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Oakland Proposition Y: Eviction Limitations Law

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Oakland’s Measure Y is about just cause evictions. Under the city’s current ordinance, landlords are prohibited from evicting tenants without just cause.

Examples of just cause are not paying the rent, violating the lease or the owner moving into the unit. But right now, landlords who live in the duplexes and triplexes they own are exempt from this just cause rule. They can evict tenants for any reason.


Measure Y would amend the law and close that loophole. If it passes, landlords who live in their duplexes and triplexes would have to follow the just cause rules like other owners of rental properties.


Proponents of Measure Y say it would stop low-income residents from being unfairly evicted. They claim landlords are abusing the ordiance’s loophole. And they say it gives tenants more rights. Housing advocates who support the measure argue, exempting certain property owners from just cause rules is creating more displacement.


Supporters of the measure include Mayor Libby Schaaf and City Councilman Noel Gallo.


Opposers say Measure Y creates more problems for Oakland’s housing crisis and hurts small owners. They’re concerned more restrictions will discourage landlords from building granny units or in-laws, which they say increases the amount of affordable housing in the city. They also claim the exemptions were put in place to keep small owners in their homes. And the measure could push those landlords to take units off of the market, which in turn leads to less available units and higher rental prices in the city. Opponents of Measure Y include members of the property owners group, East Bay Rental Housing Association, along with other real estate investors.


So, if you think landlords who live in their duplexes and triplexes should also follow just cause eviction laws, vote YES on Measure Y. If you think they should still be exempt, vote NO.


Jeneé Darden is an award-winning journalist, author, public speaker and proud Oakland native. She is the executive producer and host of the weekly arts segment Sights & Sounds as well as the series Sights + Sounds Magazine. Jeneé also covers East Oakland for KALW. Jeneé has reported for NPR, Marketplace, KQED, KPCC, The Los Angeles Times, Ebony magazine, Refinery29 and other outlets. In 2005, she reported on the London transit bombings for Time magazine. Prior to coming to KALW, she hosted the podcast Mental Health and Wellness Radio.