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City Issues Statement on Rent Control Ordinance Progress

A renter holds a sign at the January 5th Alameda city council meeting. (File Photo)

A renter holds a sign at the January 5th Alameda city council meeting. (File Photo)

Almost a week after councilmembers and staffers shivered through an all-night city council meeting that didn’t wrap until 4 a.m., the City of Alameda issued a media statement yesterday regarding the key item from that meeting – rent control.

City officials had scheduled a press conference for Wednesday morning last week, the day after the council meeting started, in anticipation of having something substantive to announce. However, that press conference was cancelled.

In the interim, the substance and process of the meeting has been picked and teased apart on local blogs and in social media.

As expected, Alameda City Council voted unanimously to extend, for 60 days, an the November 2015 urgency ordinance prohibiting residential rent increases of eight percent or more and “no cause” evictions.

City Council also gave staffers direction on drafting specific provisions to be included in a new, enduring, rent control ordinance for Council’s consideration at its February 16th meeting.

According to the press release, “a major component of the new ordinance will be the requirement for binding arbitration if both sides do not reach agreement. The binding arbitration would only apply to multi-family rental units built before February 1, 1995, pursuant to state law.”

City Council asked that the new ordinance contain the following provisions:

  • Requirement of landlords to offer tenants an initial one-year lease;
  • Limit rent increases to no more than once per year;
  • No cause evictions permitted with limitations;
  • Tenant relocation assistance for certain types of evictions;
  • Preparation and approval of a Capital Improvement Plan prior to evicting tenants for substantial rehabilitation;
  • Monetary penalties and enforcement; and
  • An annual review of the ordinance and a sunset provision.

At last week’s meeting, Council heard from landlord and tenant representatives, and public comments from over 50 speakers.

The next Alameda City Council meeting is slated for Tuesday, January 19th. Rent control is not on the agenda, but the hiring of a new city manager is.

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