Letters to the Editor: Rents meetings start next week

Letters to the Editor: Rents meetings start next week

Letters to the Editor

The first of three public meetings to discuss the issues tenants and housing providers are facing in Alameda is set for this coming Wednesday, November 12 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Social Hall at Mastick Senior Center, 1155 Santa Clara Avenue.

Earlier this year, the City Council voted 3-2 to grant a request from both tenants and landlords to give the two groups the opportunity to work together and make recommendations to the council instead of creating a city-sponsored task force. I am a local community facilitator who has assembled tenant and landlord stakeholder groups, and I will gather information and identify renter and landlord issues.

In early January, the stakeholders will convene and discuss possible solutions to the issues identified in the previous meetings. Any solution that the stakeholders reach consensus on will become a recommendation and be presented to the council.

The focus of the first meeting will be on tenant issues, and the stakeholders will hear accounts of tenant experiences. The November 12 meeting will include presentations from the city’s Rent Review Advisory Committee, which mediates disputes between tenants and landlords. The Eden Council of Hope and Opportunity (ECHO Housing), which also provides mediation services to Alameda tenants and landlords, will describe its services.

A second meeting set for 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, November 19 at the Alameda High School cafeteria will focus on landlord issues. The Rent Review Advisory Committee, ECHO Housing and the Alameda Association of Realtors will also present. The cafeteria entrance is at 2200 Central Avenue.

Both meetings are open to the public and tenants and landlords are encouraged to submit descriptions of their experiences. Written accounts can be submitted anonymously by mail to Jeff Cambra, P.O. Box 1343, Alameda, Calif. 94501; or confidentially, to jeffcambra@earthlink.net. For additional information on how to be part of a stakeholder group or share a story, tenants and landlords can contact me at 865-7369.

Jeff Cambra

Comments

Submitted by E Hirshberg (not verified) on Fri, Nov 7, 2014

No city has ever been helped by rent control, nor has it helped the renter population. It has been described as the surest way to destroy a city short of bombing and a way to finish destroying it after it had been bombed. The only way to have an adequate supply of safe, convenient, affordable housing rental housing is with a free competitive market. Rent control has been disastrous in New York, San Francisco, Oakland, Santa Monica and Mumbai, just to name a few. Don't destroy Alameda.

Submitted by VG (not verified) on Sat, Nov 8, 2014

Destroy Alameda? Grossly overpriced housing is going to destroy Alameda. The city -- the community -- that exists now will be gone. If housing costs are already the highest in the country, isn't that enough profit for landlords? How much more is enough? If this were not a crisis, then it seems unlikely that rent control would be under discussion, and it wasn't, back when rents held some relationship to income, not so long ago. As things stand, I don't see any alternative to rent control that offers any real protection for the many average income renters and community members who call Alameda home.