In the wake of the December fire at the Ghost Ship warehouse in Oakland, which claimed the lives of 36 people, Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf has issued an executive order that aims to bring non-permitted residences up to fire code while protecting tenants against displacement.
"We must take additional steps to protect physical, cultural and artistic assets and workspaces in the community while making necessary changes to improve life safety, provide for safer public events and improve standards and procedures for evaluating and assuring compliance,” Schaaf writes in Executive Order 2017-1.
The order requires property owners who do not meet the city's fire and safety standards to enter into a compliance plan with the city within 60 days, during which time city officials will "generally work in the spirit of cooperation with property owners, tenants and master lessors to correct code violations that are not deemed to be an imminent life safety risk.” A provision specifies that officials should "avoid displacement of any individuals residing or working in the property if that can be accomplished without imminent life safety risk."
Among Schaaf's recommendations for working with city government, owners, and tenants is a provision that building owners should be given at least five days notice before inspections. Additionally, if relocation is required, tenants will be notified of their rights, which include money for relocation and the ability to return.
Read Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf's executive order here.