Welcome to this week’s edition of The Broad Brush, your weekly, two-sentence local news review. Here’s what happened on the Island this week.
In the mid-1950s, Alameda was home to the great comedienne Phyllis Diller. Fast forward to present day and meet Alameda gal, stand up comic, activist and motivational speaker Nina G.
With rents rising and vacancies rare here in Alameda and across the Bay Area, it’s perhaps no surprise that rent control has become one of the hottest topics on the Island. It’s also one of the most emotional, pitting renters and housing advocates who say housing is a basic human right against property owners who feel controls would take their own rights away.
If Alameda’s political leaders were to implement rent controls – and the council is showing few signs that it intends to do that – what if any relief would those controls provide to renters? What impact would rent control have on property investment in Alameda? And what other factors affect housing costs and supply?
Members of the City Council voted Tuesday to abandon plans to create a city-sponsored rents task force, opting instead to allow a local attorney to lead a community-based process to explore concerns about rising rents.
The council voted 3-2 to move forward with the community based process; the community group is to report its findings on December 2. Council members didn’t make any decisions about when – or if – they would move forward with an official task force in the future.
The task force proposal was the result of growing concerns over evictions and rising rents in Alameda. More than half of Alameda’s residents are renters.
Alameda's City Council narrowly voted down a proposal to form a city-sponsored task force to examine the nature and impact of rent increases, instead opting to adopt a surprise proposal to proceed with an informal community process. That and more, in tweets.
Alameda’s Planning Board stopped short of recommending the city enact rent controls Monday, opting instead to ask the City Council to consider setting up a task force to study whether people are being displaced by rising rents.
Jose and Aura Lyla Gonzalez lived in a bright, roomy unit at the rear of 1514 Benton Street for 17 years that was surrounded by trees, birds and good neighbors. But a few months ago the couple, who are in their late 70s, received word that the building had been sold to a new owner and then, a letter that their rent was going to increase by $600 a month – a 67 percent jump from the $900 a month they were paying.