Berkeley Needs Homes, Not Blight

Vote YES on Measure M the Vacancy Tax

The Problem

Housing is unaffordable and unavailable. We need every landlord to do their part: make housing available or pay a tax.

Nearly 3% of former rental units are off the market altogether. Nobody can live there, resulting in a tragic waste of resources, space, and housing stock.

The housing crisis disproportionately impacts low-income renters and renters of color. Almost half of Alameda County’s tenants, well over half of Black tenants and almost 90% of extremely low-income renters are rent burdened.

How It Works

The proposed tax would be imposed after 182 days of vacancy and provides extensions for units worked on or in probate.

The vacancy tax is greater for units that are bigger and those empty longer, encouraging owners to put units back on the market.


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Owner-occupied single family home (inc. an ADU/JADU) duplex, triplex, or quadplex

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Non-profit or religious organization

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Properties in probate or under construction

Vacant this year
2025 and later
Vacant this and the prior year
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  • The tax will generate between $3.9 and $5.9 million in annual revenue each year
  • Hundreds of vacant homes could become available to live in within two years

With this money, we can

  • Construct new affordable housing
  • Acquire and rehabilitate multi-unit buildings for housing and low-income households
  • Fulfill other city needs