Rise in Ellis Act evictions in Oakland is a trend, says city staff

OAKLAND CITY COUNCIL | The number of Ellis Act evictions in Oakland has more than doubled in the past six months, according to the city’s rent adjustment program manager. And without greater compensation awarded to tenants to relocate to another apartment in Oakland, renters may not be able to afford to remain in the city.

Last Thursday, the Oakland City Council scheduled a proposed amendment to the city’s Ellis Act ordinance to be heard on December 15 in the community and economic development committee. The amendment would require landlords who evict tenants under the Ellis Act to pay displaced tenants about $8,000 a unit, plus $2,500 for homes with minor children, seniors, and disabled people. Currently, only low-income tenants in Oakland evicted under the Ellis Act receive relocation payments.

The proposed payment structure, according to a city staff report, will help displaced renters cover the first and last month’s rent for new apartments — which now average about $2,500 a month for a one-bedroom unit — and help with other fees and expenses associated with moving in to a new place.

The amount, if approved, would be far higher than neighboring San Francisco, where landlords pay $5,555 per unit in relocation fees, along with an additional $3,700 for each tenant that is a senior or disabled. Landlords in Berkeley pay $8,700 per unit, along with another $5,000 if the tenant has lived in the apartment since before 1999. An additional $2,500 is also applied for homes that include seniors, disabled people, or minors…

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