Public Comment

Speak Out at the Special Meeting of the Berkeley City Council on Affordable Housing

From activists in the Berkeley Progessive Alliance, 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.
Saturday November 28, 2015 - 06:47:00 PM

Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 5:30 P.M.
Longfellow Middle School Auditorium
1500 Derby Street, Berkeley, CA 94703

The Council is holding a special Work Session on affordable housing. We activists must be there to speak. Let’s demand Council action on proposals made at the November 22 Affordable Housing Teach In. 

The Agenda: More Funding for Affordable Housing

Three actions the City Council must take to generate more funds for the City’s Affordable Housing Fund to pay for additional affordable housing:

• Increase the business license tax on large landlords in Berkeley;
each 1% increase in the tax could bring in $2 to $3 million annually.

• Increase the housing impact fees on market-rate development to at least the
$34,000 recommended by the Nexus study . Developers should be allowed to
avoid paying the fee by providing 20% affordable units (5 affordable units for every
20 market rate units built).

• Tax short term rentals such as AirBnB rentals and use the new revenue for
affordable housing.

Together, these actions could generate $10 million and fund around 100 affordable units
each year. These funds could also be used to create affordable home ownership through
limited equity coops and other resident-controlled cooperative housing.

We must maintain the supply of existing Rental Housing
We need to insure that affordable housing is not taken off market.
Ask the Council to:

• Strengthen Berkeley’s Demolition Ordinance to protect the existing supply of
rent controlled housing. Each rent controlled unit must be replaced -- one for one --
with housing that is permanently affordable to low and very low income
• Support the appeal of the decision approving demolition of 18 rent controlled
units at 2631 Durant. There is no provision for inclusion of 18 affordable
replacement units in the proposed building.
This action will be considered at the Council’s regular meeting on December 1
(starting at 7:00 p.m.) The appeal was submitted by Pamela Webster,
• Improve monitoring of affordable inclusionary units in market rate housing
developments, create a City-maintained waiting list and establish priorities for
housing those who currently live or work in Berkeley.

Mike yielders needed here as well. If you can’t attend the meeting, please write to the Council to express your
support for making funding and maintenance of affordable housing a priority.

Send e-mail to; write “affordable housing” in the subject line. 

Individual council e-mail is as follows:

Mayor Tom Bates
Council District
Linda Maio 1
Darryl Moore 2
Max Anderson 3
Jesse Arreguin 4
Laurie Capitelli 5
Susan Wengraft 6
Kriss Worthington 7
Lori Droste 8]