Berkeley to explore amendment on group-living accommodations

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At the regular Berkeley City Council meeting Tuesday, council members will explore the possibility of amending the Group Living Accommodations Ordinance, or GLA, which is a requirement passed in January 2016 for “mini-dorms” and group-living situations.

In response to campus affordable housing issues, Councilmember Kriss Worthington proposed changes to the GLA based on student suggestions. According to the agenda item, the ASUC has been vocal in its opposition against the GLA because it unfairly disadvantages students from housing.

The agenda item states that students also proposed the addition of a nondiscrimination clause for students in the GLA in order to ensure students and other Berkeley residents will receive equal treatment. In addition, the item states that the amendment should be revised to allow for three violations over the 12-month period instead of two violations.

“Lots of students have said the existing GLA doesn’t work all that well, and we’re trying to pull people together from the community and City Council to come up with a list of reforms,” Worthington said. “The status quo is totally unacceptable.”

According to Worthington, the lack of students during the summer resulted in decreased mobilization around the issue, so it is unlikely that the council will move forward with amending the GLA at Tuesday’s meeting. It may take a few weeks to determine the exact language that the City Council will vote on, Worthington added.

Worthington said he hopes the council will find a time to discuss these reforms so that the GLA amendment can be passed this year.

Gibson Chu is the lead city government reporter. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @thegibsonchu.