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Rent Stabilization Board
Rent Stabilization Board

RENT STABILIZATION BOARD
Regular Meeting and Public Hearing
Thursday, May 6, 2021
7:00 p.m. 

PUBLIC ADVISORY: THIS MEETING WILL BE CONDUCTED EXCLUSIVELY THROUGH VIDEOCONFERENCE AND TELECONFERENCE
Pursuant to Section 3 of Executive Order N-29-20, issued by Governor Newsom on March 17, 2020, this meeting of the City of Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board (Rent Board) will be conducted exclusively through teleconference and Zoom videoconference. Please be advised that pursuant to the Executive Order and the Shelter-in-Place Order, and to ensure the health and safety of the public by limiting human contact that could spread the COVID-19 virus, there will not be a physical meeting location available.

To access this meeting remotely: Join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, or Android device by clicking on this URL: https://zoom.us/j/97418734828?pwd=eTBMOXBlZFd0RFNPektTRVBkTVZzdz09. If you do not wish for your name to appear on the screen, then use the drop-down menu and click on "rename" to rename yourself to be anonymous. To request to speak, use the “Raise hand” icon by rolling over the bottom of the screen.

To join by phone: Dial 1-669-900-6833 and enter Meeting ID: 974 1873 4828 and Passcode: 285019. If you wish to comment during the public comment portion of the agenda, Press *9 and wait to be recognized by the Chair.

To submit an e-mail comment to be read aloud during public comment, email amueller@cityofberkeley.info with the Subject Line in this format: “RENT BOARD MEETING PUBLIC COMMENT ITEM.” Please observe a 150 word limit. Time limits on public comments will apply. Written comments will be entered into the public record. Email comments must be submitted to the email address above by 5:00 p.m. on the day of the meeting in order to be included.

Please be mindful that this meeting will be recorded, and all other rules of procedure and decorum will apply for Rent Board meetings conducted by teleconference or videoconference.

This meeting will be conducted in accordance with Government Code Section 54953, 54956, and all current state and local requirements allowing public participation in meetings of legislative bodies. Any member of the public may attend this meeting. Questions regarding this matter may be addressed to Matt Brown, Acting Executive Director, at (510) 981-7368. The Rent Board may take action related to any subject listed on the Agenda.


Full Agenda Packet (PDF Copy)

  

RENT STABILIZATION BOARD
Regular Meeting and Public Hearing
Thursday, May 6, 2021 
7:00 p.m. 

Zoom Video Archive (3:15)


 Many of the links below lead to PDF files that require Adobe Acrobat Reader to be installed on your computer. 

You can download Acrobat Reader for free

*Times allotted for each item are approximate and may be changed at the Board’s discretion during the course of this meeting.

1. Roll call – 1 min.*

2. Approval of Agenda – 1 min.*

3. Public Comment – 2 min. per speaker for non-agendized items*

4. CONSENT ITEMS – 1 min.*

a. Approval of the April 15th regular meeting minutes 

b. Recommendation to adopt Resolution 21-10 authorizing the Acting Executive Director to execute a contract with Kinnectics, LLC through June 30, 2022 in an amount not to exceed $25,000 (Budget & Personnel Committee and Acting Executive Director)

c. Recommendation to approve the Rent Board Office closure every 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month and City of Berkeley Reduced Service Days (VTO) (Acting Executive Director)

d. Recommendation to adopt Resolution 21-11 approving the hiring of a temporary worker to assist the Registration Unit during the Registration Period from May 17 - July 17, 2021 (Budget & Personnel Committee and Acting Executive Director)

e. Proposal to approve staff recommendations on the following requests for waivers of late registration penalties (Acting Executive Director & Registration Unit Supervisor) 

Ministerial Waivers
Waiver No.      Property Address
4971                2014 Channing Way
4972                2326 10th Street
4973                1310 Addison Street
4979                2948 Hillegass Avenue

Discretionary Waivers
Waiver No.      Property Address
4968                1235 Carrison Street
4974                1103 Keeler Avenue
4981                2133 Parker Street

 

5.  APPEAL – 7:30 p.m.** Case No. 7-5883 (2030 Essex St., Unit A)
** This appeal will not be heard before 7:30 p.m. but may be heard any time thereafter.

The landlords appeal a hearing examiner decision that granted the tenants’ habitability claims for rent ceiling reductions and ordered the landlords to issue a refund for rent overcharges. The revised appeal alleges that the hearing examiner’s decision was erroneous because the tenants delayed access to the unit for repairs. (Email sent by Hasmik Kanataryan with revised appeal from “Landlord” (signature illegible) (9/3/2020).)

There is substantial evidence to support the hearing examiner’s finding that there was not sufficient evidence that the tenants effectively denied access to the unit for repairs to be made. Even if the tenants had denied access, state law explicitly allows a landlord to enter a dwelling “[t]o make necessary or agreed repairs.” (Cal. Code of Civ. Proc. § 1954(a)(2).) Thus, it was always within the landlord’s ability to enter the unit to make the necessary repairs.

For this reason, legal staff recommend that the decision of the hearing examiner be affirmed. 
 

6. PUBLIC HEARING on the Annual Registration Fee for Rent-Controlled Units and the Annual Registration Fee for rental units subject to Measure MM registration requirements for the 2021-2022 fiscal year (FY)

a. Public Comment on agendized items – 2 min. per speaker* 

b. Comments from the Board, Acting Executive Director and Committees

7. ACTION ITEMS
a. From Board Members, Committees, and Executive Director
(1) Presentation and possible action regarding the Draft Berkeley Existing Buildings Electrification Strategy by Billi Romain, Manager, Office of Energy and Sustainable Development (OESD), and Katie Van Dyke, OESD Climate Action Program Manager/Chief Resilience Officer – 20 min.*
(2)  Recommendation to adopt Resolution 21-05 setting the Annual Registration Fee for rent-controlled units for FY 2021-2022, due on July 1, 2021; and Resolutions 21-06 and 21-07 setting the Annual Registration Fee for rental units subject to Measure MM registration requirements for FY 2021-2022, due on July 1, 2021 (Budget & Personnel Committee and Acting Executive Director) – 25 min.*
(3) Recommendation to adopt Resolution 21-08 setting the Summer Rental Registration Fee for qualifying sororities and fraternities for FY 2020-2021 (Budget & Personnel Committee and Acting Executive Director) – 5 min.*
(4) Recommendation to adopt Resolution 21-09 authorizing the pass-through of a portion of the FY 2021-2022 Annual Registration Fee for rent-controlled units to certain tenants (Budget & Personnel Committee and Acting Executive Director) – 5 min.*
(5) Update and possible action regarding the Executive Director recruitment and hiring process (Chair Simon-Weisberg) – 10 min.*

8. INFORMATION, ANNOUNCEMENTS AND NEWS ARTICLES

Please Note: The Board may move Information Items to the Action Calendar.

a. Reports from Board Members/Staff

(1) Update on Amicus Curiae brief in Community Housing Improvement Program v. City of New York Rent Guidelines Board (U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Cir., Case #20-3366) (Acting Executive Director) – 3 min.*

(2) Commissioner attendance at Board and Committee meetings through the first quarter of 2021 (Acting Executive Director) – 2 min.*

(3) Update on recent/upcoming Rent Board outreach events (Acting Executive Director) – 2 min.*

a. Wednesday, March 24, 2021 (10:00 - 11:30 AM) – Security Deposits: Rights and Responsibilities webinar

b. Wednesday, April 7, 2021 (10:00 - 11:30 AM) – Buying and Selling Rental Property in Berkeley webinar

c. Wednesday, April 14, 2021 (10:00 – 11:30 AM) – Measure MM webinar

d. Wednesday, May 12, 2021 (10:00 – 11:30 AM) – Rent Board Registration 101/Registering your Berkeley Rental Property webinar  

(4) April 17, 2021 The New York Times article by Ron Lieber titled “Realtors Want to Sell You a Home. Their Trade Group Backs Evicting Others.” (Chair Simon-Weisberg) – 1 min.*
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/17/your-money/realtors-pandemic-eviction-ban.html 

(5) April 19, 2021 The Oaklandside article by Natalie Orenstein titled “Eviction attempts plummeted during the pandemic in Oakland” (Chair Simon-Weisberg) – 1 min.*
https://oaklandside.org/2021/04/19/eviction-attempts-plummeted-during-the-pandemic-in-oakland/

(6) April 19, 2021 Science Daily.com press release from Johns Hopkins Medicine titled, “Pandemic eviction bans found to protect entire communities from COVID-19 spread” (Chair Simon-Weisberg) – 1 min.*
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/04/210419110130.htm

(7) April 21, 2021 The New York Times article by Jim Tankersley titled “Biden Administration Debating How to Overhaul a Trump-Era Tax Break” (Chair Simon-Weisberg) – 1 min.*
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/21/business/biden-trump-opportunity-zones.html

(8) April 22, 2021 48 Hills.org article by Zelda Bronstein titled, “Facebook’s housing echo chamber” (Chair Simon-Weisberg) – 1 min.*
https://48hills.org/2021/04/facebooks-housing-echo-chamber/

(9) April 23, 2021 Reuters article by Michelle Conlin titled, “SPECIAL REPORT: Giant U.S. landlords pursue evictions despite CDC ban” (Chair Simon-Weisberg) – 1 min.*
https://www.reuters.com/world/us/special-report-giant-us-landlords-pursue-evictions-despite-cdc-ban-2021-04-23/

(10) April 23, 2021 The Seattle Times article by Sydney Brownstone and Heidi Groover titled, “Washington becomes first state to guarantee lawyers for low-income tenants during evictions” (Chair Simon-Weisberg) – 1 min.*
https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/homeless/washington-becomes-first-state-to-guarantee-lawyers-for-low-income-tenants-during-evictions/

(11) Date to submit agenda topics/items for the June 17, 2021 Rent Board meeting: Monday, June 7th

 

9. COMMITTEE/BOARD MEETING UPDATES AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

a. Budget and Personnel Committee (Commissioner Selawsky, Chair) – 5 min.*
    Next regularly-scheduled meeting: Thursday, May 27th at 5:00p.m.

(1) April 22nd agenda

(2) April 27th agenda  

b. Eviction/Section 8/Foreclosure Committee (Commissioner Mendonca, Chair) – 3 min.*
    Next regularly-scheduled meeting: Thursday, May 13th at 5:30 p.m. 

c. IRA, AGA and Registration Committee (Commissioner Kelley, Chair) – 3 min.*
    Next regularly-scheduled meeting: Thursday, May 20th at 5:00 p.m.

d. Outreach Committee (Commissioner Laverde, Chair) – 5 min.*
    Next regularly-scheduled meeting: Thursday, May 19th at 5:30 p.m.

(1) April 21st agenda

e. 2 x 2 Committee on Housing: Rent Board/Berkeley Unified School District – 3 min.*
  Chair: TBD
  Next regularly-scheduled meeting: TBD

f. 4 x 4 Joint Committee on Housing: City Council/Rent Board – 10 min.*
    Committee Co-Chairs: Mayor Arreguin and Chair Simon-Weisberg
    Next regularly-scheduled meeting: Tuesday, May 4th at 3:00 p.m. 

(1) May 4th agenda packet

g. Ad Hoc Committee on RSB Technology Issues (Chair TBD)– 3 min.*
    Next meeting date: TBD

h. Updates and Announcements – 3 min.*

i. Discussion of items for possible placement on future agenda – 3 min.*

10. ADJOURNMENT

COMMUNICATIONS DISCLAIMER: 

Communications to Berkeley boards, commissions or committees are public record and will become part of the City’s electronic records, which are accessible through the City’s website. Please note: e-mail addresses, names, addresses, and other contact information are not required, but if included in any communication to a City board, commission or committee, will become part of the public record. If you do not want your e-mail address or any other contact information to be made public, you may deliver communications via U.S. Postal Service to the secretary of the relevant board, commission or committee. If you do not want your contact information included in the public record, please do not include that information in your communication. Please contact the secretary to the relevant board, commission or committee for further information.

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Rent Stabilization Board, 2125 Milvia Street, Berkeley, CA 94704
Questions or comments? Email: rent@cityofberkeley.info Phone: (510) 981-7368
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903
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