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Last fall, the City Council passed on a proposal to create a city-sponsored rents task force whose charge would have included collecting data on the Island’s rental market. So City Councilman Tony Daysog, who had favored the task force proposal, decided to collect some of that information on his own.

Daysog offered a brief presentation on U.S. Census data he culled at the council’s January 20 meeting, where council members considered some options for strengthening rights for renters. The upshot: While the median rent in Alameda falls below what the federal government considers unaffordable, it’s rising – as is the proportion of local renters who are paying unaffordable rents.

Alameda’s housing authority is preparing to open the wait list for its Section 8 rent voucher program next week, the first time in a dozen years new spots have been available.

People who apply will face stiff competition for a spot on the list, while the lucky few who succeed in winning one will face a tough rental market.

“We would love to talk more with (property owners) who would like to know more about the program,” said Vanessa M. Cooper, executive director of the Housing Authority of the City of Alameda. “But we realize the market is really tight at the moment.”

The City Council tacked rising rents on Tuesday. Here's what the council did and what you had to say about it.

The public got a chance to comment Wednesday night on a list of suggestions to address Alameda’s rising rents, and now it’s up to a group of tenants and landlords to make recommendations to the City Council.

Some of the 50 or so residents who attended the event at Mastick Senior Center assumed some conclusions would be reached at this meeting. But instead of recommendations based on what was presented in prior hearings, community facilitator Jeff Cambra had the group examine six discussion points proposed by the city’s Rent Review Advisory Committee, which mediates disputes between tenants and landlords.

The City Council voted unanimously to uphold approvals for redevelopment of the Del Monte warehouse after a raucous public hearing before an overflow crowd. Here's our tweet by tweet.

Alamedans will soon be asked to both conserve more water and pay more for what they use to help preserve the East Bay’s water supply in the face of a lingering drought.

 
From the Better Late Than Never Department: If you've been meaning to donate food, coats or toys this holiday season and just haven't gotten the chance, there's still time to help out. Here's a map of collection barrels across the Island.

Dozens of Alamedans took to the streets Sunday to protest police killings of unarmed black men in New York and Ferguson, Mo. and to express their frustration about the lack of charges against the officers responsible for the killings.

The Alameda protest rally was held a day after hundreds of thousands of people participated in protests across the country following the decisions of a pair of grand juries not to hand down charges in the police killings of 18-year-old Michael Brown, of Ferguson, and 34-year-old Eric Garner, of New York. Additional protests have taken place at City Hall and at Encinal High School.

The average market rate of Alameda’s rental housing has risen more than 18 percent over the past 12 months, data obtained by The Alamedan show – faster than market rents in Alameda County and the Bay Area as a whole.

Asking rents in Alameda have risen 18.4 percent over the past 12 months, compared with 11.6 percent in Alameda County and 11.4 percent across the Bay Area, data released by the Novato-based research firm RealFacts show. The average market rent in Alameda in the third quarter of 2014 was $2,057, the data show, topping rents in Alameda County as a whole for the first time in two years.

Students held a silent protest outside Encinal High School on Wednesday afternoon, one of several people have staged around the Bay Area and across the country following police killings of unarmed black men in New York and Ferguson, Mo.