Home News Oakland residents win longest rent strike in city’s history, push landlord to sell property to nonprofit

Oakland residents win longest rent strike in city’s history, push landlord to sell property to nonprofit

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Oakland, CA (KGO) — After six years of fighting and almost two and a half years of nonpayment of rent, the tenants of the 14-unit Oakland building have claimed victory over their landlords. Instead of tenants being evicted, landlords are no longer involved.

Luz Peña: “What does this victory mean for you and your neighbors?”

Maria Montes de Oca: “Pues esta victoria para mirepresenta que vamos a poder vivir en paz, quietos.”

Maria Montez and Jesús Alvarez are some of the tenants who have lived in this building for over 15 years.

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Alvarez showed ABC7 News the kitchen sink. At least he hasn’t worked for 2 years and is moldy. Then his neighbor’s toilet had a leak. His ceiling paid a price. They claimed the landlord refused to repair it for years. They banded together and refused to pay the rent.

Auckland Community Land Trust I got involved and offered to buy the property.

Luz Peña: “You say the landlord didn’t expect you or your neighbors to make this happen.”

Jesus Alvarez: “Claro que no nunca y nunca paso por su mente.” (It never crossed his mind.)

Less than a month later, Oakland community Land Trust purchased the 14-unit building for $3.3 million. These tenants made history in one of the longest rent strikes in Auckland’s history, and now the entire building is transformed into affordable housing.

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Auckland Community Land Trust executive director Steve King said, “We’ve basically stabilized current rents and in some cases reduced them a bit. So rents are set at levels set by the City of Auckland. It is done.”

The trust now has 45 properties, which it says are part of a larger movement to transform private homes into affordable housing.

These tenants will also be able to purchase units in the future.

The East Bay Rental Housing Association, which represents about 1,600 landlords, feels they are under attack.

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“In some ways, if that makes sense, it feels like a different kind of blockbusting. You can create conditions within the community to kick out the owner. That’s exactly what’s happening.” East Bay Rental Housing Association.

The Oakland, Calif., Alliance for Community Empowerment Action, the organization that helped the tenant, said the win sends a message to other landlords.

“This shows not just the staying power, but the power to actually organize. As we come up with different solutions for home preservation across Oakland and California, it is critical that tenants stand up and fight back.” I think there is,” Grace said. Martinez, Director of Auckland ACCE.

ABC7 has contacted the previous landlord but have not heard back. According to Zillow, he purchased the building for his $717,000.

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