On the Tuesday City Council agenda is a report from Professor Sukhsimranjit Singh that will summarize his findings from the seven (!) tenant-landlord dialogues that he facilitated this summer. The report is a brief walk-through of the main points from those sessions, plus a few recommendations for possible rent stabilization policy changes. What will Council say to findings from the tenant-landlord roundtables?
City Council will likely accord the Singh report some weight because Council directed that a series of facilitated dialogues should collect stakeholder input in a more organized and orderly fashion. Singh both facilitated the discussions and now synthesizes the sentiment into findings.
Professor Singh reports that tenants and landlords found common ground on just a few issues:
- The need for a tenant-landlord representative body that would resolve disputes and perhaps make policy recommendations;
- Revised unit habitability standards that go beyond bare-bones health and safety concerns – together with monitoring or enforcement to ensure that landlords meet such requirements; and,
- A new schedule of relocation fees that would better enable tenants displaced by involuntary terminations to secure replacement housing (and for the first time specify temporary relocation fees).
However tenants and landlords found somewhat less common ground when it came to the allowed annual rent change; no-just-cause tenancy terminations; and the need for the registration of rental units in the registry database.
While the professor’s report does recite the key issue points, and provides some context for the discussions, it may not offer councilmembers the substance the would like. We may be partial, but there is more substance in the tenants’ own policy position papers!
On Tuesday at 7 p.m. City Council can choose to receive and file the report; or else have a substantive discussion on the points presented by Professor Singh. If you want to attend please contact Renters Alliance for more information!