsidized programs and permanently affordable inclusionary units in newer buildings.
http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_29928806/berkeley-voters-could-face-dueling-robin-hood-tax

But in California, the profits from ever-increasing land values aren’t shared for the public good. They’re collected by landlords in the form of higher rents…. But a broad-based coalition of Berkeley renters, affordable-housing activists, political leaders, and even some landlords are trying to revive the idea of a land tax. And they want to dedicate the millions it could raise to affordable housing.”
http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/berkeley-city-council-approves-ballot-measure-to-tax-landlords-and-create-affordable-housing-fund/Content?oid=4818958

The additional tax would raise an additional $5 million a year from landlords over the current $3.5 million, for a total of $8.5 million a year, according to estimates by the Committee for Safe and Affordable Housing, which supports the measure. Apartments rented to Section 8 tenants, apartments with tenants in occupancy since before 1999, and certain other properties, would be exempt from the tax increase; there also would be a hardship exemption. The measure would prohibit passing the business tax increase along to most tenants. Proceeds of the tax increase would facilitate 45 affordable housing units per year.
http://www.eastbaytimes.com/breaking-news/ci_29974957/berkeley-council-oks-funding-measures-november-ballot

Rent Board Candidate Igor Tregub
Igor is also a member of the BTU Steering Committee.
http://www.dailycal.org/2016/05/26/igor-tregub-files-run-rent-stabilization-board/

UCB Report: Market Rate Housing Doesn’t Prevent Gentrification
http://www.eastbayexpress.com/SevenDays/archives/2016/05/27/uc-berkeley-report-lao-wrong-about-market-rate-housing-panacea
see also
https://news.berkeley.edu/2016/05/23/researchers-stress-role-of-subsidized-housing-in-easing-affordability-crisis/

Council Talks About Housing Plan
Proposals approved for implementation or further study ran the gamut from financial incentives and taxes, to rezoning, red tape-cutting, beefing up the city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund and protections against eviction. Many will be the subject of a larger council discussion on housing tentatively scheduled for early fall.
http://www.eastbaytimes.com/breaking-news/ci_29919572/berkeley-backs-package-steps-address-housing

Jesse Arreguin Discusses Housing Policy
http://www.dailycal.org/2016/05/31/berkeley-city-must-take-comprehensive-approach-to-housing-crisis/

UC Students Have Trouble Accessing Rights
http://www.dailycal.org/2016/06/20/housing-struggles/

San Francisco Tenant Takes On Costa Hawkins in the Media
http://mediaoneservices.com/mary-catherine-wiederhold-and-neil-hutchinson-62816/

Affordable Housing Bond on Alameda County Ballot
http://www.ebho.org/2012-02-07-00-50-21/regional-policy-a-land-use/alameda-county-housing-bond

Concord Wants Rent Control!
The full City Council is scheduled to discuss the rental situation in Concord and the policy options available to the council on July 26.”
http://www.eastbaytimes.com/concord/ci_30066419/rent-control-hot-topic-concord

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