City Council pushes off action on relocation ordinance for the third time

A relocation ordinance that plans to increase financial assistance tenants will receive from housing damages was once again postponed at the latest Berkeley City Council meeting Tuesday night.

The ordinance was not discussed by the council in depth and was pulled from the consent calendar due to newly proposed language that city staff had wished to implement into the ordinance that would supposedly lower tenant protections, according to Jane Micallef, director of the city’s Housing and Community Services Department.

Following public comment from three community members, including UC Berkeley senior Michael Ellison — who spoke in support of the ordinance but urged the council to take another look at the new language included in it — Councilmember Jesse Arreguin felt it would be best to push off consideration and possible passage of the ordinance until the Nov. 8 council meeting.

“There are no substantial changes, but there was some concern about the proposed language,” Micallef said. “Staff presented council the same piece, but (Arreguin’s) concern was that there was too many things for the (council) to digest on the spot.”

This is the third time the ordinance had been presented at a council meeting. The ordinance was originally revised after a Sept. 27 council meeting at which council members raised concerns about tenant protections regarding voluntary seismic retrofitting, displacement of pets and differential rent payments.

Anjuli Sastry covers housing.

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