Berkeley landlords ripped as 'tasteless and insensitive' for celebratory eviction parties

Berkeley landlords ripped as 'tasteless and insensitive' for celebratory eviction parties
Berkeley, California (Creative Commons)

In March 2020 — the month the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared COVID-19 a global pandemic — Berkeley, California enacted a moratorium on evictions. The moratorium finally expired three and a half years later on September 1, 2023.

The Berkeley Property Owners Association (BPOA) celebrated the event in a bar near the UC Berkeley campus. And in a part of the country that has a lot of homelessness, they are drawing strong criticism for being tasteless and insensitive.

SF Gate's Gage Lehman reports, "In a move that critics are calling 'one of the most tasteless events I've ever heard of,' Berkeley landlords are celebrating the end of eviction protections in the East Bay city with a cocktail party. The Berkeley Property Owners Association, a trade group for rental property owners in Berkeley, apparently believes regaining the right to throw people out of their homes is cause for celebration — or at least a networking event."

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BPOA President Krista Gulbransen is totally unapologetic about the gathering, telling Berkeleyside, "We are celebrating the end of the tenants who could have paid rent, and chose not to."

But Leah Simon-Weisberg, who heads Berkeley's Rent Stabilization Board, believes that BPOA has failed to prove their claim that an abundance of tenants, during the moratorium, could have afforded to pay rent but simply chose not to.

Simon-Weisberg told SFGate, "While the moratorium is over, COVID-19 continues to spread in our community. Hospitalizations and deaths are on the rise. It seems very insensitive to those who might be rendered homeless to ever celebrate eviction."

READ MORE:COVID-19, influenza and strep throat outbreaks forcing closures and cancellations across the country: report

Read SFGate's full report at this link.

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