More Handouts for a BART Landlord?

Coliseum Connections tenants and activists march to landlord Michael Johnson's house on July 9. Image source: Natalie Orenstein via

The landlord of the Coliseum Connections apartment building near the Coliseum station, which flooded on New Year’s Eve, is suing the City of Oakland. He is saying it’s the city’s fault that his building flooded due to poor storm drain infrastructure, and he should be paid back thousands of dollars in damages. While he has been dragging his feet playing the blame game, many of the tenants are still displaced and have been living in hotels for eight months now.

This is after the landlord got $24.5 million in public funding to subsidize the development of the property, and after the City of Oakland has paid $5.7 million in emergency funding to provide temporary shelter and accommodations to the displaced residents! Regardless of what happens, tax money will be drained further as the city will either have to settle or pay expensive legal fees to fight the suit in court. And this guy will be laughing all the way to the bank while many people’s lives are totally disrupted because of his negligence.