A meeting of the Council of the City of Alameda became violent on a proposed moratorium on rent increases last week.
At the meeting of November 4, which lasted more than seven hours, the Council unanimously approved a 65-day moratorium on rent increases by more than eight percent and stopped no fault evictions.
A board member said it was the largest meeting that the board had ever seen, with more than 90 people who signed up to speak. The council chambers 150 seats were filled quickly and overflowed in adjacent rooms, the hall and the library across the street.
Because politics first-come first-serve for city council meetings, landlords, who had registered early, took the first hour of deliberations and filled the seating space in the chambers.
An hour in the meeting, after hearing mostly talk owners, tenants were worried and began chanting, “Let us speak!” As tenants tried to enter the chambers, there was an altercation. The Interim Assistant City Manager Bob Haun was wounded, and Bob Davis, 68, and Jon Klein, 64, were arrested.
Davis was thrown to the ground by a police officer and received an injury that left bloodstains on the floor of the hall. Davis was charged with assaulting a public officer and resisting arrest. Klein was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer and obstructing a police officer, according to a CBS report.
After the incident, the meeting continued with alternating groups of speakers for and against, allowing both tenants and owners talk.
Many owners “mom and pop”, said that any kind of rent control would be debilitating and cause a division between them and the tenants. Many claimed that income remained well below the market price, and prices rose only when it was absolutely necessary.
They said they hoped to give the Advisory Committee Rent Review (RRAC) the opportunity to work.
The review committee of income, offering mediation has existed since around 1979. The committee creates an environment where landlords and tenants can talk to each other in front of a neutral party to resolve disputes.
However, the committee’s decisions are not legally binding.
Tenants in Alameda constitute over 50 percent of households. A study presented at the board meeting showed that rental prices in Alameda had increased by 54 percent between 2000 and 2013.
The same study showed that income had increased 52 percent since 2011 to 20 residential buildings with 50 units or more.
The average rent in Alameda for the third quarter of 2014 was $ 2,057 and $ 1,800 for a studio.
Kincross Garfield, who has lived in Alameda for more than 20 years and has been a federal employee for over 30 years, said he received an eviction without guilt. “I could be homeless if the hotel in San Francisco do not accept me. I could have ended up living in my car, taking showers at San Vicente de Paul. I work with the government, and this just did not sit well with me. ”
Holiday multifamily buildings built before 1995 may not be increased more than eight percent during the moratorium. These units represent 70 percent of the offer chartering of the city.
The ceiling on rent increases is cumulative and takes into account rent increases imposed in the last 12 months. Family houses and condominiums are exempt from the moratorium, according to the Mercury News.
Originally Published November 13th 2015: The Post News Group
Post publication edit: Some minor changes in language after translation.