Arts & Events

New: Affordable Housing Teach-In

Sunday November 15, 2015 - 02:09:00 PM

Berkeley faces a housing crisis. Rents are soaring and home prices are out of reach for most of us. The city is an increasingly unaffordable place for low and moderate income households and for students, which is threatening the city’s valued diversity. People can't find housing and live in fear of eviction.

A teach-in on Berkeley's housing crisis will be held on Sunday, November 22 at 2 PM at the Berkeley Arts Festival, 2133 University Ave, Berkeley.  


Facilitated by Paola Laverde, Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board Commissioner, the panel speakers are Stephen Barton, Ph.D., Former Director, Housing Department and Deputy Director of the Rent Stabilization Program in Berkeley, Moni Law, Affordable Housing Activist, Rick Lewis, Executive Director, Bay Area Community Land Trust and former Housing Advisory Commission Member,Austin Pritzkat, President, Berkeley Student Cooperative and Katherine Harr, Berkeley Tenants Union. 

Panelists will address: o What can our local elected officials do? o How do we prevent displacement of lower income folk and people of color? o Discuss ways to get funding for affordable housing: • increase business license fee paid by large landlords • city density bonus • housing impact fees and inclusionary housing • new revenue, such as a proposed tax on short-term rentals 

A City of Berkeley study found that in 2014 the average rent for a two bedroom apartment in a new building was $3434 a month. The rent for new tenants in two bedroom apartments increased by 32% between 2011 and 2014. Older rent controlled housing is also more expensive. 

Panel ideas will include increasing the business license fee on large landlords, increasing fees for affordable units required in new for-profit housing, using new revenue sources such as the proposed tax on short-term rentals, and allowing more small housing on existing lots. 

There will be an opportunity for questions and comments. 

Sponsored by the Berkeley Progressive Alliance with support from Sustainable Berkeley Coalition, Berkeley Citizens Action, the Berkeley Tenants Union, CALPIRG, the Berkeley NAACP, Black Student Union of Berkeley City College, and the Better Berkeley Working Group.