Bonta Introduces Bill to Prevent Oakland Evictions

Friday, February 10, 2017

(Sacramento, CA) – Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) introduced his bill, AB 423, to amend the Ellis Act to allow the City of Oakland to preserve its residential hotels and prevent displacement of low income community members. The Ellis Act allows landlords to evict tenants in order to go out of business, sell or convert their building into other uses.

AB 423 would add Oakland to the list of cities with special exemptions under the Ellis Act and would provide the city with authority to protect tenants from evictions. Current law only allows cities with populations over one million to regulate residential hotels. Oakland does not meet that threshold with a population of approximately 400,000.

“The rising cost of housing is threatening to wipe out Oakland’s working class, vulnerable and senior residents,” said Bonta. “By preserving Oakland’s residential hotels, we will ensure that extremely low income renters have a roof over their heads without the threat of becoming homeless.”

“‘I’m ecstatic that Assemblymember Bonta has championed this amendment in partnership with the City of Oakland”, said Oakland Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney. “This is a critically important amendment to help Oakland fight the displacement of our working and vulnerable residents.”

“Since 2011 Oakland’s affordability crisis has deepened more rapidly than in any other major U.S. city. In order to rent a market-rate apartment in the city, the average Oakland renter would need to shell out about 70 percent of their household income,” McElhaney said.

Bonta concluded. “It is acutely evident that Oakland has a tremendous need for housing for those residents on the lowest steps of the economic ladder,” said Bonta. “We must come up with sensible solutions and AB 423 will give Oakland an important tool to exercise more control of single room occupancy hotels.”