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Recent Comments

Re: “Some Oakland Landlords Are Using a Legal Loophole to Exempt Housing from Rent Control

Long-term, low and especially fixed income renters need some form of protection, absolutely. But flat or 1% increased rent is unreasonable.

Inflation is more than that. On top of inflation, landlords' expenses often increase more than 1% a year, particularly as old buildings age and require expensive maintenance and renovation. And property taxes in Oakland are out of control (with nearly no exemption for owner occupied, but that's another story...!). Renters who pay less in real dollars each year for an apartment...that's a reason there's so much housing deterioration in Oakland.

Should a building be permanently exempted due to substantial renovation? No--"permanent" is surprising. But I urge us to be careful thinking that all rent control is good.

What happens under draconian rent control laws is that Landlords turn to AirBnb and developers don't want to invest in new housing. Overreaching rent control laws directly contribute to a housing shortage, particularly new affordable housing. We should strive for a balance, and it's not one that assumes "landlords are all evil and have really low expenses". We should try create incentives for landlords to invest in housing while not pricing existing renters out of their homes.

Posted by Jsborn on 09/14/2017 at 8:49 AM

Re: “Town Business: Who's Responsible for Illegal Dumping in Oakland?

Dumping properly is very expensive, and there is nearly no deterrent to dumping illegally, which is free and easy.

Until that equation shifts, the problem won't improve.

Posted by Jsborn on 09/11/2017 at 3:00 PM

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