On Thursday afternoon, Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín and housing advocates announced what they described as a “first in the state housing policy” called the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act. Watch a recording of the announcement.

The new law, which was “unveiled” Thursday, “would give renters the right of first refusal and right to purchase when apartment buildings and non-owner occupied single family homes are put on the market,” according to a statement from the mayor’s office. “The policy would help tenants stay housed and preserve existing affordable housing.”

Dominique Walker, one of three women who recently occupied a vacant, investor-owned home in Oakland as part of the Moms 4 Housing movement, joined the mayor during Thursday’s announcement, as will speakers from local tenants’ rights groups and affordable housing developers, including community land trusts. She now lives in Berkeley.

More coverage of the issue is forthcoming on Berkeleyside.

Emilie Raguso (former senior editor, news) joined Berkeleyside in 2012 and covered politics, public safety and development until her departure in 2022. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist...