May 23, 2017
The Committee to Protect Oakland Renters is a broad coalition of organizations and community members who are fighting for the future of Oakland. It includes housing and tenant advocates, labor unions, and other community leaders who recognize that housing displacement and lack of affordable housing has now reached crisis proportions in Oakland. Thanks to support from Voqal, the Committee to Protect Oakland Renters led a successful campaign to pass the 2016 Renter Protection Act (Measure JJ).
The 2016 Renter Protection Act provides several important protections for renters in Oakland. It includes:
- The requirement that landlords petition with the Rent Board for rent increases that exceed the Consumer Price Index
- Expansion of Just Cause eviction protections from the current cutoff date of October 1980 to buildings constructed through 1995
- Expansion of the duties and powers of the Rent Board and Rent Adjustment Program to increase accountability and effectiveness in implementing tenant protections. In particular, the measure will require the creation of a “searchable database,” which will give tenant advocacy organizations better access to much-needed data
- Requirement of annual notices of allowable rent increases
- Exemption for owner-occupied duplexes and triplexes
The Committee to Protect Oakland Renters’ extensive voter outreach campaign helped ensure Measure JJ passed by a staggering 75 percent. Between various on the ground voter outreach efforts, it reached over 20,000 voters through door-to-door, online and phone outreach. In addition, it held over six weekend mobilizations that turned out over 200 volunteers. Finally, it used social media and local television networks to distribute a commercial educating voters about the measure.
Oakland’s skyrocketing rents have created a crisis of displacement that is disproportionately impacting working families and communities of color. The work of the Committee to Protect Oakland Renters to pass the 2016 Renter Protection Act is an important step forward in alleviating that crisis. As a strong supporter of creating a more socially equitable world, Voqal is proud to have supported this effort to create a more equitable renting environment in Oakland.