City Hall Tip Sheet: March 1-7—Rising rent issues, help for the homeless dominate council discussions


>San Leandro eyes mobile home rent ordinance

SAN LEANDRO Regular council meeting, Monday, Mar. 4, 7 p.m.
ENTIRE AGENDA HERE | Next meeting: Mar. 18.
–RELIEF FOR MOBILE HOMEOWNERS– A city staff reports suggests the rise in rents for mobile homeowners in San Leandro, often some of the most vulnerable in the housing market, could be attributed to two of its nine parks recently being sold to new owners in recent years. Another, Sandev Mobilehome Park is currently up for sale. Trailer Haven and Bayshore Commons have both been negatively portrayed in news reports for raising rents. Bayshore Commons, in particular, has been highlighted by the plight of 82-year-old activist John Busch. Perhaps stoked by his advocacy, the San Leandro City Council will decide Monday whether to place regulations on annual mobile home rent increases. The city staff is proposing to limit annual increases to the lesser of the increase in the Consumer Price Index and four percent. Further protections would be given to mobile home renters 62-years-old and up and disabled tenants. The program is estimated to cost between $30,000 and $70,000 to administer, according to the staff report.


>Hayward emergency ordinance on evictions

HAYWARDRegular council meeting, Tuesday, Mar. 5, 7 p.m.
ENTIRE AGENDA HERE | Next meeting: Mar. 19.
-JUST CAUSE- An emergency ordinance prohibiting Hayward landlords from evicting tenants without cause, except under certain circumstances like failure to pay rent, is coming quickly to the City Council. Hayward Councilmember Elisa Marquez offered the referral during the Feb. 26 meeting, citing concerns landlords will use the next few months to significantly raise rents while the city is formulating a new rent stabilization ordinance.


>Oakland committee looks at rental property tax exemptions

OAKLANDCouncil committee meetings, Tuesday, Mar. 5, starts at 9:30 a.m.
FINANCE COMMITTEE | PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE | COMMUNITY & ECON DEVELOPMENT CMTE | LIFE ENRICHMENT COMMITTEE | PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE | Next meeting: Mar. 12 (council mtg)
-MEANS-TESTED HOUSING ASSISTANCE- A city report comes to the Finance and Management Committee Tuesday morning asking for “consideration to amend the City’s business tax ordinance to exempt the first $30,000 annually in residential rental property income from tax for property rented through section 8 or other means-tested housing,” said a staff report. The resolution was first proposed in April 2018.

-But with the city’s budget outlook less than rosy the proposal may be difficult to achieve. “There are approximately 12,800 rental units in the City that participate in the Section 8 program and that are required to pay business taxes. If all property owners apply for the $30,000 gross receipts tax exemption, the total business tax resulting in an annual decrease of $1.5 million in tax revenue to the City.”

-OPTIONS FOR HOUSING HOMELESS- An informational report comes to the Public Works Committee, backed by Council President Rebecca Kaplan and Councilmember Sheng Thao, to identify additional options for short-term housing for the homeless. Among the potential strategies is city support and funding for non-profits and faith-based organizations to provide shelters, managed RV parks, motel conversion, small houses, and other alternative types of shelter.



>Fremont to add exemptions to minimum wage ordinance

FREMONT — Regular board meeting, Tuesday, Mar. 5, 7 p.m.
ENTIRE AGENDA HERE | Next meeting: Mar. 19.
-NON-PROFIT EXEMPTION- Fremont passed an increase to its minimum wage ordinance a month ago, but also asked staff to look into a possible exemption for all employees of non-profits in the city. In addition, the council directed staff to study the feasibility of including for-profit businesses that offer “community services” and receive disbursements from the state and federal government for the services. But staff suggests the council pull back from choosing which businesses might be exempt.

-“The other cities that have adopted local minimum wage ordinances have chosen to provide only very narrow minimum wage exemptions, if any, to limit the complexity and difficulty of implementation and enforcement,” said the report. “Rather than putting the City Council in the position of adjudicating which for-profit businesses are worthy of being exempted from the City’s ordinance and which not, staff recommends that the City Council provide no additional exemptions.”

-ECONOMY IS HUMMING– Fremont is expected to receive $13.7 million in sales tax this fiscal year that is above their adjusted mid-year assumptions. But there’s more good news. Fremont started the fiscal year outlook with a possible $3.1 million deficit. “The $14.5 million increase in estimated General Fund resources, combined with $1.0 million of lower expenditures, results in an estimated ending fund balance for FY 2018/19 of $16.6 million.  Staff will return to the City Council on May 14, 2019, with updated estimates for FY 2018/19 incorporated into the FY 2019/20 Proposed Operating Budget.”

-FUNDING FOR HOMELESS SHELTER- In recent months, Fremont Mayor Lily Mei has been vocal about the city’s proactive stance toward affordable housing and the homeless crisis. Using $647,119 in state emergency funds for the homeless, Fremont will convert the Islander Motel on Mowry Avenue into affordable housing, but in the meantime, the council will decide Tuesday whether to set aside 20 units for use as a temporary shelter for homeless individuals and small families.

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>Additional funding for Alameda firefighters

ALAMEDARegular council meeting, Tuesday, Mar. 5, 7 p.m.
ENTIRE AGENDA HERE | Next meeting: Mar. 19.
-TWO NEW POSITIONS/ONE VEHICLE- For some Alamedans, additional funding for Alameda firefighters is not so much an issue about public safety but the perceived unmatched power of its union over City Hall. Tuesday night the council will decide whether to allocate $355,000 annually for add a division chief position to the Fire Department Fire Prevention Services Division, spend $188,000 for a fire marshal position at the Division Chief Rank, and one vehicle; in addition to amending its fee schedule. Both proposed positions are management, not union jobs.

NOTES: Councilmembers Malia Vella and John Knox White have a referral asking the council to issue support for AB31, the tampon tax exemption bill currently in the Assembly… Board and commission appointments: Aimee Barnes to Recreation and Parks Commission, Pravda Wright to Social Service Human Relations Board, in addition, to Rebecca Kohlstrand and Tina Yuen to the Transportation Commission.



CHABOT-LAS POSITASRegular board meeting, Tuesday, Mar. 5, 6 p.m.
ENTIRE AGENDA HERE | State funding formula update |


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