Secure, affordable housing is a critical need for residents, and rent control and strong tenants rights are a key component to ensuring residents can stay in their homes. Unfortunately, several clauses in the Oakland rental law allow for considerable increases in rent, even in apartments that are subject to rent control. These include increases allowed for capital improvements and debt service (mortgage and interest costs). The city is currently considering amendments to reduce the portion of these costs that can be passed on to tenants, and we support these amendments.
Thousands of long-time Oakland residents have been evicted from their homes after being foreclosed upon by their bank. Many of these fell prey to the deceptive tactics of mortgage brokers who convinced them to take out a loan that they couldn’t afford. The recession and its lasting effects are also to blame. Oakland must take a stand in stopping this crisis. We could follow the example of Richmond, CA, in its current efforts to use eminent domain to stop foreclosures. Or we could enact a foreclosure tax to disincentivize banks from foreclosing on homeowners.