Oakland, CA

Oakland tenants rights group scores huge victory with land trust sale

Built in the Bay

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(OAKLAND, Calif.) After a hard-fought two-year battle with the landlord, a tenants' rights group won a big victory early this week with the sale of an East Oakland building.

The property owner of a 14-story building on 29th Avenue in Oakland's Fruitvale neighborhood sold for $3.3 million, according to the tenants' rights group working with renters called Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE). The Oakland Community Land Trust, a nonprofit that buys market-rate properties for conversion to affordable housing, will buy the building.

"This is truly a mutually beneficial scenario for all parties involved," Steve King, executive director of the trust, wrote in a statement published by the East Bay Times. "This property will become a powerful part of a growing base of permanently affordable, resident-led housing on community-owned land in Oakland."

The land trust reportedly will help tenants buy a stake in the building.

In 2019, a group of tenants began holding rallies to protest unjust living conditions and exorbitantly high rent before starting a rent strike.

Calvin Wong, the building's owner, opened negotiations with the land trust in early 2020 but rejected three offers before finally agreeing to the $3.3 million bid, according to ACCE.

Wong's son, who has served as spokesperson for his father, confirmed the deal but declined to comment further.

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