Housing in Alameda, Eyes on November

by phildini on February 28, 2016

Update 2016-03-04 The ARC has published the text of the amendment. Read my thoughts about that here.

The Alameda Renters Coalition is going to be filing an initiative with the City of Alameda tomorrow (2016-02-29). Text of press release follows.

Press Release
For Immediate Release                   Media Contact: Catherine Pauling 510.220.2030
Alameda Renters Coalition filing ballot initiative 2/29/16 at 4 p.m. at Alameda City Hall
ALAMEDA, CA - The Alameda Renters Coalition (ARC) will file the “Alameda Renter Protection and Community Stabilization Charter Amendment” initiative at Alameda City Hall Monday for inclusion on the November ballot in response to a crisis of mass evictions and average rent increases of more than fifty percent over a span of only four years.
ARC spokesperson Catherine Pauling says, "We are filing this initiative so the people of Alameda can do what its City Council has been unable to do: enact a firm set of laws to stabilize our community and protect renters from greedy investors."
City officials have deliberated over the rental crisis for three years, recently crafting an ordinance the coalition says falls far short of what's needed to protect tenants.
"ARC recognizes the City Council's efforts but their ordinance has too many concessions to real estate interests and will not keep Alameda renters in their homes" says Pauling.
Specifically, the coalition objects to there being no cap on rent increases, merely a review process triggered by a rent increase of more than 5 percent.  Additionally, the City ordinance subjects renters, once again, to the threat of no cause evictions when the current moratorium expires. ARC further objects to what it calls a "poison pill" in the ordinance allowing landlords to escape all eviction controls by simply issuing a "Fixed Term Lease".
"This filing begins the process of allowing voters of Alameda, over half of whom are renters, the opportunity to choose clear protections that renters and owners deserve instead of the cumbersome and un-tested process outlined in the City ordinance," says Pauling.
The Alameda Renters Coalition, formed in 2014, advocates for clear, rational rent stabilization tied to the Consumer Price Index, as is used by many other cities in the Bay Area in determining rental rate increases.
Prior to the 4 p.m. filing in the City Clerk's office, representatives of the Alameda Renters Coalition will be available on the steps of Alameda City Hall at 2263 Santa Clara Avenue to answer questions of the media and provide copies of the initiative.

I'll be linking to the actual press release if I can find it online.  I'm very interested to read the text of what they will be filing, and the timing is excellent. Tuesday will see the continuation of the City Council's January discussion about rent stabilization, and I think we all hope this one won't go to 4 am.

It's increasingly clear that housing and rent stabilization will be a critical issue in this upcoming election. As an Alamedan and renter, I am thrilled these issues are getting the attention they deserve.

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