OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – Some Oakland tenants could be facing the highest rent hike in years.
Starting in July, the city of Oakland says landlords of rent-controlled properties can raise rent by 6.7%.
The city says it’s to deal with inflation.
KRON4 spoke with affordable housing advocates about what this means, and what tenants can do about it.
“That’s a devastating rent increase. We’re not very pleased with that decision,” Shanti Singh, with the non-profit Tenants Together says now is not the time.
He says, “we’re already at a crisis point and this is kinda adding insult to injury.”
The Oakland rent adjustment ordinance allows an annual rent increase based on the consumer price index.
It takes effect every July 1st, this year the rent increase is 6.7%, raising a $2,000 rent, for example, to $2,134.
Last year, the CPI increase was 1.9%.
Singh told KRON4, “in Oakland, where the 6.7% is being justified as essentially 100% of the consumer price index. That’s not really how rent control increases work in other cities. Other cities peg it at just the housing portion of inflation.”
But Singh tells KRON it’s not too late for tenants to do something about it, “if I were an Oaklander I would be calling up my city councilmember, I’d be calling my mayor, I’d be calling all my representatives and letting them know exactly what this is doing to me. That’s the most important thing we can do right now, have tenants speak out.”
Eddie Yturate is the co-chair of the Oakland Tenants Union, he says the city councilors can step in and stop the increase. “The city council can change and they can pass an emergency ordinance suspending the 6.7% allowable increase for this year,” he told KRON.
He says over most types of inflation, people have no control but they can do something about rent. “So maybe we can’t do anything about some of the other things like gasoline but we have the power in Oakland to do something about housing.”