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Indybay Feature
View other events for the week of 6/23/2009
Be There! Berkeley City Council Vote To Save Housing Authority
Date Tuesday June 23
Time 7:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Location Details
Berkeley City Council
Event Type Meeting
Organizer/AuthorPosted By Lynda Carson
Emailtenantsrule [at] yahoo.com
Tuesday June 23, is the last chance for the public to go before the Berkeley City Council to convince it to fully fund the Berkeley Housing Authoeirty, and save public housing and Berkeley's Section 8 housing program!

For more information: Contact Patrick Kehoe

Questions? Q7287425 [at] yahoo.com (510) 843-4266

Patrick Kehoe,
Berkeley resident; Member, BHA Resident Advisory Board; Member, Save Section 8

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

City Council Vote to Save the Berkeley Housing Authority


This Tuesday, June 23, 2009, 7 PM Meeting

Reminder: Section 8 tenants and other concerned community members need to be present when the Berkeley City Council votes on the 2009-2010 City Budget subsidy needed to maintain the BHA next year.

Public comment will be allowed at the June 23, 2009 City Council meeting when the final City Budget is voted on.

Each speaker is allowed 2 minutes of public comment.

The City Council meeting will commence at 7:00 PM, Tuesday, June 23, at 2134 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way (corner Allston Way) in the Council Chambers (2nd floor).

It is extremely important for low-income tenants to attend meetings. If we do not appear and show ourselves (even if you do not speak), real estate developers and landlords who oppose “affordable housing” in Berkeley will be the only people present when the City Council votes on low-income housing concerns.

For background information, see the updated analysis of the BHA subsidy matter below.

**********************************************************************************************

Landlords Opting Out of Section 8 Again…
Berkeley Housing Authority Not Answering/Returning Calls???…
In order to function, the BHA Needs a $700,000 Subsidy from the City of Berkeley.

Analysis of the subsidy problem follows below.

Berkeley Housing Authority’s Section 8 tenants and other concerned community members must demonstrate their support for a Berkeley City Council vote to subsidize the Berkeley Housing Authority (BHA).

If the BHA cuts back staff next year, customer service will be so poor that landlords will opt out of the Section 8 program like they did in the past because it was too much trouble. Section 8 tenants—many of whom are disabled and or aged—will pay 40% ++ of their income for rent because the BHA will not be able to keep the payment standard (the amount the landlord receives for rent) competitive with Berkeley rents.

The best way to retain the BHA staff is to provide public comment supporting a subsidy. This should be done at meetings of the City Council.

It is extremely important for low-income tenants to go to meetings. If they do not attend and show themselves (even if they do no speak), real estate developers and landlords who oppose “affordable housing” in Berkeley will be the only people present when the City Council votes on low-income housing issues.

Public comment at the City Council meeting begins promptly at 7:00 PM. Each speaker is allowed 2 minutes.

Tuesday, June 23 7:00 PM City Council meeting at 2134 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. at Allston Way: Adoption of the City of Berkeley 2009-2010 Budget.


The following provides an analysis of the subsidy matter.


“The City Manager’s $300,000 budget recommendation for City Council approval is not sufficient to meet the BHA’s $700,000 need.” [BHA director Tia Ingram. April 2, 2009 Housing Advisory Commission (HAC) meeting.]

Lacking a sufficient City of Berkeley subsidy, the Berkeley Housing Authority (BHA) will be forced to cut back case managers and clerical support staff who provide direct services, next year. Any recent improvements in BHA customer service for Section 8 tenants and landlords will be lost. Landlords will opt out of the Section 8 program after expiration of the first-year lease, as they have done in the past, simply because the BHA became too difficult. Landlords will no longer participate in the program when phone calls are not returned and their rental leases, housing inspection documents, and subsidy checks are not processed in timely fashion. BHA housing programs bring in 25 million dollars of revenue to the City each year, and assist 1,900 families (in all programs) over 3,000 individuals, including disabled, seniors and children.

Tenants will suffer

Payment Standards (the maximum rent paid landlords) will not compete with Berkeley rents because there will not be adequate BHA staff to perform the required rent surveys. The result will be that low-income, elderly and disabled tenants will no longer be able to afford to live in Berkeley, and the vouchers will be dispersed among other communities and unincorporated areas of the county.

Section 8 individuals and families who choose to remain in Berkeley will be paying rents well over 40% of their income. When disabled tenants’ SSI incomes and other benefits are reduced, they will nevertheless have to pay increased rents for months because income adjustments (interim recertifications) won’t get calculated.

Tenants able to find a landlord willing to accept their Section 8 vouchers will lose their apartments because landlords won’t wait months for the BHA to process the paperwork.

The main reason a subsidy is needed to sustain the BHA at this time is salaries -- union salaries and benefits comparable to those paid by the City of Berkeley, stipulated by the City two years ago when the BHA became a mostly-separate agency. The City must act responsibly and provide a BHA subsidy in order for it to function effectively.

The potential for the BHA to become a self-supporting agency exists, if it can emerge from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s Troubled Status in August of 2009. Its HUD administrative reporting requirements would be substantially less, and it would receive more funding for its programs.

Furthermore: The BHA serves both Section 8 and public housing tenants. The BHA is considering partnering with a non-profit housing developer to take over its 61 public housing units. Two decades of deferred maintenance needs to be tackled by a non-profit housing developer with the necessary resources to rehabilitate and manage the units. Rents would remain the same. The BHA would qualify for a higher subsidy from HUD and generate sufficient administrative revenue from the public housing Section 8 fees to enable it to become a self-supporting agency.

Funding the BHA is consistent with the City of Berkeley’s long standing commitment to “affordable housing.”


Questions? Q7287425 [at] yahoo.com (510) 843-4266

Patrick Kehoe,
Berkeley resident; Member, BHA Resident Advisory Board; Member, Save Section 8

Added to the calendar on Sunday Jun 21st, 2009 7:33 PM
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what a meeting!!dudersSunday Jun 21st, 2009 10:06 PM
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