Blogging Bayport Alameda

January 16, 2018

Housing is a human right

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:06 am

Four housing related items on the City Council’s agenda tonight and one item which references the need for affordable housing.  First is the North Housing second reading which should elicit the same 3 – 2 vote as it did the last time around.

The second item is asking that the City Council vote to put in writing its commitment to provide a funding match to two Site A affordable Housing projects.

The third item is a doozy: a 133% rent increase for a condo on Bay Farm.   The RRAC eventually recommended a 50% rent increase (because the tenant agreed to that if they were offered a two year lease).  But, according to the staff report:

Following the RRAC hearing, on December 5, 2017, Rent Program staff issued a letter and an email to the landlord and tenants confirming the RRAC’s decision and asking for a response by December 11, 2017 (Exhibit 4).  On December 12, 2017, Mr. Statman replied by email that although he does not agree with the RRAC’s decision, he would not seek an appeal since the decision was non-binding.  The original rent increase of $2,000 has now been implemented.

But essentially what will the City Council be able to do?  They’ll render the same sorts of platitudes they always do but there is no real majority will to make any meaningful changes that can protect exempt units from 113% rent increases.

The fourth item is a Council Referral which will task staff with seeing what they can do about passing through the rental housing fee to tenants:

1) Direct staff to determine whether the City Council could adopt a new ordinance, without waiting for a year, that would allow landlords to pass through a portion of the Housing Program Fee to tenants, in 12 equal installments and, if so, to bring such an ordinance to the Council for its consideration.  Also, review whether the pass through could be retroactive.  If not, have Council determine whether or not to charge the landlords the fee due December 31.

2) Direct staff to clarify what the City’s collection efforts will be for landlords who do not pay the Fee by December 31.

3) Direct staff to clarify that for now the Housing Program Fee, as any other operating expense, may be indirectly passed through to tenants as part of a rent increase.

And the housing related item has to do with the CDBG block grant needs survey which shows that 83% of respondents saying that affordable rental housing is a high need.

alamedaneed

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3 Comments »

  1. It is my understanding that the 133% rent increase case that was being appealed to the Council was resolved prior to the meeting. I will have details of the settlement amount and terms soon and will post them here.

    Comment by Jeff Cambra — January 18, 2018 @ 7:21 am

  2. Housing is a human right? Not according to one Suzanne Lindsey!

    Comment by Rod — January 19, 2018 @ 11:35 am

  3. The terms of the agreement between the resident and the housing provider are as follows:

    The new rent for the three bedroom/three bath home will be $3,500 with a $1,000 discount applied retroactively to December 18, 2017, which is the effective date of the original rent increase notice. The retroactive application of this discount means that the resident will receive a rent credit for the prorated December rent and the January rent. This discount applies from December 18, 2017 to June 30, 2018. The rent discount will be reduced to $500 for the July 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018.

    What is interesting about this case is the fact that the housing provider was under no obligation to apply the discount retroactively or offer the rent discount, and as Lauren noted, neither the Rent Review Advisory Committee nor the City Council had any authority to limit the rent increase, because the house was a townhouse and exempt from any local rent control regulations under state law. However, the resident and housing provider were still able to reach an agreement on a reduced rent.

    Comment by Jeff Cambra — January 22, 2018 @ 9:44 pm


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