Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Should the city appeal?

After hearing numerous stories by East Palo Alto tenants that newly requested rent increases would bring personal hardship, the East Palo Alto City Council voted to impose a six month moratorium on the rent increases brought by Page Mill Properties, the city’s largest rental landlord. The requested rent increases would have raised the monthly rent from $100 to $300 on approximately 1,300 apartment units.

Many of the tenants who received the rent increases are low-income, disabled and like many seniors, on fixed incomes. In ruling against the city, Judge Beth Larson Freeman said that the city’s moratorium violated several state laws. Representatives for the city said that the moratorium allowed for a cooling off period in which critical issues affecting both the tenants and the landlord could be settled. The city now has the option of appealing the judge’s decision. Given the stakes involved for the tenants and for the landlord, do you think the City of East Palo Alto should appeal the judge’s decision and try to keep the six month moratorium?