1921 Walnut St. is a rent-controlled constructing inbuilt 1904, comprising eight giant items, six of that are at present occupied. UC Berkeley bought the nook property on the very starting of the pandemic in 2020 and has since periodically and with as little element as potential notified the tenants residing there that the intent of UC Berkeley is to evict them and demolish the constructing. Although the small nook property was not a part of UC Berkeley’s authentic plan to construct pupil housing, it has since been added to the event on the almost block-long properties that UC Berkeley owns. It has been dubbed the “Anchor Home Undertaking.”
UC Berkeley’s said intent is to develop market-rate pupil housing, in addition to market-rate business area on this one block improvement. In different phrases, the intent is to create a income supply for UC Berkeley. Moreover, UC Berkeley has ignored or denied frequent requests by the tenants at 1921 Walnut St. to satisfy and focus on their scenario and plight. The college has supplied modest however woefully insufficient relocation compensation and has made no try to acquire housing for these long-term Berkeley residents. UC Berkeley’s avarice and disrespect for the neighborhood of Berkeley has turn into increasingly more apparent. I additionally need to observe that The Helen Diller Basis, based mostly in San Francisco is underwriting this venture via its Oski 360 LLC. The inspiration is funded from profits made by a notorious developer of high-end, market rate housing.
The UC Board of Regents will vote on this venture at it July 21-22 assembly.
Berkeley’s want for reasonably priced and rent-controlled housing has by no means been extra obvious. For a public entity to completely take away reasonably priced resident housing for the sake of revenue and short-term positive factors will not be solely a horrible precedent however a slap within the face of the values and desires of our neighborhood. And therein lies, maybe, the crux of the matter: UC Berkeley has stopped performing as a public entity and neighborhood associate and has begun to interact within the practices and actions of an organization. They haven’t any accountability domestically and sometimes will not be answerable to even the state legislators.
The Berkeley Metropolis Council, Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín, Councilmember Kate Harrison, the Berkeley Lease Stabilization Board, the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Affiliation, the Sierra Membership East Bay, the Berkeley Tenants Union, The Related College students of UC, Berkeley Residents for a Higher Plan, and different people and neighborhood organizations have urged UC Berkeley to undertake alternate options to displacing Berkeley residents and destroying rent-controlled housing. Options exist: UC Berkeley owns a number of properties in Berkeley and within the East Bay.
UC Berkeley may and will do a lot better and far more as a neighborhood associate. They might interact in a full and strong neighborhood course of for enter and dialogue, and never interact within the evasive and disingenuous course of they must date. They might and will convey in the neighborhood leaders and spokespeople who’ve articulated, repeatedly, points and issues with their 2021 Lengthy-Vary Improvement Plan: the mayor of Berkeley, metropolis council members, Berkeley Architectural Heritage Affiliation and Berkeley Tenants Union officers and management, different involved and engaged residents of Berkeley. This choice thus far is a transparent abdication of management, imaginative and prescient, and course of on the a part of UC Berkeley. We demand higher.