Housing counselors bow out in Alameda - June 24, 1988

Housing counselors bow out in Alameda

By C.J. Clemmons (The Tribune)
June 24, 1988

ALAMEDA – The city will have to find a new landlord tenant mediation service.

The current group – saying it is already underfunded and that next year’s contract has been cut by 45 percent – will not seek to renew its agreement.

“It’s difficult to run a good program that will take care of the housing problems we have in Alameda without adequate funds,” said Lois Pryor of Alamedans with HOPE (Housing Opportunities Provide [Equally]).

HOPE’s budget was $37,000 last year, Pryor said at least $4,000 more was needed to keep the program going.

But the City Council on Tuesday allocated just $20,253 for the city’s fair housing and discrimination program.

“That’s one of the reasons we decided not to reapply for the contract,” Pryor said.
Community development director Dona Hoard said an effective housing counseling service can be run for $20,000 if the contract is awarded to an agency that receives federal funds in addition to city funds.

HOPE provides fair housing and shared housing information and a referral service for tenants and landlords. Its contract with the city expires next Thursday.
Rising rents in the city combined with a struggle between low-income residents and military personnel for moderately priced apartments have made housing counseling a necessity, according to Pryor.

“There is a great need for a good housing counseling program in Alameda,” Pryor said.
Clayton Guyton, president of the Buena Vista Community Association – an advocacy group for low-income tenants – accused the council of “turning their backs on the problem” by not allowing more money for the service.

Council member Rita Haughner listed racism and the lack of affordable housing as problems that could be alleviated with better counseling.

The counsel authorized Hoard to seek bids in the next few weeks for the housing services contract. She said new services should be in place by September. HOPE’s contract expires June 30.

Source: Clemmons, C.J., “Housing counselors bow out in Alameda.” Oakland Tribune, 24 June, 1988:B4.