Announcing the session, city officials wrote, “if you would like additional information regarding your tenancy, feel you have been wrongfully evicted, or feel threatened or retaliated against, lawyers from the City Attorney’s Office and staff from the Alameda Housing Authority’s Rent Program will be available to the public before the next City Council meeting. City staff will provide information on the City’s Ordinance and relocation benefits as well as take information and complaints to ensure compliance with the City’s Ordinance.”
Action Alameda News pointed out to City of Alameda public information officer Sarah Henry that residents are sometimes confused about the proper role of the city attorney, which, according to a bold font statement on the city’s website, “does not provide legal advice to private citizens, nor does it handle criminal matters. Please refer to Resources for a list of resources for private legal assistance.”
Henry responded that the session is open as well to landlords and property owners or anyone else with questions about rent regulations.
She said that two staff lawyers from the city attorney’s office would be available, as would two members of the city’s housing authority office.
Henry also said she would check with city attorney Janet Kern and subsequently followed-up by e-mail, writing, “Our communication about legal assistance being offered was directed toward renters because we have heard from several people who rent property in Alameda that their landlords are not adhering to the Ordinance, and they did not know where to go for assistance. However, the legal assistance available before the next City Council meeting…is open to renters and property owners.
“The City Attorney’s Office along with the Alameda Housing Authority is offering this assistance in response to those residents who have stated the Ordinance is not being properly implemented. Attorneys and staff will be available to take questions and complaints from all parties about the Ordinance. We will also have a handout that provides a list of legal resources available.”
The session is scheduled for Tuesday, December 6 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in room 360 in city hall at 2263 Santa Clara Avenue.
Tenants are advised to “bring lease agreement, rent increase and/or eviction notices, and any other relevant documentation.”