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View other events for the week of 2/16/2016
Oakland City Council will be addressing 1 of their displacement techniques
Date Tuesday February 16
Time 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Location Details
Oakland City Council Chambers
1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland City Hall, 3rd Floor
Event Type Other
Organizer/Author
agenda: https://oakland.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=A&ID=459318&GUID=BA81C77C-EDB4-4506-8158-5AD70933195F
Links are provided in the agenda for the two reports provided regarding this issue.

S-14 Subject: Amendments to the Ellis Act Ordinance
From: Housing & Community Development Department
Recommendation: Adopt one of the following options:
1) An Ordinance To Amend The Ellis Act Ordinance O.M.C. 12530 C.M.C. To
(1) Extend Relocation Payments To All Households Regardless Of Income;
(2) Set The Base Amount Of Relocation Payment At $8,000 Per Unit;
(3) Require An Additional Payment Of $2,500 Per Unit For Units With Tenants Who Are Seniors, Disabled, Low Income, Or Families With Minor Children; and
(4) Require That Half Of The Payment Be Made When The Termination Notice Is Given And The Other Half Of The Payment Made Upon Tenant's Move Out; Or

2) An Ordinance To Amend The Ellis Act Ordinance O.M.C. 12530 C.M.C. To
(1) Extend Relocation Payments To All Households Regardless Of Income;
(2) Set The Base Amount Of Relocation Payment At $6,500 Per Studio/One-Bedroom Units, $8,000 Per Two-Bedroom Units, And $9,875 Per Three Or More Bedroom Units;
(3) Require An Additional Payment Of $2,500 Per Unit For Units With Tenants Who Are Seniors, Disabled, Low-Income, Or Families With Minor Children; and
(4) Require That Half Of The Payment Be Made When The Termination Notice Is Given And The Other Half Of The Payment Made Upon Tenant's Move Out

At the Council’s Dec 15, 2015 Community & Economic Development Committee, they requested language be included stating that the relocation payments will only be provided upon tenant sign off that they are waiving their right to contest the eviction and options regarding the difference in cost based on bedroom sizes. At the second hearing of this issue at the Feb 9, 2016 CED Cmte, they approved recommendations for Option 2 and forwarded to the City Council for consideration. This includes "stating that the relocation will only be provided upon tenant sign off that they are waiving their right to contest the eviction."

District 3 councilmember McElheney and City Staff have lately been lying to the residents of Oakland by stating that they have been strengthening protections for renters. They have not. In response to questions about the concerns over displacement, McElheney has been stating that the City will be offering a relocation fee. On it's face, that means we don't care about you staying in your community but we might help you to leave the city. Those in the audience probably thought that it they lost their apartment, they would receive this fee. NOPE. What she and City Staff were referring to was the item addressed in this notice – the changes to the City's modifications of the State of California's Ellis Act (SB 505, 1986). This relocation fee is only if you are evicted through the residential rental property owner's use of the Ellis Act. It's purpose is to take the residential rental units of an entire building off the market. It can then either be used as a personal residence, left empty, converted into condominium units (within the limits of the City’s condo ordinance), or maybe to tear down the building that may or may not be covered under a municipal rent stabilization program to build new residential rental units that won't be covered by that stabilization ordinance.

At the December 15, 2015 meeting of the CED Committee, rental activists addressed the following issues that needed to be included in the proposed amendments:
1. The failure of the rentier to pay the eviction payment is a defense of the renter against eviction. That second payment MUST be handed in person at the move-out.
2. The rentier typically makes much money off their owning a residential rental property. If they decide to evict the renters for the purposes of not renting anymore, they can do that. The state law was written for that. There are limited protections for the renters provide by the state law and any additional modifications provided at the municipal level. The City is now demanding that the evicted renters waive their right to contest the eviction. There are many unique situations out there in the rental world. This blanket statement will be to the disadvantage to renters.
3. This process MUST be recorded with the Rent Adjustment Program and as necessary with the county very quickly. There is a loophole where the building could be sold to an additional party and then be exempt for having to notify the evicted renters of a possible future re-rental.
4. The security deposit is a separate item and must be delineated as such. If evicted through the Ellis Act, the renter MUST also be handed the security deposit in person. The purpose of the security deposit is now defunct as the purpose of the Ellis Act eviction is to allow the rentier to remove the residential rental units from the rental market.

They were NOT addressed.

Based on the newer staff suggestion, at the February 9, 2016 meeting of the CED Cmte, rental activists addressed the following additional issues:
5. Though they have struggled to provide some logic, the city administration has now reduced the relocation payment to studio & one-bedroom units and has provided tiers based on the number of bedrooms. Activists generally agree the tiered system is appropriate. However, there is an issue of fairness, rental activists have been arguing for years to have the Rent Adjustment Program provide a proportional system for rent increases. Currently, smaller units are punished and forced to subsidize the larger units when things like Capital Improvements are passed through – they all pay the same amount. This effectively acts as a mechanism forcing self-evictions from the renters of the smaller units and increasing turnover. If this tiered system of relocation payments is to be implemented, then it must also be included for all methods of passing through rent increases. The rentier can make so much money off of renting. The $8,000 must be the base amount and then provide tiers upwards from that.
6. There is also the practical issue of what happens in Oakland if one loses an apartment. Oakland renters are poor. The median rental household annual wage is $33,400 and that is for an average of 2.4 occupants per household. If evicted through the Ellis Act, there is little chance those people will remain anywhere near the Bay Area. They will severe ties with their community and will basically have to start anew in a far distance place. The notion of being noticed for a possible re-rental within a 10 year period is all but impractical for all but a tiny portion. The City needs to include much more strict penalties for a possible future re-renting.

Evictions using the Ellis Act are currently not the problem that it has been in San Francisco. That will soon change. The door has been cracked open, take advantage of it now and make some change.

Contact all of the city councilmembers if you cannot be there in person to speak.

dkalb [at] oaklandnet.com; aguillen [at] oaklandnet.com; lmcelhaney [at] oaklandnet.com; ACampbell-Washington [at] oaklandnet.com; ngallo [at] oaklandnet.com; dbrooks [at] oaklandnet.com; lreid [at] oaklandnet.com; atlarge [at] oaklandnet.com
Added to the calendar on Sunday Feb 14th, 2016 4:00 PM

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