RENT STABILIZATION BOARD
Regular Meeting Minutes

Monday, March 16, 2009, 7 PM

APPROVED

Video Archive

 
1. Roll Call  – Chair Stephens called roll at 7:11 PM

Commissioners present:  Blake, Chong (7:12), Drake, Harrison, Shelton, Townley, Tregub, Webster (7:42), Stephens.

Staff present:  Kelekian, Kelly, Wyche

2.  Approval of agenda .  M/S/C (Blake/Drake) Voice vote:  Passed: 7-0-0-2 Absent: Chong, Webster.

3.   Public forum.  There was one speaker, Barbara Tengeri regarding 1600 Woolsey Street.

4.  Approval of February 19, 2009 regular meeting minutes.   M/S/C (Harrison/Tregub) Approved as written.  Voice vote.  Passed: 7-0-0-1 Absent: Webster.

5. Appeal time certain. – 7:15 PM

Appeal T-4905; 1629 63rd Street.  M/S/C (Stephens/Tregub) TO UPHOLD THE HEARING EXAMINER’S DECISION WITH THE FOLLOWING EXCEPTIONS:  CHANGE THE DATE OF REPAIRS TO THE LEAKY ROOF TO NOVEMBER 2, 2006 AND CHANGE THE COMPENSATION FOR THE WORK DONE BY THE TENANT TO $20.55 AN HOUR, IN THIS CASE ONLY, AND GRANT AN ADDITIONAL FOUR HOURS OF LABOR, BRINGING THE TOTAL TO 17 HOURS OF LABOR BY THE TENANT.  Roll call vote.  Yes: Blake, Chong, Drake, Harrison, Shelton, Townley, Tregub, Webster, Stephens.  Passed: 9-0-0-0.

6.  Action items.    From Board Members, Executive Director and Committees

a. Adoption of the 2009/2010 Budget time line and the scheduling of the Public Hearing for possible fee increase.   M/S/C ( Tregub/Harrison) THREE PART MOTION:  (1) TO ACCEPT BUDGET TIME LINE AS PROPOSED, (2) SET A BUDGET WORKSHOP AND PUBLIC HEARING ON APRIL 20TH, TO RECEIVE PUBLIC COMMENT ON THE AMOUNT OF THE ANNUAL REGISTRATION FEE, AND (3) TO SCHEDULE A SPECIAL MEETING ON MAY 4TH TO SET THE REGISTRATION FEE.  Roll call vote.  Yes: Blake, Chong, Drake, Harrison, Townley, Tregub, Webster, Stephens; No: None; Abstain: Shelton; Absent: None.  Passed: 8-0-1-0.

b. Proposal to approve staff recommendation on the following requests for waiver of late registration penalties.

Ministerial Waivers

Waiver No.      Property Address
3698                 1741 Rose Street 
3703                 1552 Milvia
3704                 2231-2235 Derby Street
3707                 1505 Julia Street
3708                 2424 Warring Street
3712                 1864 1866/1868 Alcatraz Avenue
3726                 1333 Santa Fe Avenue

Discretionary Waivers

Waiver No.      Property Address
3685                 3242 California Street
3706                 1348 Rose Street
3714                 1726-10th Street
3717                 1712-10th Street
3719                 2626 Etna Street   
3720                 1640 Euclid Avenue
3727                 3107 California Street
3729                 1641 & 1647 Lincoln Street; 1614 McGee Avenue
  
Waivers numbers 3714, 3719, 3720, and 3729 pulled for discussion.

M/S/F (Tregub/Shelton) TO WAIVE 100% PENALTY ON WAIVER NO. 3714.   Roll call vote.  Yes: Chong, Shelton, Townley, Tregub; No: Blake, Drake, Harrison, Webster, Stephens; Abstain: None; Absent: None.  Failed: 4-5-0-0.

M/S/C (Drake/Blake) WAIVE 75% PENALTY ON WAIVER NO. 3729.  Roll call.  Yes:  Blake, Chong, Drake, Harrison, Shelton, Townley, Tregub, Webster, Stephens; No: None; Abstain: None; Absent: None.  Passed: 9-0-0-0.

M/S/C (Harrison/Drake) ACCEPT STAFF RECOMMENDATIONS ON ALL WAIVERS LISTED, EXCEPT NUMBER 3729.  Voice vote.  Passed: 8-0-0-1; Absent: Chong.
   
7.  Information and Announcements
   
a. Reports from Board Members/Staff.

(1) Mid-Year Budget Update and Initial FY 2009 Year-end Projections .  Executive Director gave a Power Point budget update report and answered questions.

(2) Update on foreclosure letters. Executive Director handed out sample copies of foreclosure and eviction letters that are sent to tenants when staff becomes aware of a pending foreclosure and explained the process.  After questions and discussion, the Board suggested that staff to do the following:  (1) make this information available to Rent Board service providers, (2) check to see if turnover has occurred in these buildings, (3) follow up with a random group of cases to determine if the defaulted owner or bank has decreased maintenance, employed intimidation tactics, offered key money or things, or misrepresented tenants rights, (4) track evictions, and (5) find out how many foreclosures have affected Section 8 tenants.  At Commissioner Chong’s request, Board agreed that the Eviction Committee would take on number (3).

(3) Measure Y Tracking Report.  Executive Director discussed report.           

(4)  Update on tenant survey.  Executive Director said that the survey would be mailed to a random group of tenants in early April, with a reminder postcard to follow.  Board expressed their overwhelming approval.

(5)  Update on contract and timeline with Software AG to perform a formal analysis of the Board’s business processes to develop a comprehensive blueprint to replace and upgrade the Board’s 15 year-old RTS computer system.  Executive Director said the contract should be executed by the end of this week.

(6)  March 3, 2009 News Release from Oakland City Attorney’s office titled Oakland’s Tenant Protection Law Upheld by Appeals Court.  Self-explanatory.

(7) Lawful Rent Ceiling letters to landlords and tenants.   Self-explanatory.

(7)  Update on proposed revisions to the Condominium Conversion Ordinance. Executive Director said nothing new since the last meeting, except that he included the final language that went to Council.

(8) Housing California April 27 – April 29, 2009.  Reminder to register before March 31st for discounted rate.  Executive Director reminded Board to let staff know if they plan to attend the Housing California Conference.  Pam Wyche requested that Board members contact her before March 31st.

(9) March13, 2009 Daily Californian article by Carol Yur titled City Helps Renters Hold Onto Housing.   Tregub included the article and said self-explanatory.

 b.  Announcements of upcoming Committee/Board Meetings.

(1)  Budget and Personnel – Tentative date for next meeting:  March 27th

(2)  Outreach -  To be scheduled off line.

(3)  IRA/AGA and Habitability – Next meeting: March 26th.

(4)  Eviction/Section 8/Foreclosure – To be scheduled off line.

(5)  4x4 City Council/RSB Housing Committee – Soon to begin meeting again.

(6)  Safe & Sustainable Housing – Committee Chair Townley said they met earlier in the day and that Dan Lambert and Joan MacQuarrie from the Planning Department gave an informative report on the soft story and retrofit program.  They explained how budget cuts may severely effect the ability of the program to go forward, which means it will take a citywide effort and will be up to the Rent Board, HAC, Disaster/Fire Safety Commission and Planning to craft something with teeth that will protect tenants to be presented to the City Council for review and adoption.  

(7)  Future Special Meetings – Monday, May 4th to set registration fee.

c.  Discussion of items for possible placement on future agenda.   Tregub offered to set up an Ad Hoc Committee to discuss the current waiver process.  Tregub said that he would come back with a report on stimulus package funds for housing in the Bay Area and ways in which the City of Berkeley can get involved.  Townley wants to start planning a workshop on soft story issues.

8.    Adjournment   M/S/C (Drake/Tregub)  Chair Stephens adjourned at 10:00 p.m.