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Letters: Tenants wrong about landlord obligations

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Tenants of a Powell Street apartment building claim their landlord has passed along operational and management costs to tenants. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Supervisors work to stop S.F. landlords from passing management costs on to tenants,” The City, March 18

Tenants wrong about landlord obligations
This is a very one-sided story. The author spoke to the San Francisco Tenants Union but did not contact housing provider groups such as the Small Property Owners of San Francisco Institute or the San Francisco Apartment Association. The housing provider organizations would have provided the other side of the story.

One of the main reasons many buildings are in such disrepair is because of rent control. Many buildings, especially small buildings of two to four units with long-term tenants, don’t generate the income necessary for the needed improvements or repairs. The lack of income forces some housing providers to leave the business by selling their buildings. Small buildings are generally sold to tenants in common, reducing the number of rental units available. Larger buildings are sold to large companies that have the funds for the improvements or repairs and the staff to apply for the pass-throughs.

Tenants and their organizations always complain about “greedy landlords.” But the tenants and their organizations never explain why they believe they are entitled to have their lifestyles subsidized by their housing providers for decade after decade or why the annual allowed rent increase is only 60 percent of the area Consumer Price Index. Housing providers should be allowed to increase rent at least the full CPI plus any additional taxes, fees or other expenses foisted on them by the voters or city government.

Howard Epstein, San Francisco Republican Party

Balboa Reservoir housing project opponents launch ballot measure,” March 15

Balboa Reservoir project won’t help housing crisis
Let’s be clear that this profitable project will not provide housing affordable for most San Franciscans. Only one third of the units are allotted to people making up to $150,000 a year; the rest will be market-rate for rich people, unless The City pays Avalon for the remaining 17 percent to make it 50 percent “affordable.”

Most of the housing built in this city is market-rate, which is contributing to gentrification. Don’t be fooled by the Fortune 500 Avalon Company, a billion-dollar corporation that pays its CEO $7 million a year. The money is there in this city (and state) of billionaires.

Let’s build the Performing Arts Education Center and 100 percent affordable housing.

Allan Fisher, San Francisco

BART’s tunnel vision: Is it visionary enough?” In My View, March 15

Visionary BART plan has some holes of its own
Stanford M. Horn proposes a low-level bridge (southern crossing) that accommodates Caltrain gauge tracks, BART gauge tracks, people-mover tracks and auto lanes.

What I don’t understand is how shipping to the Port of Redwood City, as well as pleasure boats with tall masts, will get by this structure? San Mateo bridge has a highrise section to allow water craft to pass by. It is quite steep for use by rail traffic.

Rich Fox, San Mateo

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