Building an Information System to Protect Renters from Displacement

Gentrification in Oakland has significantly impacted renters, who comprise 59 percent of households and pay some of the highest rents in the nation. Compounding the issue, a lack of robust data makes it difficult for policymakers to respond to unjust evictions and illegal rent increases. To address this problem, Oakland city council proposed the creation of a rental registry to capture ownership, rental, and occupancy data from rental units across the city, giving policymakers a valuable tool to develop evidence-based solutions to these issues.

Oakland is partnering with FUSE Executive Fellow Sonia Punjabi to work with the city and explore data management options. Sonia will also train staff to use and analyze registry data, educate landlords about compliance, and develop strategies to ensure landlords conform. Through the creation of this new registry, the city aims to better monitor rental activity and protect renters from skyrocketing housing costs.