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November 6, 2018 — California General Election

City of Berkeley Rent Stabilization BoardCandidate for Commissioner

Photo of Judy J. Hunt

Judy J. Hunt

Consultant/BOLT Trustee
16,260 votes (9.76%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Advocate for older adult tenants and property owners
  • Fair representation of housing stakeholders: tenants, landlords and property owners
  • Address complexities of housing issues: rents, homelessness, rising property maintenance costs, single family homes and in-law units, building more affordable housing, tenant cooperatives, socio-economic diversity



Profession:Non-profit Executive Consultant
Consultant, Milovan Consultants (2008–current)
Trustee (Appointed by City Council), Berkeley Board of Library Trustees — Appointed position (2017–current)
Commissioner (Elected by City Voters), Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board — Elected position (2012–2016)
Commissioner (Appointed by Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson), Alameda County Advisory Commission on Aging — Appointed position (2006–2010)


Case Western Reserve University M.S. Administration, Health Care (1972)
Pepperdine College B.A., Sociology, Minor in Psychology (1970)

Community Activities

Poll Worker, Alameda County Registrar of Voters (2007–current)
Member, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) (2017–current)
Member, Head Royce School Alumni Council (2010–2018)
Member, Alameda County Leadership Academy (2004–2005)

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Berkeley Democratic Club
  • Asian Pacific American Democratic Caucus of Alameda County

Elected Officials (5)

  • Gordon Wozniak, Former Berkeley City Council member, District 8
  • Darryl Moore, Former Berkeley City Council member, District 2
  • Laurie Capitelli, Former Berkeley City Council member, District 5
  • Susan Wengraf, Berkeley City Council member, District 6
  • Lori Droste, Berkeley City Council member, District 8

Individuals (17)

  • Olga Volodina, Writer Coach Connection Volunteer East Bay Schools
  • Idello Williams, Retired - Teacher Aide, Berkeley Unified School District
  • Clarence Williams, Retired - Cintas Driver Sales
  • Susanna Hung Tse, Property Owner since 1989
  • Alex Sharenko, Ph.D. Research Scientist - Engineer
  • Linda Schacht, Retired - UC Berkeley Graduate School of Jouralism, Library Trustee, Daily Cal Board, UC Trustee
  • Gregory McConnell, President & CEO, The McConnell Group Consultants & Advocates
  • Walter Kotecki, Tenant - Marine Maintenance Specialist
  • Amanda Hart, Tenant - Teacher
  • Pamela Hansen, Homeowner - Physical Therapist
  • Abigail Franklin, Former President, City of Berkeley Board of Library Trustees
  • Sam Fortune, Jr., Retired - City of Berkeley Public Works
  • Rose M. Craft, Homeowner since 1950
  • Charles S. Calhoun, Tenant - Retired Chef
  • Andrew Bramer, Tenant - Muralist
  • Jeana Arabzaden, Homeowner
  • Rifhat Ahmed, Homemaker

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters, Berkeley/Albany/Emeryville, Voter Services Committee (5)

Do you support the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Ordinance amendments on the November 2018 ballot? Explain your reasons.
Answer from Judy J. Hunt:

I support the admendment for exempting Accessory Dwelling Units (in-law cottages) for single-family home owners. Single-family homeowners need flexibility to live in their house or the ADU as their family circumstances evolve or change. Homeowners need to decide to rent their house or ADU according to their needs. Some older adults may choose to age on their property and decide to downsize their spce needs and move into their ADU or one may decide to move into their house if living in their cottage and renting the house. Depending on their aging care needs, one should have options to retain one's dignity and independence.

I support the Golden Duplex excemption as it stands in the Rent Board Ordinance.

I do not support the other admendents to Measure Q as those admendments should not even be on the ballot until California voters decide Proposition 10 - to repeal or not repeal Costa Hawkins. Other cities, San Francisco, Oakland, Santa Monica, etc. have not put forth anything to their voters, until Proposition 10 is settled. How can a city pre-empt a state law BEFORE the state law is settled??


In the case of an owner move-in to a golden duplex, when the first unit becomes owner occupied and the tenant receives compensation for the eviction but the tenant in the second unit, now exempt, does not – what would be the appropriate remedy for the second unit tenant if evicted – a waiting period or should the compensation be equal or divided? If a waiting period, how long? Please explain your rationale.
Answer from Judy J. Hunt:

First, the owner does have the right to move into their own property.

Second, under rent control, the owner can move in an immediate family relative (Parent, child, spouse, etc.). The tenent in the affected unit who is asked to leave, receives compensation as delineated. The tenant in the second unit is now in an exempt building. The tenant still, under state law has some protections and cannot be arbitrarily evicted wiout a good cause. One cannot evict the second tenant. The owner has moved into one unit not both.

If both tenants are evicted with the owner moving into one unit and a child moves into the other unit, then both tenants need to receive compensation as delineated in the Rent Boards regulations. Compensation is not divided, just because one lives in a building. The tenant in the exempt unit is not automatically entitled to any money, simply because the owner decided to move into his/her own property. The change in status to an exempt building does not mean tenant in the second unit is entitled to any compensation, as the tenant has not be "harmed" in any way. The tenant still has proections under state laws. 

There are no waiting periods under rent control. 



What is the vacancy rate for Berkeley rental units? What or who is responsible for vacant units? How can the number of vacancies be reduced?
Answer from Judy J. Hunt:

According to the UC Berkeley External Affairs Vice President, Nuba Khalfay, students typically live in apartments for four years, that is for the duration of their four years at Cal. Vacancies for units near UC turn over every year with students entering and graduating from UC.

Tenants in rent controlled units, have longer stays. Tenants typically in West and South Berkeley where most rent controlled units are with small property owners, usually people of color, in duplexes, triplexes, four or six unit buildings have long term tenants... 10 years and longer.

There are usually reasons for vacancies... 

  • Property owners are cleaning, painting, etc. property for incoming college students.
  • Older property owners are in failing health or reside in a rehabilitation or nursing facility or the elder could be under a conservatorship through the County.
  • Property recently sold and new owners may start deep cleaning, renovations, etc.
  • Property owners may be doing improvements and may be waiting for permits, contractors, etc. 
  • Property may be undergoing lengthy legal proceedings such as probate court, divorce settlements, etc.

There is NO PUBLIC AGENCY that has OVERSIGHT OVER PROPERTY VACANCIES. That would also include single-family homes. That kind of government intrusion, could legitimately be challenged as a violation of the 5th Admendment to the Constitution of the United States that safeguards private property rights.

Building more housing that is affordable for moderate and low income levels is essential. The law of supply and demand is at work--- little supply = high cost; large supply = lower cost.


A. Address complexities of approvals and permits to build affordable housing for moderate and low income people. 

B. All  city districts should welcome housing for fire fighters, police, teachers, librarians, social workers, physical and occupational therapists, nurse aides, hotel and restaurant workers and other professions. 

C. Support alternative housing options such as tenant cooperatives.

D. Develop a city-wide strategic housing plan that engages all housing stakeholders: tenants, property owners (single-family homeowners and rental owners), developers, planners and university officials. 

E. Develop long term strategies to keep people of color in our communities. Most of the rent controlled units of small property owners are people of color, who  are now under more restrictions that increasingly make it more difficult to maintain their properties with rising property maintenance costs of older buildings.

Economic experts state:

"In 1992 a poll of the American Economic Association found 93 percent of its members agreeing that "a ceiling on rents reduces the quality and quantity of housing." - "Reckonings: A Rent Affair" by Paul Krugman June 7, 2000 The New York Times; and most recently:

"It's expensive to be a tenant in California. Will Proposition 10's rent control expansion help?" by Liam Dillon October 3, 2018 The Los Angeles Times, this article clearly states the following:

"Economists of differnt political stripes rarely agree on much. But there's consensus, that rent control doesn't help with housing affordability. Economists generally believe that when government limits the price landlords can charge for housing, there will be fewer houses produced, which in turn drives up prices."




What can the Rent Board do to promote better relationships between tenants and owners?
Answer from Judy J. Hunt:

First, the Rent Board Commission needs representation of property owners, who own rental properties and know the related costs and issues associated with rental units. Currently the Rent Board is comprised of tenants and tenant advocates, who do not really know the complexieies of housing issues related to development, construction, property maintenance/damage, etc.

The Rent Board should be balanced, fair and less adversarial toward landlords and property owners.

The agency should recognize that landlords and property owners are not all wealthy people. Owner move-in evictions are totally unrealistic for older adult owners, who do not hve $15,000 - $20,000 cash to give tenants. Disrespectful comments to elders who have been frugal with their means, contributed to the city's infrastructure that even UC students benefit, pay the salaries of the staff, and contributed to the community's well-being-  insults the people who provide an essential provision for others... shelter, a place to stay.

There should be funds for landlords and property owners' legal fees, without undue criteria, as tenants are given Eviction Defense Center and the East Bay Community Law Center as resources, so the former groups deserve the same resources without restrictions to nullify equity of access to landlords or property owners for legal representation.

An annual report should be published for agency transparency and accountability for budget allocations and how monies are spent. That would go a long way to gain more trust with landlords and property owners who pay $250 per unit per year registration fees with miminumal returns for their dollars. San Francisco and Oakland registration fees are less than $100/unit per year.

Lastly, the Commissioners should STOP their disrespectful language during commission meetings, as noted in my May 31, 2018 Opinion: "The Rent Board needs Leadership and Accountability" in Berkeleyside, an online news outlet. Calling property owners "plantation owners" and tenants "slaves" is beyond decent behavior, especially for public officials, who also take the $500 per month stipend that is paid by landlords and property owners. That kind of offensive language is divisive, unproductive and insults virtually everyone in the city.

We cannot continue the politics of scapegoating and demonizing landlords and property owners, as they do not control community changes such as: job growth that brings more people into the Bay Area; the lack of affordable housing supply, often due to denial of projects to build affordable units, snail paced permitting process; and investment from other countries. We live in a global economy. Property owners do not control investors from other countries and their investments.

Staff present during committee and commission meetings should not condone such irresponsible behavior. It is NOT funny or entertaining. 

If landlords or property owners dared to behave in like manner toward tenants, there would be an outrage with persistent public shaming of the persons and a possible recall of that commissioner. 

The Rent Board Policy regarding Commissioner Behavior needs to include a statement about derogatory language and disrespectful conduct during committee and commission meetings with a sanction or reduction in stipend on the offender.

What additional protections outside of a rental agreement do you see as necessary to protect tenants? Why?
Answer from Judy J. Hunt:

Tenants have protections via state laws and Berkeley's rent control ordinance.

I think landlords and property owners need some protections from tenants who can: harrass, threaten and intimidate landlords and property owners. Many older adults are quietly enduring such mean behavior, and yet there is a regulation about harrassment of tenants and not for landlords or property owners. No one wants to talk about that, especially since it happens to people pof color and older women. There needs to be protection for women, older adult landlords and property owners.

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