Holocaust survivor could benefit from proposed tenant protections

The city of Alameda is considering strengthening protections for renters.

And one change could help prevent an 87-year-old Holocaust survivor from being evicted.

In May, the city passed an ordinance banning so called 'no cause' evictions, but apparently the restrictions didn't go far enough.

So now it's considering a litany of amendments, all aimed at giving renters more rights.

With its good weather and small town feel, Alameda's popularity and limited housing stock has led to higher prices.

"There’s obviously a situation where people are being pushed out of the area because of the costs, and that's not fair because there's nowhere to go," said Matthew Thompson.

About 50 people, a mix of landlords and renters, turned out tonight to hear the proposed changes to Alameda’s rent stabilization ordinance.

One renter said he's concerned about being able to afford to stay in Alameda.

"That's absolutely a concern.  If the rent is not stable and you’re on a fixed income, you can do nothing but deteriorate," said Purnell Davis.

The crowd heard details on the proposed amendments, including some of the most prominent which include:
•    Relocation payments to renters when rent is raised more than 10% and the tenant decides to leave.
•    Increasing time a landlord must stay in a unit from one year to three, after a landlord decides to move into a property.
•    A provision to extended 'no cause' eviction protections to tenants using section 8 vouchers.

That specific change could help tenants like Musiy Rishin… an 87-year-old Holocaust survivor being evicted from his apartment because the owner wants to raise the rent to make more money.

"This would be tremendously helpful not only to my father, but to every other disabled and Senior person on the island who relies on section 8 voucher," said Svetlana Rishina, daughter of Musiy Rishin.

The presentation was cordial but contentious, as landlords learned of and questioned the reasoning behind additional layers of oversight they may have to contend with.

"They're becoming extremely onerous and overreaching.  There’s a difference between trying to become some stability in the market on the rents and just overbearing on the landlords," Joe Loparo who represents landlords.

The city council will be voting on these changes on September 3rd.

If passed, some items, like the Section 8 clause, would take effect immediately, giving tenants like Musiy Rishin the potential to avoid eviction.