Rent strikes, protests pay off: Oakland tenants convince landlord to sell building

San Jose Mercury News - After more than two years of protesting, rallying and withholding rent payments, a group of Oakland tenants has scored a major victory in the fight to take control of their building.

The property owner has agreed to sell the 14-unit building on 29th Avenue in Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood for $3.3 million, according to the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, the tenants’ rights group working with the renters. The building will be purchased by the Oakland Community Land Trust — a nonprofit that buys market-rate properties and converts them into affordable housing.

It’s a big milestone for the tenants involved, and it comes as efforts to give renters more control over their homes are picking up speed. Community land trusts are building momentum throughout the Bay Area as a potential way to preserve affordable housing in a market where prices continue to spiral out of control. At the same time, Oakland and other Bay Area cities are eyeing new ordinances that would give tenants the opportunity to buy their buildings before they go on the market.

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