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Indybay Feature
CIP Decision Could End Rent Control
by D.Curioso
The City of Alameda already has a Capital improvement Plan (CIP) program but landlord lobbyists worked with Council Member John Knox White (so-called moderate) to get more from renters. The Alameda Renters Coalition opposed this plan last year, but renters responded with letters and speakers in protest. The CIP plan was tabled for a year but now it's back on the agenda for a City Council vote on Tuesday.
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The Capital Improvement Plan plan allows add-ons to rent increases. If your landlord wants to make renovations to your building that cost over $7,500 per building or $750 per unit, 100% of the landlord's expense plus interest could be added to your rent in addition to your allowable annual rent increase as a "pass-through."

Enacting "rent control" and then trying to enact another program that allows an additional large payment from a renter beyond the increase allowed under rent control, but not calling it a "rent increase," is just a loophole that undermines rent control.

Proposed Changes Re. Rent Add-Ons

Please speak and/or write to Council and tell them not to undermine rent control. Tenants can't afford it! See ARC's letter to Council on our website: thealamedarenterscoalition.org

Alameda City Council Meeting
Tuesday, July 12, 7 pm - Item 7-c

Please help us fight the city's plan to implement a new Capital improvement Plan (CIP) program. ARC opposed this plan last year, and thanks to a fantastic turn-out of renter letters and speakers in protest, the issue was tabled for a year. But now it's back on the agenda for a City Council vote on Tuesday.

To refresh your memory, the plan would allow add-ons to rent increases. If your landlord wants to make renovations to your building that cost over $7,500 per building or $750 per unit, 100% of the landlord's expense plus interest could be added to your rent in addition to your allowable annual rent increase as a "pass-through."

Enacting "rent control" and then trying to enact another program that allows an additional large payment from a renter beyond the increase allowed under rent control, but not calling it a "rent increase," is just a loophole that undermines rent control. ARC members believe that any payment a renter makes to a landlord is the cost that renter bears to be able to stay in their home. It doesn't matter if the payment is called "rent, "surcharge," "assessment," or "pass-through." The payment basically is rent.

ARC has had stakeholder meetings with city staff to oppose this plan and we were successful in getting staff members to agree to recommend a yearly cumulative cap on rent increases plus pass-throughs. We thought 5% was fair, but the proposal came out at 8%, which we think is too high. This doesn't mean that you could get an 8% increase only once. Because the landlord would be allowed to recoup 100% of their expenses, plus interest, the pass-through could be amortized for 15–20 years. You could potentially get 8% increases yearly for that length of time.

If this happens in Alameda, then it will happen in YOUR city. Please help Alameda renters tell City Council and/or speaking at the Council meeting on Tuesday. Please send your letters soon so that Council receives them by Tuesday afternoon. Letters don't have to be long. You can just say something like:

"Please don't add pass-throughs onto my annual rent increase."

"I can't afford yearly rent increases up to 8%."

If you want to say more, such as sharing how you've suffered financially during COVID-19, or any other personal hardship, that would help. Please cc the city clerk as well. Write to:

Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft
email: mezzyashcraft [at] alamedaca.gov
Vice Mayor Malia Vella
email: mvella [at] alamedaca.gov
Councilmember Tony Daysog
email: tdaysog [at] alamedaca.gov
Councilmember Trish Herrera Spencer
email: tspencer [at] alamedaca.gov
Councilmember John Knox White
email: jknoxwhite [at] alamedaca.gov

If you want to speak, register for the City Council meeting at the link below. The meeting starts at 7 o'clock, but the CIP agenda item is 7-C, which will come up a while after the meeting starts. Once you are in the meeting, select "raise hand" in Zoom when the clerk calls out Item 7-C.

Register for Zoom:
https://alamedaca-gov.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_3xyLNvsQRHCQsEeOlPJoTw
clerk [at] alamedaca.gov
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