Blogging Bayport Alameda

March 30, 2016

Open forum: Rent Control ballot initiative

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:00 am

Sort of speaks for itself, right?

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78 Comments

  1. I’m all for stronger rent stabilization, and want to see this on the ballot, but I just can’t figure out the wisdom of having an elected rent board. It seems inevitable that only those that can fund a campaign (eg landlords and PM reps) will run. I’d love to hear the thinking behind this aspect of the ballot, and examples of elsewhere an elected board has worked.

    Comment by notadave — March 30, 2016 @ 9:35 am

    • Here is an article on Berkeley’s Board. http://www.berkeleyside.com/2012/06/26/grand-jury-criticizes-berkeley-rent-stabilization-board/

      Comment by frank — March 30, 2016 @ 9:45 am

      • I’ve heard horror stories from a Berkeley landlord who had to pay thousands of dollars in legal fees to protect her property rights.

        Comment by Karen Bey — March 30, 2016 @ 11:23 am

        • Karen, couldn’t that be more of a problem with attorneys that charge outrageous fees than it is a problem of tenants being given due process?

          Comment by notadave — March 30, 2016 @ 12:40 pm

        • exactly. “our judicial system is a nightmare, therefore tenants should not have due process.”

          Comment by BMac — March 30, 2016 @ 1:22 pm

        • I know the details of the story and its a nightmare — this woman was forced to hire an attorney when a tenant tried to take her inheritance — seriously! This is what happens when property rights get transferred to tenants.

          Comment by Karen Bey — March 31, 2016 @ 7:08 am

  2. The call for an elected board is what will probably cause the defeat of this more than anything. Nobody wants more yard signs.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — March 30, 2016 @ 9:54 am

    • Yes, yard signs are the defining issue of our time.

      Comment by BMac — March 30, 2016 @ 10:00 am

      • Not much of a sense of humor, eh?

        Comment by Denise Shelton — March 30, 2016 @ 12:25 pm

        • pot, meet kettle.

          Comment by BMac — March 30, 2016 @ 1:21 pm

  3. There are elements to the initiative that I would have loved to see left out of an Alameda ordinance, for both policy and political reasons. It is an extreme measure that overreaches in several areas. That said, the problem we face is at least equally extreme.

    Our very modest ordinance that Council just passed and takes effect in a few days is not a satisfactory or stable solution. It was crafted willy-nilly in the wee hours and could have some glaring loopholes and administrative troubles. It has a sunset and can be undone anytime by three votes of council. These things make me much more willing to accept the flaws of the initiative and shift the burden of imperfect policy from tenant to landlord.

    That said, it is all just a band-aid to the real problem…. BUILD. MOAR. HOUSING.

    Comment by BMac — March 30, 2016 @ 10:10 am

  4. I agree, it’s an extreme measure that overreaches — and transfers property rights from property owners to tenants.

    Comment by Karen Bey — March 30, 2016 @ 11:18 am

    • Exactly.

      Comment by Denise Shelton — March 30, 2016 @ 12:26 pm

      • If it were that simple Karen, the rights of tenants over property owners I’d give the nod to tenants, but it’s not that simple.

        Comment by MI — March 30, 2016 @ 6:03 pm

        • Renters have all the rights any citizen has, including the right to do what they choose with their property.

          The buildings they lease, however, are not their property. Those buildings belong to their owners, just as renters’ cars, furniture and bank accounts belong to them.

          The ballot initiative will give renters control over others’ property. How in the world that’s legal or constitutional is beyond me, but then I was raised to respect all peoples’ property rights. But legality aside, the effect of this initiative, if it passes, will be as predictably deleterious as it has been any place RC has been enacted. Current renters who stay will benefit until the deferred maintenance and sour relations with owners become too much to take. Future renters will pay much higher rents for shabbier places as supply shrinks.

          How and why is that a good idea? Are proponents simply myopically fixated on their own payment next month that they just don’t care about the long term downsides? How do they feel about their own property stolen or their own wages cut and capped?

          Comment by dave — March 30, 2016 @ 7:18 pm

  5. In the surrounding cities rent control has led to a housing shortage with markedly higher rents, deferred maintenance, delapidated neighborhoods, and a draining of color from the city. I am not saying that the proposed law is racist, only that it will deny opportunities to those on the lower economic rungs. San Francisco is now being referred to as a “white city”. Berkeley is not far behind, and Oakland has lost a large percentage of it’s African American population. Who really thinks the results will be any different in Alameda?

    Comment by Ed Hirshberg — March 30, 2016 @ 1:03 pm

  6. I was just walking across Southshore Mall and the ballot initiative people are out there. Didn’t ask if they were Alameda residents but they were a lot more clean cut than the table run by an Oakland guy I talked to who had twenty different petitions and was hustling for pennies per signature. Anyway, they are asking people to sign petition for “rent control”. When I signed it I gave the guy my spiel about the elected board being the death knell and the fact even I may not vote for it. On the way back I asked him if they have to say “rent control” as a legal solicitation. I have to say I’m still confused about the answer. He did point out that the original petition used the language “rent stabilization” but the final draft which came back from City Attorney replaced the language with “rent control”. It is a city charter issue but it occurred to me that this stuff runs through the county of voter registrars office ,so I have lots of questions about jurisdiction including who actually does approve and define the final draft, like City Attorney or County official, but I didn’t have time to sort all that out.

    Comment by MI — March 30, 2016 @ 6:15 pm

  7. Elected board? Just another staging pool for prospective City Council members.

    Comment by Basel — March 30, 2016 @ 7:48 pm

  8. It’ll be a good deal for everyone if it keeps rents affordable, especially people in controlled units, and if it prevents people and families from being unfairly evicted.

    Comment by John K — March 30, 2016 @ 8:50 pm

  9. How it actually works. How many rental units have gone away? No one knows because there were many Unpermitted in law units. There were no records that they existed, and now there are no records that they are gone. But they became too risky to continue renting. We can look forward to the upwardly mobile middle class tying up the rental units when they should be buying there first or second house and building equity. Years from now they will be stuck in their rent controlled unit because they didn’t take the plunge into ownership. So the apartments will not be available to those who need them. All parties end up financially worse off. This isn’t guesswork, rather it is what I have observed in the rent controlled cities of the Bay Area

    Comment by Ed Hirshberg — March 30, 2016 @ 10:40 pm

    • When I lived in SF, the only people who benefited from rent control were the people who had been there for years. They wouldn’t move even if they could afford to do so because their rent was so cheap. I share a place with a guy who had a rent control apartment and he was paying $1,600/month for a 3 bedroom and charging me $1,200 for a room, some people even make money off them. The landlord refused to replace the carpet, paint ect…because the market rate 13 years ago was $4,000/month. My roommate made a ton of money in the pharmaceutical industry but just stayed because the rent was so cheap and continued to grow his bank accounts.

      You lock people in they never leave and the people who need the rent control apartments can’t find one. Get a roommate save have your rent for a down payment. People complain about people on warfare…this is the same thing just with a pettier name.

      Comment by joelsf — March 31, 2016 @ 11:01 am

  10. Oakland, San Francisco, Berkeley (all rent controlled cities) are the MOST expensive to live in. So someone please tell me how rent control is working? What happens is that (1) the inventory of rentals get smaller because current tenants are less likely to move from their rent controlled apartments (2) some property owners will remove their units from the rental market because they no longer want to be in the rental business and (3) the new tenants are forced to pay higher rents to subsidize the rent controlled apartments.

    It works for the few people who live in rent controlled apartments — for awhile at least until the owner sales his building, but it doesn’t solve the housing crisis.

    Comment by Karen Bey — March 31, 2016 @ 7:32 am

  11. And here’s what often happens in San Francisco when an owner sales his building: because rents are so high in San Francisco the value of income property is very very high. The owner proceeds with a buyout of it’s existing tenants — the buyout price gets added to the sales price — and another rental property is taken off the market. This is why there are more units in SF getting removed from the rental inventory than coming on.

    Folks, this is not solving the housing crisis!

    Comment by Karen Bey — March 31, 2016 @ 7:45 am

    • Rent control is not about solving the housing crisis. It is about slowing displacement and preventing price gouging.

      Comment by BMac — March 31, 2016 @ 8:18 am

      • If policymakers hadn’t allowed NIMBYs, racists, anti-taxers, preservation fetishists, and the rest to create the housing crisis in the first place, renters would not have to resort to the only politically viable prescription of rent control.

        Rent control is palliative care for a dying patient. Sometimes palliative care is all you got since the patient has been effectively given a death sentence by a thousand cuts.

        Comment by BMac — March 31, 2016 @ 8:37 am

  12. So who benefits from this transaction? The lawyers write the buy out agreements, the tenant takes his buyout and moves somewhere where he can afford to live, the seller sales his building for twice as much he would have gotten had rent control not been in place, and SF struggles to build more affordable housing to replace the units removed from the rental market but the NIMBYS try and stop development.

    Folks, again this is not solving the housing crisis!

    Comment by Karen Bey — March 31, 2016 @ 8:37 am

    • This isn’t intended to solve the housing crisis…nobody is claiming that. It’s intended to stabilize rents and keep them affordable. It’s also to protect people from unfair evictions. It works great for people in controlled apartments whether in SF, Berkeley or wherever. It also works great for tenants who have landlords who evict for no good reason or to simply raise the rent. It’s about fairness.

      Comment by John K — March 31, 2016 @ 9:09 am

      • In its final distillation it is about a group of people using the heavy hand of government to craft themselves a sweetheart deal without regard to the havoc wreaked upon the marketplace, housing stock or future citizens.

        Comment by Ed Hirshberg — March 31, 2016 @ 11:21 am

        • “In its final distillation it is about a group of people using the heavy hand of government to craft themselves a sweetheart deal without regard to the havoc wreaked upon the marketplace, housing stock or future citizens.”

          Wait Ed, are you talking about Prop 13 or local zoning ordinances?

          Comment by BMac — March 31, 2016 @ 11:47 am

  13. The tenant rent ordinance is not about fairness. It overreaches – it’s about control – taking control from property owners and transferring that control to tenants.

    It’s all one sided – there’s no fairness in that.

    Comment by Karen Bey — March 31, 2016 @ 9:53 am

  14. San Francisco landlords see lowest returns, study finds

    RealtyTrac identifies the best and worst return on investment in single-family houses for rent

    Left your heart in San Francisco? If you’re a landlord renting out a house, you’ve probably left your profits there too.

    Five Bay Area counties are among the metros that offer the worst returns to investors, according to an analysis out Thursday from RealtyTrac. Limited supply and pent-up demand for homes to buy and rent are pushing prices for both sky-high, but as with everything in real estate, location is key,

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/san-francisco-landlords-see-lowest-returns-study-finds-2016-03-31

    Comment by It's not the landlords fault look elsewhere to get a clue — March 31, 2016 @ 10:09 am

    • That’s not what everyone is saying.

      “Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. “However, the greatest returns are actually in markets like San Jose and San Francisco where there are short-term monthly losses, but the long-term earned equity makes them the best markets to invest in.”

      http://www.aptmags.com/blog/4550/best-cities-for-small-landlords.html

      Comment by John K — March 31, 2016 @ 10:21 am

    • Good. Hopefully investors will take the hint, seek returns elsewhere and ongoing concerns can operate with lower costs, saving their overburdened tenants’ some change in the process.

      Comment by BMac — March 31, 2016 @ 10:24 am

  15. “In its final distillation it is about a group of people using the heavy hand of government to craft themselves a sweetheart deal without regard to the havoc wreaked upon the marketplace, housing stock or future citizens.”

    Wait Ed, are you talking about Prop 13 or local zoning ordinances?

    Comment by BMac — March 31, 2016 @ 11:48 am

  16. Such a highly emotionally charged issue.

    SF has had rent control since about 1978 or so. Some people are still in the same apt they were in then, and their apartments look like 1978.

    Some apartment buildings were sold as TICs (tenants in common)–i.e., people (often strangers) buy an equal share of a building.
    Each person then took possession of one unit.
    They each paid a down payment, and applied for one loan on the whole bldg.
    This meant each person was responsible for the whole mortgage payment when/or if another TIC owner did not make a mortgage payment.

    This often caused conflict between the TIC owners.

    Also–when the TIC owners moved in, the renters who had been living there were then out of an apartment

    The next step (if they were lucky in the SF condo-ization lottery) for the TIC owners was to turn their units/building into condos—this meant each owner got an individual loan on his or her unit.

    Even after all these years with rent control, SF is now one of the most expensive places to live.

    SF is now a great place for well heeled people. But if you have champagne taste and have a beer budget, SF is not a friendly place.

    I predict the same will happen in Alameda if any form of rent stabilization or rent control takes hold in Alameda.

    Comment by A Neighbor — March 31, 2016 @ 12:10 pm

    • Not a difficult prediction to make. Recall that rents in Alameda had already been going up dramatically: 50% between 2011-2015 and the RRAC was handing 10% annual increases like Christmas candy. Rent control didn’t cause that. Alameda landlords consistently complain their units are below market and they want to be able to raise rents as they wish. It’s about fairness, community stabilization and a level playing field. It doesn’t take a genius or an economist to understand that $300-$500 a month rent increases devastate families. One doesn’t need to have spent years in real estate to understand that evicting long-term residents upon 60-days notice causes trauma and upheaval for those families and individuals.

      Comment by John K — March 31, 2016 @ 10:20 pm

  17. To BMac. Prop 13 has been a stellar law. California was moribund prior to its passage because people were afraid to invest. There was no control on taxes. Many people didn’t even want to paint their houses because it would catch the assessor’s attention. Revenues from property taxes have increases 18% per year with the exception of the 2008 recession. The certainty on taxes is important in commercial real estate where we sometimes enter into contracts that are 30 years long. If only other taxes worked this well.

    Comment by Ed Hirshberg — March 31, 2016 @ 2:11 pm

  18. Can anyone confirm that a city council member filed a Landlord Ordinance with City Clerk today? Or is this just an early April Fools joke?

    Comment by Mike McMahon — March 31, 2016 @ 8:56 pm

    • That is the scuttlebutt, though he sure didn’t publicize it if he did. I guess someone should have dropped by Blue Danube for his office hours tonight and asked him.

      Come to think of it, was he not invited to the LWV meet your public officials event tonight? Or did he decline because that isn’t his scene?

      Comment by BMac — March 31, 2016 @ 11:27 pm

  19. This is a rather interesting Article that documents the complexity of providing Affordable Housing in SF. It is worth a read. http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/blog/real-estate/2015/07/sf-affordable-housing-preservation-housing-report.html

    Comment by frank — April 1, 2016 @ 8:54 am

  20. Apparently this is not an April’s Fool joke. Council member Tony Daysog filed the following with City Clerk yesterday:

    http://www.mikemcmahon.info/TonyDaysogInitiative.pdf

    Comment by Mike McMahon — April 1, 2016 @ 9:04 am

    • It’s interesting because one of the signatory proponents of the Daysog initiative in the link you supply, Maria Dominguez, has I believe been someone who has spoken in support of rent control frequently before the Council. Where do you stand on the ARC ballot initiative?

      Comment by MP — April 1, 2016 @ 9:28 am

      • Maybe a different Maria Dominguez. But still the question about your position on the ARC initiative

        Comment by MP — April 1, 2016 @ 9:30 am

      • Maria D. Dominguez is the person supporting ARC. The Maria Dominguez signing for Daysog has E. in the name but did not sign that way. I suspect this Dominguez is a so-called ‘mom-and-pop’ landlord.

        Comment by John K — April 1, 2016 @ 9:48 am

        • Are you sure it’s not a prank Mike, I can’t find any other way to read it, it’s ridiculous and will never get the signatures. This smells like a patented daysog stunt.

          Comment by jkw — April 1, 2016 @ 11:59 am

  21. There is an article in the Wall Street Journal about turning apartment buildings into houses in rent controlled New York City. Check it out. There are many apartment buildings in Alameda that would make great family estates as the property becomes no longer a viable investment.

    Comment by Ed Hirshberg — April 1, 2016 @ 10:38 am

  22. The ARC ballot initiative says:

    Section 6(b) “Eligibility: Duly qualified electors of the City of Alameda are eligible to serve as Members of the Board. Any landlords or managers of residential rental property elected to this Board must make a showing that they are in compliance with this Article and all other local, state and federal laws regulating the provision of housing. This showing must be provided in writing with any necessary documentation and provided on the City of Alameda website.”

    How does a landlord “make a showing” with “any necessary documentation” that “they are in compliance with this Article and all other local state and federal laws regulating the provision of housing” ? Is the City Clerk supposed to come up with a list of “all” local, state and federal “laws” that arguably “regulate” the “provision of housing” that a landlord candidate must “make a showing” of “compliance” with?. What is the “necessary documentation”, and who decides what it is or whether it has been “provided”? Do the non-landlord board members then decide, ad-hoc, whether they are satisfied that the landlord board member (who they may not want on the Board) has given all the “necessary” documentation of compliance with “all” laws? Assuming the standard can even be met (if, e.g., you drove a car today, could you “make a showing” with “necessary documentation” that you and your vehicle were at all times “in compliance” with “all” federal, state and local “laws” that your potential opponents would be compelled to accept?), who bears the cost of making the showing?

    Does a landlord Board member fail to “make a showing that they are in compliance” if any tenant submits a complaint to the non-landlord Board members that, in the opinion of the tenant (and perhaps at the suggestion of a non-landlord Board member who is not happy with the way the landlord Board member has been voting, or perhaps for no good reason at all), the landlord Board member is not, or no longer, “in compliance” with “all” laws “regulating” the “provision of housing”? If such a complaint is raised, are the impeachment proceedings to be conducted by the non-landlord Board members? Is legal guidance provided by the City Attorney, by Board-hired attorneys, or would the matter be heard in Superior Court? And who pays for all of that? Does the City supply legal counsel for the landlord Board member?

    Is this section supposed to promote fairness and impartiality or is it just old school vote rigging? It looks designed to discourage property owners from running for the Board in the first place, and then to provide a pliable mechanism for expelling them if they do run and are elected. It’s a lot easier to have things your way and to spend money however you want without the minimal check and balance of an opposing point of view. I don’t like it when I read about Republican legislatures passing laws to purge the voter rolls of likely Democrats or reducing the number of polling places in Democratic-leaning precincts. The same goes for Section 6 of the ARC initiative.

    Why no equal counterpart requirement for non-landlord Board members to make a “showing” of “compliance” with “all” “laws” relating to any property, tenancy or lease interest they hold?

    Has thought been given to the constitutionality of this section and who will pay to defend it against a court challenge? Does the City Attorney have discretion to decline to defend bad law in court?

    Was there a debate within the ARC specifically about whether to include this provision?

    Comment by MP — April 1, 2016 @ 11:43 pm

    • It’s not that hard. First, a landlord or property manager would have to prove they are a resident of Alameda. Then, they would have to show their properties are in compliance with all applicable zoning, health & safety, fire, etc., codes; that units are registered and there is a business license for the property and that taxes are current; that there are no federal housing laws being violated (which would be shown by declaration signed under penalty of perjury, I’d guess). Basically, it means if you are a landlord or property manager on the Rent Board, you can’t be a slumlord or operate or maintain substandard properties. It would not be up to the ‘non-landlord’ Board members to make the determination but, in all likelihood, would be a determination made by the City Attorney.

      Comment by John K — April 2, 2016 @ 12:22 am

      • where does it say that? and why should we have to “guess” about what the requirements of the proposed charter amendment are? and why do the vague requirements of the charter amendment only apply to some candidates and not all? what are all the “applicable” laws?

        Comment by MP — April 2, 2016 @ 12:32 am

        • Who’s guessing? The measure says, “in compliance with this Article and all other local, state
          and federal laws regulating the provision of housing.” It’s not rocket science nor is it vague…it’s very specific. The logic of why it applies to landlords and property managers is equally obvious: you can’t be a slumlord or own/operate substandard properties and serve on the Rent Board.

          Comment by John K — April 2, 2016 @ 12:44 am

      • Who is guessing? You are guessing. You said “I’d guess” that the requirement — for which the initiative provides no standard for meeting — would be met by some form of declaration about some still-unspecified list of laws and that “in all likelihood” the City Attorney would be making some part of these determinations. You have to guess because the initiative leaves all of that to the imagination or perhaps to the regulation-making authority of the Board itself.

        And who pays for “having to show” that their properties “are in compliance with all applicable zoning, health & safety, fire, etc., codes”? Usually there are substantial fees for property inspections.

        Is it equally “obvious” to you that you can and should serve on the Board as a non-landlord, and nevertheless be in non-compliance with any or “all” “laws” that might apply to you as a non-landlord property owner or leaseholder, and that you not be required to “make” any showings or sign declarations, etc. etc.? Why would such non-compliance have no bearing on your duties as a Board member?

        You’re right, it’s not rocket science, it’s a simple and patent attempt at stacking the deck.

        Comment by MP — April 2, 2016 @ 1:13 am

        • And, in this respect, the ARC initiative is more extreme than even Berkeley’s rent control scheme

          http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/ContentDisplay.aspx?id=9296

          Comment by MP — April 3, 2016 @ 9:40 am

        • I get it, MP, you don’t like ARC’s ballot measure. Don’t sign or vote for it, then.

          Comment by John K — April 3, 2016 @ 11:23 am

        • Thanks much for reminding me of my right to vote. I think I’ll also continue to express my opinion about flawed and, in this case, potentially unconstitutional, aspects of the ARC initiative.

          Comment by MP — April 3, 2016 @ 11:31 am

        • And thank you too for being the only person so far that has made an attempt to defend this part of the ARC initiative. I’m not convinced, but at least it’s a try.

          Comment by MP — April 3, 2016 @ 11:41 am

  23. JKW it’s not ridiculous! This ordinance covers many of the issues that were raised by the landlords in the rent ordinance public hearings. I think the ordinance was well written and I intend to vote for it.

    Comment by Karen Bey — April 2, 2016 @ 12:10 am

    • In a city that is 55% renters, it’s hard to see that many will sign a ballot petition that takes rental protections away from themselves. Similarly, it’s hard to imagine that larger rental operations will look kindly upon their mom-and-pop landlord cohorts who don’t think they should pay relocation fees and who are brazen enough to push their own selfish agenda at City Hall while everyone else be damned. Funny thing about these mom-and-pops: they don’t realize that the whole world doesn’t see them as the victims they see themselves as.

      Comment by John K — April 2, 2016 @ 12:36 am

      • John K – this is why, in answer to your question. If you’re a smaller property owner and you’re required to pay a $19,000 relocation fee in order to move back into your home, a smaller property owner would have to dig into their savings if they are fortunate enough to have one large enough to pay the relocation fee.

        If you rented out your home due to hardship, as Denise has described in her situation you may not have $19,000 and therefore would have to either sale the property – removing it from the rental inventory, or forfeit moving back into their home, thus increasing the chance of having to pay an even higher relocation fee down the road.

        The larger property owners — lets say someone who owns 20 properties or more, can spread the relocation expense over 20 properties. A 5% rent increase on their 20 properties would just about cover the cost of the relocation fee. For someone owning 1- 6 units, a 5% rent increase would cover a small fraction of the cost of the relocation fee – meaning they would have to find another source to pay the relocation fee.

        John, in the end, it’s about fairness.

        Comment by Karen Bey — April 2, 2016 @ 8:52 am

        • More playing the victim. Evict families who’ve been in a home for years and expect them to just move on….how is that fair? You must pay the real costs for a family to move. If it’s a business, then act like it and accept the risk. You aren’t guaranteed a profit. You want it to be a business until that doesn’t work for you. Then you want sympathy for ‘your home.’ More playing the victim….these mom-and-pops are such pros at being victims. Will it ever end?

          Comment by John K — April 2, 2016 @ 10:23 am

  24. Has anyone here ever changed jobs to get higher pay?
    Do you feel that is your right?

    How about if there was a law that said you couldn’t change jobs – for pay or any other reason – unless you forked over 1-2 years (or more) take home pay first?

    I challenge anyone to defend a law that restricts workers in this way.

    And yet that is what is being demanded of landlords.

    Comment by dave — April 2, 2016 @ 10:33 am

  25. John, for one the house doesn’t belong to them – they don’t own it. In Denise’s case, they may have lived in the property for a year or two? Compare that to her years of residency and the thousands of dollars of hard earned equity that she has put into her home over the years of home ownership. Talk about fairness!

    And they signed a lease agreement with lease terms not a purchase agreement, so they don’t own the house. No where in the lease agreement does it say she owes them relocation fees if she wants to move back into her house.

    Comment by Karen Bey — April 2, 2016 @ 12:48 pm

    • Apparently a lot of people disagree with you about relocation fees….including the City Council. But, there you go: today it’s a business, tomorrow, it’s “my home” whatever victimhood works for the situation You just don’t get that we aren’t talking about selling cars or air conditioners. It’s people’s lives and community and requires some regulation because the outcomes are disproportionately negative on tenants.

      Comment by John K — April 3, 2016 @ 11:16 am

  26. John, don’t get me wrong I believe there should be tenant protections from price gouging and unfair treatment from landlords — that’s not what I’m talking about here. The vast majority of the landlords in town are good landlords — and I’m talking about an ordinance that recognizes that. Other cities exempt small mom and pops — even Oakland does, so it’s not unusual.

    Comment by Karen Bey — April 2, 2016 @ 12:55 pm

    • There’s simply no evidence that the “vast majority are good landlords.” Both the landlords and City Council refused and rejected the idea of reporting rents and evictions on all units. That being the case and until there is credible and across-the-board data collection, claims like this are simply anecdotal. If you notice in the BAE report, it reports broadly on properties with more than 50 units which are the properties the Mayor thinks are the real problem makers.

      However, properties with 50+ units are only 17% of units in Alameda whereas mom-and-pops, by Daysog’s definition, are well over 30% of Alameda rental units, yet the BAE report doesn’t even include the term ‘mom-and-pop’ properties, let alone provide any data about them.

      Comment by John K — April 3, 2016 @ 11:22 am

  27. Oh what a surprise, a third ballot initiative filed by the landlords to outlaw rent control. Who could have predicted….

    Comment by notadave — April 5, 2016 @ 3:32 pm

    • Clear choices this election, to say the least.

      Comment by John K — April 5, 2016 @ 5:07 pm

  28. From East Bay Express, Berkeley’s solution to the housing crisis:

    http://www.eastbaytimes.com/breaking-news/ci_29928812/berkeley-voters-could-face-dueling-robin-hood-tax

    Comment by Mike McMahon — May 24, 2016 @ 8:23 am

  29. A recap of the Bay Area six cities that have rent control measures on the November ballot: http://www.sfchronicle.com/business/networth/article/Rent-control-spreading-to-Bay-Area-suburbs-to-9215216.php

    Comment by Mike McMahon — September 11, 2016 @ 8:54 am


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