COVID-19 exacerbates existing issues in Berkeley housing market

Photo of Bay Area
Lisi Ludwig/File
The Bay Area already has one of the highest costs of housing in the nation, which is only exacerbated by the number of UC Berkeley students in need of housing close to campus. However, despite housing prices decreasing with students leaving as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions being placed on landlords, Berkeley Tenants Union secretary Matthew Lewis alleged that landlords have been breaking the city's laws.

When a Berkeley tenant’s roommate, a student at UC Berkeley, left the city a month before the pandemic unfolded, the tenant decided to renew the lease on their rent-controlled apartment. The tenant said they thought they could find another roommate, and they reckoned it would be hard to find a cheaper place to live.
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