Letter to the Editor: Don’t unfairly harm the property owners

"If you want to solve the housing shortage, you need to build more housing." - Written by Nathan Durham-Hammer, EBRHA Member - Posted May 15, 2016

Don’t unfairly harm the property owners

Tammerlin Drummond makes it sound as if greedy Oakland property owners are pushing renters out of their apartments for no reason, just to make a quick buck (“Battles grow over housing shortage,” April 30).

Rental owners cannot and do not — by law — evict renters for no cause. Besides, the number of actual evictions in the city aren’t anywhere near as high as renter advocates want you to believe. The 12,000 yearly figure Drummond cited represents notifications to the rent board, which have to be made whenever rent is a few days late.

There are 60,000 rent-controlled units in the city, most of them older buildings owned by small property owners struggling to get by under the weight of higher city fees. The current 1.7 percent rent increase allowed under rent-control law doesn’t come anywhere near covering the cost of doing business in Oakland.

If you want to solve the housing shortage, you need to build more housing. Don’t unfairly harm property owners.

Nathan Durham-Hammer, Oakland

The preceding article appeared in the Letters to the editor section in the East Bay Times

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