➤ “S.F. housing lawsuits is just the beginning,” Editorial, Opinion, Friday
Ease burden on landlords
The Small Property Owners of San Francisco Institute and other groups filed two lawsuits last week against legislation that attempts to place greater limits on the use of our property. Your editorial states that there should be even further restrictions placed on property owners as a means to preserve rental housing. Each further restriction leaves small-property owners feeling more threatened. Some choose not to rent out units and, in some cases, to sell the building.
Perhaps it is time to take a fresh look at the most onerous portions of the rent-control ordinance. Allow us to enter into fixed-term leases, rather than the de facto lifetime leases we must now offer. Use a form of means-testing to weed out renters who do not need owner-subsidized housing. Allow annual increases of 100 percent of the consumer price index, rather than only 60 percent. Rent control, like most price controls, creates shortages.
While we owners realize the system won’t go away, we say that it is time to stop tightening the noose the system imposes on owners, especially small-property owners, and give us some reasons to want to be in the business of providing housing.
Small Property Owners of San Francisco Institute
➤ Helping hand after mishap
Grateful to Samaritans
Perhaps the elegant and concerned teacher Mr. Berg, and his student who helped me Friday, will see this thank you.
I was walking down the uneven but beautiful path from the Legion of Honor Museum after seeing the terrific Anders Zorn exhibit, and I stepped to the side to make way for the happily chatty young school group walking past me — presumably heading to enjoy a school day absorbing the stunning art this city always offers.
I took a misstep, went flying and fell harder than I have in years. Suddenly, though athletic all my life, I felt my 59 years and was flattened. Next thing I see is the kind, warm face of Mr. Berg (who had his nameplate clearly displayed on his shirt), the leader of the group, asking me if I was OK and helping me gently to my feet.
He stayed with me, asking several times if I was all right in a caring and direct way. A very young, gentlemanly student from his group also raced back to me to ask if I was all right. Mr. Berg and his young charge were so solicitous and empathetic, I was inspired with hope for the next generation and the teachers who are now guiding them.
Their spontaneous kindness was so comforting. Thanks so much to Mr. Berg and his very young student!