Resolution in Support of Berkeley’s Tenant Opportunity to Purchase (TOPA)

WHEREAS Berkeley has failed to produce and preserve affordable housing for the residents of Berkeley [1]; and residents, particularly low-income individuals/families, have been priced out of homeownership opportunities [2] leading to widespread housing instability and displacement; and

WHEREAS 75% of low-income Berkeley neighborhoods are at risk of or undergoing displacement while Black Berkeley residents have been displaced at disproportionate rates [3]. In 1990: 19,000 African-Americans (19%) compared to 2018: less than 10,000 (8%). According to a 2019 UC-Berkeley Urban Displacement Project report, between 2000 and 2015, Alameda County lost more than 1,900 low-income Black households, and these losses were concentrated in the flatlands of Oakland and Berkeley [3]; and

WHEREAS TOPA is a tool to increase homeownership opportunities and lower the risk of displacement by slowing down the real estate timeline and giving tenants an opportunity to purchase the property they reside; this will provide homeownership opportunities to more people, including Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities who have faced institutional racism putting up barriers to homeownership; and since the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee recognizes the need for pathways to homeownership and the preservation/production of affordable housing reflected in their support for affordable housing policy and eviction defense
across the county

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee (ACDCC) calls on the City of Berkeley to adopt the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act. TOPA empowers tenants with options when the property they live in is going to be sold. Tenants can purchase the property or assign rights to a qualified organization (QO), such as a community land trust, nonprofit
housing developer or cooperative. Tenants will be able to explore different ownership options (limited equity homes, condos, cooperatives, etc.) as well as choose to remain renters at an affordable rate.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the ACDCC will draft a letter urging the City of Berkeley to adopt the Tenant Opportunity to
Purchase Act that, over time, will increase affordable homeownership opportunities and lead to housing stability.

Respectfully Submitted by East Bay Community Law Center, Northern California Land Trust, Bay Area Community Land Trust. Sponsored by Igor Tregub and Andy Kelley
[1] https://belonging.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/haasinstitute_unfairshares_rhnabayarea_publish.pdf
[2] https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/06/20/americas-25-least-affordable-housing-markets/39579711/
[3] http://www.urbandisplacement.org/sites/default/files/images/alameda_final.pdf

Paid for by the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee, P.O. Box 3937 Hayward, CA 94540-3937. 
Not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee.