Skip to main content
Politics & Policy

Berkeley landlords throw party celebrating end of eviction ban

Property owners and supporters rallied on Feb. 28 in Oakland to demand an end to the county’s residential eviction moratorium. | Keith Burbank/Bay City News

A group of Berkeley landlords have chosen to celebrate the end of the East Bay city’s Covid-era eviction moratorium with a full-on cocktail party. 

Members of the Berkeley Property Owners Association will gather Tuesday evening at local venue Freehouse, as first reported by Berkeleyside.

“Come enjoy drinks, appetizers, and networking with other Berkeley rental housing providers,” the event invite reads. “We will celebrate the end of the Eviction Moratorium and talk about what’s upcoming through the end of the year.”

The event promises partygoers one free cocktail and a selection of appetizers at a “festive atmosphere steeped in Berkeley history and flavor.”

Freehouse did not respond to requests for comment.

Alameda County’s ban on residential evictions expired on April 29, but some cities opted to retain moratoriums for a longer period. Berkeley’s expired on Aug. 31, one day after San Francisco’s did.

Many Bay Area counties, including San Francisco, implemented these measures in March 2020 to protect renters who had lost their income during the early phases of the pandemic. The region remains in the grips of a homelessness crisis, but critics say moratoriums outlived their purpose once other pandemic-borne restrictions had ended. 

While gathering at a gastropub over cocktails and appetizers to celebrate the ability to turn low-income people out of their homes may strike some observers as in poor taste, feelings on the topic have long run hot. In February, one Alameda County landlord went on a hunger strike to protest the eviction ban, calling it an attack on the American dream.

At the same time, some say the pandemic is far from completely over. Although deaths have fallen to numbers far below their peaks of several years ago, the Covid variant known as “Eris” has spread throughout the Bay Area this summer.

Astrid Kane can be reached at