On Tuesday, February 6th, Hayward City Council held a special meeting focused on the Hayward Housing crisis. Many renters are facing unlawful evictions and unexplainable rent increases as new management companies are capitalizing on the need for housing as a result of the tech industries new demand. Gentrification is happening now inside of our city; is it too late to respond accordingly?
At the meeting, rent control stabilized rent increases and development of affordable housing was discussed. There will be follow up discussion meeting being held on February, 26th at the Matt Jimenez Center at 28200 Ruus Rd. from 6-8PM. City Manager Kelly McAdoo and City Assistant Manager Kelly Hurtado shared a presentation on what is currently being done and what are some options are for the future.
“Section 8 of the Hayward Rent Stabilization Ordinance should be removed,” Hurtado stated. Referring to legislation that allows owners to “decontrol” units by paying a fee, allowing the property rent to be raised higher than 5% in one year.
Public comments dominated the meeting with at least 30 individuals opening their hearts and sharing frustrations. One developer asked, “How can I build a 5-unit property for affordable housing when the city of Hayward charges $60,000 per unit before the cost of permits?”
There is a need for multiple solutions for all affected parties. Currently, the average rent in Hayward is affordable to those with an average income of nearly $80,000 when its citizens average about $45,000.
Residents like Maria Segura of the Aloha apartments on Jackson St, stated that she, “is now being charged utilities when she was gone for months and construction was constant.”
The company that owns Mrs. Segura’s apartment, has allegedly practiced unlawful evictions at another apartment, Solis Garden on Harder Rd. They are currently awaiting litigation with 3 remaining tenants.
City Council members Al Mendall and Francisco Zermeno were disgusted at the company that owns Aloha and Solis Garden Apartments. Zermeno asked several questions and shared ideas before putting a hand over his mouth as he said, “this is Shit!” Al Mendall blatantly states, “What the owners of the Aloha and Tiki (now Known as Solis) Gardens are doing is wrong!”