OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — Inflation continues to push the costs of gas, groceries and now rents. However, one Bay Area city could see its largest one-year increase come July.
The city of Oakland says landlords of rent-controlled properties can raise rent by 6.7% because of inflation. However, Oakland City Councilmember Carroll Fife is now trying to stop that from happening through a new proposed city measure.
“It’s a catastrophic announcement and it’s going to have catastrophic effects on tenants,” Co-founder of Oakland Tenants Union James Vann said.
If the city were to move forward with its plan to allow landlords of rent controlled properties to increase rent by 6.7% in July, he says many tenants would no longer be able to make rent with inflation driving up the costs of nearly everything else.
“No tenant I know has received a job salary increase of 6.7% over the last year, in fact many tenants lost their jobs,” Vann said.
He says the tenants union is working with City Councilmember Carroll Fife who’s now leading an effort to change the criteria that allows rent increases within the city of Oakland.
Starting July, the city will allow landlords to increase rent by 100% of the percentage increase in the consumer price index.
However, councilmember Fife’s proposed measure would instead allow landlords to only impose an increase of 60% of the percentage increase in the CPI, or limit rent increases to a max of 3% annually, whichever is lower.
In a statement to KRON4 news, Fife said quote:
“We can not see this happening and continue to think that tenants can endure this record high allowable rent increase.”
Emily Wheeler with the Oakland Tenants Union says Fife’s measure would help prevent future increases as well.
“Not only would it cap it so this years would be half of what it would be originally but it would change the formula to calculate the formula to be more in line with cities like Berkeley and San Francisco,” Wheeler said.
For example in Berkeley, landlords can raise rent by 65% of the CPI. Fife’s measure will go to council for a vote at the end of the month.