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Alameda Renters May Have to Wait for Summer for Rising Rent Relief

Any municipal code or rent review advisory council changes to respond to rising rents may not come until summer of this year. (File photo)

Any municipal code or rent review advisory council changes to respond to rising rents may not come until May of this year. (File photo)

Any changes to the Alameda Municipal Code (AMC), or Rent Review Advisory Council (RRAC) processes, to help Alameda renters cope with rapidly raising rents, may not come until the summer.

Last September, Alameda City Council gave the go-ahead for one-time council candidate and former Hayward Assistant City Attorney Jeff Cambra to lead a community process to understand the impacts of rising rents on tenants in Alameda, and come back with proposals to help tenants cope.

In January, Cambra presented 6 broadly-worded proposals to City Council.

On March 17th, council will consider a proposal to allow Cambra to take specific code or process changes back to the community for input.

The upshot is that, according to March 17th city council documents, “staff will [likely] present to the City Council proposed amendments to the AMC, revisions to the RRAC program and procedures, and a recommendation regarding additional quantitative analysis regarding the impacts of rising rents by early summer.”

The proposals brought back to the City of Alameda by Cambra mostly pertain to requiring landlords to participate in Rent Review Advisory Council hearings; one re-asserts existing California law that prohibits landlords from retaliating against tenants for exercising their rights.

Separately, City of Alameda officials responded to an Action Alameda News public records request, confirming that the city realizes tax revenue from landlords, collecting $217,000 in 2014 in tax from the Alameda rental property operators.

Also, a straw poll conducted by Action Alameda News early this year found that 40 percent of respondents believed that tenants should always be protected against large rent increases, including any increases due to a $180 million school tax bond last November.

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