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Don't sign the Measure V Too Costly petition

Original post made on May 4, 2018

Petition from "Measure V Too Costly" is deceptive. Fake news alert!

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 4, 2018, 12:00 AM

Comments (75)

47 people like this
Posted by Fraudulent Petition by Landlords
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 4, 2018 at 9:36 am

Don't sign the landlords' petition to "amend" the rent increase limits. It is a FRAUD. If passed by voters, it would repeal all limits. And never (again) vote for the crooked politicians working for the landlords on this scam.


57 people like this
Posted by It's Only Fair
a resident of North Whisman
on May 4, 2018 at 10:06 am

I signed the initiative!!

I do not agree with the OP or the person who first posted, but everyone is entitled to their opinion.


77 people like this
Posted by Mark
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 4, 2018 at 10:33 am

I would suggest people should read the proposed changes themselves and not let these loud people tell them what to do. It is ridiculously funny to listen to people Calling something that they do not agree with, all these name's, like "Fraud".

To all of you against this, why do you not follow the same rules that you where saying 2 year's ago, like,
"we just want to get, measure V, onto the ballot so people can vote on it"

Let people read it, then let them decide what they want to do.


44 people like this
Posted by Bad petition
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 4, 2018 at 10:43 am

Fraudulent petition to kick thousands out of their apartment. Definitely don’t sign or vote on this turd


47 people like this
Posted by Kacey
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 4, 2018 at 12:01 pm

During 2016, I ran for MV city council and supported Measure V to help protect the residents from rising costs of housing and evictions. Measure V passed to help address the housing and affordability imbalance in our community and with so many families being forced out is critical to maintain to help protect the remaining existing renters. Many families, like my own, are not able to live here and the impact of special-interest groups funding measures with "tricky" ballot initiatives needs to be scrutinized or the community will lose so many more as families are forced to move out.


47 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 4, 2018 at 2:14 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to It's Only Fair you said:

“I signed the initiative!!

I do not agree with the OP or the person who first posted, but everyone is entitled to their opinion.”

Of course you did, you’re a landlord in Mountain View, I know who you are because I have observed your behavior at the City Council and the RHC. It is in your monetary interest to gut the CSFRA

In response to Mark you said:

“I would suggest people should read the proposed changes themselves and not let these loud people tell them what to do. It is ridiculously funny to listen to people Calling something that they do not agree with, all these name's, like "Fraud".”

We are not loud, but we will call misinformation and deception for what it is. Just look at the false information used on the Measure V Too Costly Website Videos:

Mike Kasperzak criticizes Measure V for not addressing homeless in Mountain View, it was not voted on to provide homes to the homeless. It was a rent stabilization policy, and it is working great. What are you doing Mr. Kasperzak for the homeless?

Margareta Abe-Koga makes numerous errors and false claims regarding the City General Fund. Claiming that the RHC budget is funded by the City Taxpayers, IT IS NOT. It is funded by fees paid by the landlords. So why should the electorate take her word?

Bryan Danforth makes the argument that the CSFRA caused problems between tenants and their landlords. Those problems existed for as much as two years before the voters took control of the situation because the City did nothing to create any improvements. This video simply doesn’t make sense.

Shari’s video simply is completely false because no homeowner that dollars are used in the CSFRA, even the loaned money paid to start it has been returned. Any cost of litigation will come from the CSFRA fund, which is funded only by Landlord fees. So this video simply is not true.

Dr. Ken Rosen simply makes conclusions where there is no economics research performed that has proven it is performed without a conflict of interest. The recent updated Conflict of Interest disclosure requirements found here (Web Link), are being ignored by these “researchers” because disclosure would invalidate their findings as a whole.

John Inks makes the claim that CSFRA is removing money from the city. What proof does he have of this? His major criticism is that the City Council has no control over it. That was done because the City Council refused to get involved to establish a resolution to the problem. They have no right to control any solution proposed by the voters.

Heather Sirk makes a false statement, CSFRA does not control the tenants screening process. It is not impossible to remove a “Problem Tenant”. Of course what is the “definition” of a problem tenant in her eyes is the most important question.

Todd Rothbard makes the argument that CSFRA will not allow landlords to remove dangerous, or offensive tenants. There is nothing in the CSFRA that does this. The fact is this video is designed to inspire fear and anger by those viewing it that is all.

Jim Claus complains that he cannot maintain or improve his property under CSFRA. That is simply untrue, except if you as a property owner depend on your tenants to make up for poor management skills. There has been ample studies that prove that rent control improves property management efficiency and as a result provides adequate returns on investments.

It would appear that these videos are simply making any argument possible to punish the citizens of Mountain View for taking the appropriate measures to correct for a serious crisis. That’s all it is.

NO ONE should support this initiative based on the above

You also said:

“To all of you against this, why do you not follow the same rules that you where saying 2 year's ago, like, "we just want to get, measure V, onto the ballot so people can vote on it"

Let people read it, then let them decide what they want to do.”

We do not say you cannot read it. Just that it is not truthful, full of ways to kill existing rights to the citizens of Mountain View. You cannot trust for profit individuals regarding political initiatives because they are always designed to benefit them financially. This is the “Ultimate Truth”


77 people like this
Posted by Disgusted
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 4, 2018 at 3:18 pm

"Mark" above is exactly right: "To all of you against this, why do you not follow the same rules that you where saying 2 year's ago, like,"we just want to get, measure V, onto the ballot so people can vote on it"

The original "Fake news" on this subject was Measure V itself. I have never had anything to do with landlording, but I have experienced rent control in other cities and the most important effects were those its advocates never own up to. Never. The disincentives for and reductions in the least-expensive rental stock. Gradual pushing out of the very people those advocates claim constantly to want to help (as higher-income renters settle in, or bribe their way in, to conveniently rent-controlled, aka below-market-rate, residences and cynically pocket the savings). For every family claiming now that rent control will let them live in MV, there's a much quieter young high-tech worker with stock options thankful for the promise of future savings.

Because the whole reason rents rise is that rental spaces are WORTH more on the market when demand is up without more supply. Rent controls do exactly the wrong thing long-term, they raise demand while also disincentivizing new supply of the same kind (anyone who has ever studied economics, or made a living in a market -- any shopkeeper -- knows this reality intimately). These incontrovertible truths are never acknowledged by rent-control advocates or by the comfortably well-off ideologically-blindered city-council types who already own their own homes and make pronouncements about what's best for other people (and will never affect themselves, one way or another).

Even during the Measure-V campaign, its opponents didn't stoop to misinformation posters and editorials trying to shoot down the effort in the petition phase. These tactics have persuaded me to seek out and sign the petition and recruit as many other citizens to do so as I can.


33 people like this
Posted by mike
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 4, 2018 at 4:00 pm


In addition to gutting the rent control aspects of measure V the proposed amendment by the landlords completely DOES AWAY WITH JUST CAUSE EVICTION
This returns us to the days when ANY FAMILY could be evicted without a specific reason so that some landlords could raise the rents as much as possible - often 10-20% or more -

Let us remember that there are many good small landlords in Mountain View for whom people come before profits. Unfortunately there are also large landlords where profits come before people.

Measure V was passed because homeowners and new renters voted for it.
HOMEOWNERS hope their children and grand children can some day live near them instead of moving to Texas. And they hope our teachers and public service workers can do the same. And NEW RENTERS hope they can pay reasonable rents that allow them to save some money to become homeowners and live near their work.

I have faith the good sense and good hearts of the residents in mountain view will not fall for this scam.


46 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 4, 2018 at 4:42 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to Disgusted you said:

“The original "Fake news" on this subject was Measure V itself. I have never had anything to do with landlording, but I have experienced rent control in other cities and the most important effects were those its advocates never own up to. Never. The disincentives for and reductions in the least-expensive rental stock. Gradual pushing out of the very people those advocates claim constantly to want to help (as higher-income renters settle in, or bribe their way in, to conveniently rent-controlled, aka below-market-rate, residences and cynically pocket the savings). For every family claiming now that rent control will let them live in MV, there's a much quieter young high-tech worker with stock options thankful for the promise of future savings.”

My response is please provide INDEPENDENT economics studies that prove your point. Mind you the economics study cannot be performed by any researcher with any conflict of interest. The definition of conflict of interest can be found here (Web Link). When one can provide a study that proves that rent control prevents good development and maintenance of apartments, not done by those whose affiliation is with private interests, funded by private interests, or approved prior to publication by private interests, then I will listen. But the study of Economics has been discovered to be tainted enough that it can be said that all previous studies without disclosure of an interest in the results, are not in fact scientifically sound. You also said:

“Because the whole reason rents rise is that rental spaces are WORTH more on the market when demand is up without more supply. Rent controls do exactly the wrong thing long-term, they raise demand while also disincentivizing new supply of the same kind (anyone who has ever studied economics, or made a living in a market -- any shopkeeper -- knows this reality intimately). These incontrovertible truths are never acknowledged by rent-control advocates or by the comfortably well-off ideologically-blindered city-council types who already own their own homes and make pronouncements about what's best for other people (and will never affect themselves, one way or another).”

There was 20+ years of law preventing rent control on new properties (Costa Hawkins), and it proved to fail in providing the necessary housing in the state of California. The “promise” made by the CAA, CAR, and others that if you prevent rent control there will be ample supply of housing is proven wrong. Whose responsibility is it? It is the CAA, CAR and others involved in passing the Costa Hawkins Act. You also said:

“Even during the Measure-V campaign, its opponents didn't stoop to misinformation posters and editorials trying to shoot down the effort in the petition phase. These tactics have persuaded me to seek out and sign the petition and recruit as many other citizens to do so as I can.”

There was plenty of stories written about tenants being intimidated by landlords regarding the petition process and the election of Measure V. The Mountain View Voice had this story (Web Link)

The simple fact was that landlords took steps to squelch rent control by threatening and evicting tenants. But you don’t want to discuss this. To me, you simply do not pay attention to the history of the situation.



51 people like this
Posted by Fraudulent Petition by Landlords
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 4, 2018 at 8:46 pm

Thanks "THE BUSINESS MAN" for listing the con men and con women in the landlords' campaign piece. They include two former city council members (John Inks and Michael Kasperzak) and current council member Margaret Abe-Koga who would RESIGN if she had any integrity (so she won't).


48 people like this
Posted by Disgusted
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 4, 2018 at 8:58 pm

Also, this Opinion piece takes the paternalistic stance of assuming, first, that Mountain View voters cannot read a petition and judge its merits for themselves, and, second, must be prevented at all costs from voting in a referendum (implying they won't be able to judge its merits then either).

This We-Know-Best attitude, with its lack of respect for the intelligence of the citizenry, is not just condescending but deeply undemocratic.


53 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on May 4, 2018 at 9:42 pm

In response to "undemocratic," how about non-residents paying for misleading ads, paid petitioners who are reported to be misleading voters, and a ballot initiative that's own language was designed to be misleading. The official "Measure V Too Costly" website doesn't even post the language to its own ballot initiative.

You have to go to the city's election department to see the full 26 pages:
Web Link

"Democratic" would be a simple ballot measure calling for the repeal of rent control. I don't mind outside donors supporting the repeal, but call it a repeal, and advocate for it on its merits, a repeal has many economic policy merits. I can't stand that some are trying to trick MV residents just to make more money. Thank you to the civic leaders who are standing up against this attack on our city's local democracy. And shame on those who won't distance themselves from these dirty tactics.


40 people like this
Posted by ex-Hooli person
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 4, 2018 at 10:26 pm

Thank you for announcing that the petitions are circulating. I'll reach out tomorrow to volunteer as a signature gatherer. I'm excited about restoring health to the stagnant housing market and making room for newcomers to our community.


50 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 5, 2018 at 12:14 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to Disgusted you said:

“Also, this Opinion piece takes the paternalistic stance of assuming, first, that Mountain View voters cannot read a petition and judge its merits for themselves, and, second, must be prevented at all costs from voting in a referendum (implying they won't be able to judge its merits then either).”

Never did I say that the citizens do not read the initiative. What I suggest is that the citizens be very skeptical regarding the impact it will have on their rights. You also said:

“This We-Know-Best attitude, with its lack of respect for the intelligence of the citizenry, is not just condescending but deeply undemocratic.”

As stated above, you are barking up the wrong tree. And we citizens have a first amendment right to share our position.

In response to ex-Hooli person you said:

“Thank you for announcing that the petitions are circulating. I'll reach out tomorrow to volunteer as a signature gatherer. I'm excited about restoring health to the stagnant housing market and making room for newcomers to our community.”

What stagnant housing market? At least when it comes to homeowners, their values have never been higher. And what in this initiative will provide more housing? Again, Costa Hawkins provides no rent control on all newer apartments than 1995. Measure V does not change that. Thus, development simply is free to make as much profit it can. So what you just said seems to not reflect reality.

Of course Costa Hawkins is slated to be on the ballot for repeal. And the current state electorate seems adamant to kill it. But that is because the CAA, CAR and others simply did not do anything but manipulate the market by purposefully not keeping up with demand. There is a conservative shortage of 1.5 million units in the state of California, some as high as 4 million. Whose responsibility is that when “supply-side economics overrides the customers’ ability to influence the market? Simple enough, the CAA, CAR and the like made their own bed, and the voters are likely to light it on fire.


42 people like this
Posted by lan
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 6, 2018 at 8:11 pm

The arguments presented by 'Measure V Too Costly' are false, and I am not going to argue why, because my focus on this posting is this -

For those who want to repeal Measure, why? What do you (those who want to repeal) see as the benefit for having 'newcomers' (ex-Hooli post) move into Mountain View, while 'old timers' need to leave because they can't pay the high rents. What is it about these 'newcomers' that is appealing and will, in your estimate, make Mountain View a better place to live?


18 people like this
Posted by ex-Hooli person
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 7, 2018 at 12:57 am

Ian, thank you, you asked a respectful question; I'll answer in kind. In the spirit of This American Life's "Red State, Blue State" episode, my goal will not be to persuade you, but rather to inform you of my beliefs and opinions without seeking to change yours.

For me, it's both a practical issue and a moral issue. Starting with the practical issue, I have known Mountain View for decades, and I miss the fruit trees and suburban elbow room. Those days are over. We have crowding and congestion. Nothing will turn back the clock. We can suffer in the "uncanny valley" or move forward with urbanization and accommodation: high-density home building, real mass transit, etc. I don't want to be in a bee hive any more than you do, but I don't think it's right to create an artificial housing crunch and force marginal folks to live in campers or commute from Tracy. As a homeowner, I benefit on paper from rising housing prices and windfall capital gains, but I don't want that. You are incorrect in claiming that I want people to leave. For anyone who wants to live here, at any income level, I want to make room and welcome them into comfortable, reasonably priced housing--new folks and long-time residents alike.

I believe that private investment is the best vehicle to create new housing. I believe that we are in the midst of such a dire housing shortage, our ambivalent pace of new construction only slows the rate at which we're falling behind. NIMBYs and rental market antagonists point to ever-rising rental prices and claim that we can never solve the problem by building housing, so let's just freeze rents for current occupants, prevent all future construction, and build a "big, beautiful wall" to exclude the foreigners. I think that's selfish and intellectually dishonest, or perhaps just naive. Prices are rising because we aren't building enough housing. That's supply and demand. Supply is constrained and demand is rising, so prices rise. To shift the curve downward, build more housing. City government officials know that their bread is buttered by resisting growth and change. Getting approval to build housing is a Sisyphean challenge even for the deep-pocketed corporations with the money and patience to survive the ordeal. Nit-picking drives up costs to exhorbitant levels and reduces density to thwart the demand-slaking effectiveness and profitability of the whole venture.

With a ballot proposition coming up to repeal Costa-Hawkins, there's no sane investor who would consider plowing capital into this dead-end California rental housing market. Costa-Hawkins was passed by an overwhelming bipartisan majority in order to give investors confidence that they could build housing in California and earn a profit. I won't invest my life savings here if there's an imminent risk that my profits will be confiscated and redistributed. The passage of Costa-Hawkins was solicited by San Francisco officials because their rent control laws had caused a complete halt in rental housing development. Costa-Hawkins was a big success in restoring investor appetite for rental housing development. The biggest obstacle is regulatory barriers and regressive land use planning (i.e. NIMBYism). I'm disappointed that Scott Wiener's housing bill recently failed; that would have been a big help.

Regarding the moral argument, I feel strongly but I see little point in discussing it.

Cheers!


37 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 7, 2018 at 1:38 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to ex-Hooli person you said:

“Ian, thank you, you asked a respectful question; I'll answer in kind. In the spirit of This American Life's "Red State, Blue State" episode, my goal will not be to persuade you, but rather to inform you of my beliefs and opinions without seeking to change yours.”

My only response is that the term beliefs causes me concern because beleifs are defined as :

“Definition of belief

1 : a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing her belief in God a belief in democracy I bought the table in the belief that it was an antique. contrary to popular belief”

This definition does not in fact make a “belief” a “fact” or “evidence” the definition goes on to say:

“2 : something that is accepted, considered to be true, or held as an opinion : something believed an individual's religious or political beliefs; especially : a tenet or body of tenets held by a group the beliefs of the Catholic Church”

I respect your opinion regarding this definition. But most importantly, your belief does not mean it is validated with evidence. So I find your own words limits the validity of your claims. Finally then there is this part of the definition:

“3 : conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence belief in the validity of scientific statements”

This is where I find the most problems. The fact is that any “scientific” study of economics presented has been done without the required conflict of interest disclosures established since 2012 found here (Web Link). So the validity of such economic “research” is highly suspect. This has been the most significant problem regarding public policy in the U.S. Allowing private interests to manipulate “science” to benefit a private interest. My only requirement is that at this time, only “public” funded research, performed by those with no association with any private interest, should be considered valid research. You also said:

“For me, it's both a practical issue and a moral issue. Starting with the practical issue, I have known Mountain View for decades, and I miss the fruit trees and suburban elbow room. Those days are over. We have crowding and congestion. Nothing will turn back the clock.”

I cannot agree with you, it will take radical redesign of the current land and roadways to achieve optimal resource allocation though. This is difficult and requires significant “modeling” and “planning” before taking rash actions. You did say:

“You are incorrect in claiming that I want people to leave. For anyone who wants to live here, at any income level, I want to make room and welcome them into comfortable, reasonably priced housing--new folks and long-time residents alike.”

However, what solution are you providing other than your claim that:

“I believe that private investment is the best vehicle to create new housing. I believe that we are in the midst of such a dire housing shortage, our ambivalent pace of new construction only slows the rate at which we're falling behind.”

Given that Costa Hawkins in effect provided the lowering of risk but preserving high return on investment. I simply claim that the government has nothing to do with your claim. If good projects were designed, and thus good resource allocation was proven, the projects would have been approved. You also said:

“NIMBYs and rental market antagonists point to ever-rising rental prices and claim that we can never solve the problem by building housing, so let's just freeze rents for current occupants, prevent all future construction, and build a "big, beautiful wall" to exclude the foreigners.”

The current situation is proof that your “belief” has been based on false pretenses. I know it is difficult to accept responsibility when one “games” the market, then causes the market to fail to provide services, and then has been required to take responsibility for it. You also said:

“I think that's selfish and intellectually dishonest, or perhaps just naive. Prices are rising because we aren't building enough housing. That's supply and demand. Supply is constrained and demand is rising, so prices rise. To shift the curve downward, build more housing. City government officials know that their bread is buttered by resisting growth and change. Getting approval to build housing is a Sisyphean challenge even for the deep-pocketed corporations with the money and patience to survive the ordeal. Nit-picking drives up costs to exhorbitant levels and reduces density to thwart the demand-slaking effectiveness and profitability of the whole venture.”

I cannot agree with this because careful plans prevent unplanned consequences of rash decisions. One should carefully think before they act. You also said:

“With a ballot proposition coming up to repeal Costa-Hawkins, there's no sane investor who would consider plowing capital into this dead-end California rental housing market. Costa-Hawkins was passed by an overwhelming bipartisan majority in order to give investors confidence that they could build housing in California and earn a profit.”

But they did not provide from as small as 1.5 million to as high as 4 million apartment units the state is lacking. The CAA, CAR, and the like had 20+ years to prove that “Supply-side” economics solves the market problems. It failed. You went on to say:

“I won't invest my life savings here if there's an imminent risk that my profits will be confiscated and redistributed.”

We do not believe in forcing anyone to do anything. You have the right not to invest. But the “market” can and will eventually find others that will invest. “You” are not specifically needed to be a part of this market. “You” can choose simply not to participate. You went on to say:

“The passage of Costa-Hawkins was solicited by San Francisco officials because their rent control laws had caused a complete halt in rental housing development. Costa-Hawkins was a big success in restoring investor appetite for rental housing development.”

Again, that claim has been proven to be a failure. What did occur is that only “luxury” housing investments were made, those too high to satisfy the market, thus resulting in the 1.5 or 4 million unit deficit we have in California. You also said:

“The biggest obstacle is regulatory barriers and regressive land use planning (i.e. NIMBYism). I'm disappointed that Scott Wiener's housing bill recently failed; that would have been a big help.”

You propose that the local government should be prevented from assessing projects and the impact it would have on their community. That was the essence of the Weiner proposal. You went on to say:

“Regarding the moral argument, I feel strongly but I see little point in discussing it.”

I respect your feelings, but I cannot agree with them.


59 people like this
Posted by Love to eat fish
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 7, 2018 at 3:33 pm

Had to scroll down through a lot of text posted by our resident graphomaniac... I moved in MV in 2001, salmon was about $4 per pound. Fast forward to 2018, salmon price more than doubled. I think we need to put measure 'S' on the ballot to stabilize salmon prices.


32 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 7, 2018 at 8:46 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to Love to eat fish you said:

“Had to scroll down through a lot of text posted by our resident graphomaniac...”

Thanks for the diagnosis, it is defined as (Web Link):

Graphomania (from Greek γραφειν — writing,[1] and μανία — insanity), also known as scribomania, refers to an obsessive impulse to write.[2][3] When used in a specific psychiatric context, it labels a morbid mental condition which results in writing rambling and confused statements, often degenerating into a meaningless succession of words or even nonsense and called then graphorrhea[4] (cf. hypergraphia). The term 'graphomania' was used in the early 19th century by Esquirol and later by Eugen Bleuler, becoming more or less common.[5] Graphomania is near condition to typomania - obsessiveness with seeing one's name in publication or with writing for being published, excessive symbolism or typology.[6]”

If you are going to make such a diagnosis, are you a Psychologist or Psychiatrist? Do you have evidence that my comments are “writing rambling and confused statements, often degenerating into a meaningless succession of words or even nonsense and called then graphorrhea”? Please present proof of it, and I will take steps to get help. The definition also states:

“Outside the psychiatric definitions of graphomania and related conditions, the word is used more broadly to label the urge and need to write excessively, professionally or not. Max Nordau, in his attack of what he saw as degenerate art, frequently used the term 'graphomania' to label the production of the artists he condemned (most notably Richard Wagner[7] or the French symbolist poets [7])”

I am not compelled or obsessed with writing. But I do write when there are those that want to misinform the public. That is a clear difference. My writings are not art, but they are typically “focused” on the actual words expressed by those wanting to deceive the public. Notice I address the statements made on the Mountain View Voice directly citing the language directly. Please provide proof that my reasoning expressed are “not-realistic” please? The definition goes on to say:

“Milan Kundera explains proliferation of non-professional writing as follows:

"Graphomania inevitably takes on epidemic proportions when a society develops to the point of creating three basic conditions:

An elevated level of general well-being, which allows people to devote themselves to useless activities;

A high degree of social atomization and, as a consequence, a general isolation of individuals;

The absence of dramatic social changes in the nation's internal life. (From this point of view, it seems to me symptomatic that in France, where practically nothing happens, the percentage of writers is twenty-one times higher than in Israel)."

— Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, 1978”

The truth is we are not living in an elevated level of well-being. The tenants live in effect “terror” because they are exploited by landlords. The Mountain View Tenants Coalition simply is an example that we are not living in isolation, we are a sharing community that works to protect the citizens of Mountain View. Mountain View is experiencing radical changes, we clearly are living in the Chinese curse stating “May you live in interesting times” It would appear to contradict the conditions that were described here. You finally went on to say:

“I moved in MV in 2001, salmon was about $4 per pound. Fast forward to 2018, salmon price more than doubled. I think we need to put measure 'S' on the ballot to stabilize salmon prices.”

I will support your initiative believe it or not. Simply put, market exploitation must be reined in, and if you can demonstrate that salmon is being artificially raise in price due to legal manipulation like Costa Hawkins, and market manipulation by strategic reduction in “supply-side” economics, I am on your side and we should work together.

Thank you for your help


42 people like this
Posted by lan
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 7, 2018 at 8:58 pm

Ex-Hooli and The Business Man -

Quite lengthy responses. But I would like to ask you both to consider the following task -

If Prop V were repealed, two of my neighbors would be impacted. One neighbor teaches in a special education classroom, and the other runs her own house cleaning business for Mountain View residents.

In two to three sentences, what would you tell each of these individuals why they, as "old timers", are not as valued as "newcomers"?

What would you tell the kids in the special education classroom why their beloved teacher, an "old timer", had to leave so that her home could be rented to someone wealthier?

What would you tell the Mountain View residents who hired my neighbor the housecleaner, why after over 8 years they need to find someone new to trust to provide this valued service?




7 people like this
Posted by ex-Hooli person
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 8, 2018 at 1:24 am

Ian, I offered my point of view as you requested. The loaded question in your "task" suggests that you missed the gist of what I was saying, and that this is about landing cheap shots rather than exchanging ideas. Goodbye.


17 people like this
Posted by Howard
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 8, 2018 at 4:41 am

Howard is a registered user.

I love it! Fraud, deception, "he's a liar", "she's a liar" and fake news!!

Most everyone posting on here has forgotten what their even fighting for...AFFORDABLE HOUSING.
Rather than work together, you all want to take the fight around the corner and away from the real problem?

First of all, rent control won't work because when you run out of other people's money(Landlords) to subsidise it you'll have less housing and more expensive housing. The only people helped here were the ones that got their rent lowered in the beginning. The rest of them won't be able to find housing in a ever shrinking and more expensive rental market. Look at the history of rent controlled cities like San Francisco and Berkeley to mention a few. Did that get fixed??

The solution here is to work with Landlords, investors and developers and not to destroy their businesses so they want to reinvest more not less and for the City of Mountain View to approve high density housing with improved transportation.

Private money is necessary to fix this and if the voters want to do so, repeal measure V all together and put proper ballot initiatives on the ballot to address the real problem. Otherwise, take the fight around the corner and when your all done and the housing problem is worse you can all say, "what were we fighting about anyway".


36 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 8, 2018 at 5:01 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to Howard you said:

“I love it! Fraud, deception, "he's a liar", "she's a liar" and fake news!!”

Trumpian, or is it Orwellian arguments. The problem we have is that we live in 1984 where those who want to destroy the value of our “language” or “communication” just when the “communication” age is maturing. You also said:

“Most everyone posting on here has forgotten what their even fighting for...AFFORDABLE HOUSING.”

Not true, it is just that the method of achieving it is up in the air, you also said:

“Rather than work together, you all want to take the fight around the corner and away from the real problem?”

Yes, the real problem was that for 20+ years of “supply-side” economics in housing has resulted in a defect somewhere between 1.5 to 4 million affordable housing units, instead the “supply-side” developers built “luxury” or “premium” housing, and has refused to develop affordable housing without extorting from the public. You also said:

“First of all, rent control won't work because when you run out of other people's money(Landlords) to subsidise it you'll have less housing and more expensive housing. The only people helped here were the ones that got their rent lowered in the beginning. The rest of them won't be able to find housing in a ever shrinking and more expensive rental market. Look at the history of rent controlled cities like San Francisco and Berkeley to mention a few. Did that get fixed?? “

Given that Costa Hawkins and the Ellis Acts stunted the public rent controls, provided a means of “supply-side” controls so that there was a designed lack of housing by the private sector. The only ones to blame are the “supply-side” private interests because they manipulated the market to such an extreme that when Costa Hawkins gets repealed, it will force a significant market value correction because these properties are the remnants of the bubble of 2007 that caused the financial crisis. You went on to say:

“The solution here is to work with Landlords, investors and developers and not to destroy their businesses so they want to reinvest more not less and for the City of Mountain View to approve high density housing with improved transportation. “

The market will never be “destroyed”, however, the natural selection process where those that are “unfit” will not survive. Others will take their place, we do not need any particular company or person to provide housing. We cannot afford to be extorted by the landlords, investors and developers to give them gifts to do what should have been happening ever since Costa Hawkins and Ellis Acts. There is no rent control on the vast majority of the market, so there is no excuse not to provide housing. Of course that is what the “Trumpian” or Orwellian” interests do not want you to know. You also said:

“Private money is necessary to fix this and if the voters want to do so, repeal measure V all together and put proper ballot initiatives on the ballot to address the real problem. Otherwise, take the fight around the corner and when your all done and the housing problem is worse you can all say, "what were we fighting about anyway".”

Private money simply is not any solution. The 20+ years of Costa Hawkins has proven this to be fact. There was almost a guaranty that landlords, investors and developers would have strong return on investment will disproportionately low risk of failure. Now that the evidence is being discussed about this, the landlords, investors and developers are being made ACCOUNTABLE for their FAILURE. The government should use their bargaining power to create non-profit housing alternatives to directly compete with the private sector. Thus forcing the private sector to become more efficient, and reduce the market manipulation that put us in this place we are today

As Lt. Olivia Benson would ask “How did we get here?”

I answered that question.


12 people like this
Posted by Howard
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 8, 2018 at 7:57 am

Howard is a registered user.

Businessman,

Your answer to this is emotional and lacks business sense or economics. This is typical of the liberal mindset that if someone else has it, I want it, or i'll just break all the toys and go home!

You believe that if someone is taking advantage of a market because of a lack of supply then the answer is to destroy it? How about let the market correct itself.

If it's so lucrative to own Real Estate then Everyone and their brother is going to run over there and buy everything up and developers are going to build hundreds and thousands of units to get in on it, right?
So, why do you want to make it a bad investment and cause the current landlords to be accountable for their failure? Isn't that failure going to be the tenants failure too when these properties are in disrepair, boarded up and torn down?

I think the problem with the "have nots" mentality is that you don't understand the true cost of owning Real Estate and "Operating costs" associated with it don't really exist in your world.
You probably think the landlord takes that hunk of cash on the 5th of every month, puts into his pocket and plays the horses with it or buys his girlfriend a new bigger diamond ring.


23 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 8, 2018 at 8:41 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to Howard you said:

“Your answer to this is emotional and lacks business sense or economics. This is typical of the liberal mindset that if someone else has it, I want it, or i'll just break all the toys and go home!”

If you can provide any economics research that has been done without any “conflict of interest” regarding rent control, for example not funded by the landlords, investors and developers, or performed by any researchers with ties to the landlords, investors and developers, or any political or personal interests associated with the landlords, investors and developers, I will be very happy to listen. But the fact is that rent control research has been tainted because no research includes the disclosures required by the American Economists Association described here (Web Link). No researcher since the required change after 2012 has made such disclosures to the public, so any research must be assumed to be under the influence of private interests. You also said:

“You believe that if someone is taking advantage of a market because of a lack of supply then the answer is to destroy it? How about let the market correct itself. “

That is exactly what I propose, but that means that the “supply-side” legal protections must be removed. That is because a free market has equal power regarding “supply-side” and “demand-side”. But the current market has no customer power on the “demand-side”, it must be corrected. You also said:

“If it's so lucrative to own Real Estate then Everyone and their brother is going to run over there and buy everything up and developers are going to build hundreds and thousands of units to get in on it, right?”

You know that there 2 major forces on the market as defined in porters 5 forces model of markets(Web Link). They are :

“Threat of Substitution. This refers to the likelihood of your customers finding a different way of doing what you do. For example, if you supply a unique software product that automates an important process, people may substitute it by doing the process manually or by outsourcing it. A substitution that is easy and cheap to make can weaken your position and threaten your profitability.”

In this case there is little threat of substitution based on “supply-side” laws that give the power over competitive control to only those that are already in the market. At the same time there is:

“Threat of New Entry. Your position can be affected by people's ability to enter your market. So, think about how easily this could be done. How easy is it to get a foothold in your industry or market? How much would it cost, and how tightly is your sector regulated?

If it takes little money and effort to enter your market and compete effectively, or if you have little protection for your key technologies, then rivals can quickly enter your market and weaken your position. If you have strong and durable barriers to entry, then you can preserve a favorable position and take fair advantage of it.”

The Costa Hawkins and Ellis Acts were designed to prevent much new entry by providing that current “supply-side” members had a competitive advantage under the laws. If your going to try to discuss business, you should be more understanding of how it works. You also said:

“So, why do you want to make it a bad investment and cause the current landlords to be accountable for their failure? Isn't that failure going to be the tenants failure too when these properties are in disrepair, boarded up and torn down?”

I simply want a market “correction”. The fact is that these properties have had unfair competition because of the Costa Hawkins and Ellis Acts. Once the correction has worked its way, I am certain that the affordability of apartments will be much better. Why are you opposed to the accountability of the current landlords? Is it because you also know that this situation has gone under such market manipulation, that you will defend it. You also said:

“I think the problem with the "have nots" mentality is that you don't understand the true cost of owning Real Estate and "Operating costs" associated with it don't really exist in your world.”

That seems to be an emotional statement. If you look at the respectful business reasoning I provided above, you know I am not talking emotionally. Of course those costs exists, but the “investors” chose to take on those costs voluntarily by entering the market. If they were not aware of those issues, then someone did not do their homework. I simply point out that no one should be protected from the “risks” of any investment where it increases potential return on investment. In effect, no one is entitled to a higher rate of return with a disproportionately low risk of failure. You said:

“You probably think the landlord takes that hunk of cash on the 5th of every month, puts into his pocket and plays the horses with it or buys his girlfriend a new bigger diamond ring.”

Your statement content speaks for itself. What can anyone say about it?


3 people like this
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 8, 2018 at 9:31 am

@Howard

"How about let the market correct itself."

The housing market in California, and especially in areas with high concentrations of jobs, is subject to a mix of extremely strict low density zoning, NIMBYism, and Prop 13 shielding owners from the affects of such things (if not outright financial incentivizing such behavior since it means higher properties for them) that the market can't correct. Homeowners face no market pressure from higher prices, and have way too much control over what gets built for others vs what there's market demand for.

Given all of this, the market can't fix it. Until these issues are fixed, there's every reason to insert rent control right alongside Prop 13. When housing ordinances go under a regional planning authority or we eliminate Prop 13, then I could see rent control going away. Until then, renters need some protection too.


12 people like this
Posted by Howard
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 8, 2018 at 9:40 am

Howard is a registered user.

Businessman,

You stated: "The Costa Hawkins and Ellis Acts were designed to prevent much new entry by providing that current “supply-side” members had a competitive advantage under the laws. If your going to try to discuss business, you should be more understanding of how it works."

Businessman, It appears you need to understand what Costa Hawkins is and why it was implemented in the first place. It was put into place to PROTECT NEW CONSTRUCTION FROM RENT CONTROL. Without it, California would of never saw another apartment building built with private money! If it's repealed, you'll never see another 2 by 4 or bag of cement going down El camino. Home Depot can close their doors!
Your backwards economics may apply on the planet Vulcanis(Spocks planet) but makes no sense on Earth!

Your answer to my question was not an answer?


Once again, "If it's so lucrative to own Real Estate then Everyone and their brother is going to run over there and buy everything up and developers are going to build hundreds and thousands of units to get in on it, right?"
Your answer to my question was not an answer it was some gibberish about economics that don't apply.

You said:
"You know that there 2 major forces on the market as defined in porters 5 forces model of markets."
They are :"Threat of New Entry" and "Threat of Substitution".

Well theres plenty of investment capital in the bay area to invest in lucrative markets especially a market that has such protections as you state. Investment Capital will always run to the most profitable markets. The tenants don't need to buy, let the rich capitalists do it and you'll see supply and demand in action! The market will correct and all your tenants will enjoy affordable housing again.
BUT No, you want to make it a bad investment instead because you wanna get those rich landlords. Like I said, break everyone's toys and go home, Businessman.


3 people like this
Posted by Howard
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 8, 2018 at 9:42 am

Howard is a registered user.

Yimby,
If that were true, there would be no New York City!


5 people like this
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 8, 2018 at 9:48 am

@Howard

NY has some semblance of a sane property tax system vs our Prop 13, and much of it was densely built before a wave of NIMBY zoning ordinances started to take hold across the country in the 70s.


3 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 8, 2018 at 10:11 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to Howard you said:

“Businessman, It appears you need to understand what Costa Hawkins is and why it was implemented in the first place. It was put into place to PROTECT NEW CONSTRUCTION FROM RENT CONTROL. Without it, California would of never saw another apartment building built with private money! If it's repealed, you'll never see another 2 by 4 or bag of cement going down El camino. Home Depot can close their doors!”

Again, please explain to us why this is our reality:

Yes, the real problem was that for 20+ years of “supply-side” economics in housing has resulted in a defect somewhere between 1.5 to 4 million affordable housing units, instead the “supply-side” developers built “luxury” or “premium” housing, and has refused to develop affordable housing without extorting from the public. You also said:

“Your backwards economics may apply on the planet Vulcanis(Spocks planet) but makes no sense on Earth!”

Please explain this statement? It seems to only be a conclusion with no evidence or logic in itself. I at least explain my reasoning using objective information. You simply want to drown out conflicting information from the public. You also said:

“Your answer to my question was not an answer?”

I will simply respectfully disagree with this “evaluation”, let the citizens of Mountain View make up their minds. You also said:

“Once again, "If it's so lucrative to own Real Estate then Everyone and their brother is going to run over there and buy everything up and developers are going to build hundreds and thousands of units to get in on it, right?"”

No, your logic is flawed because the industry “cherry picks” the market it wants to satisfy. Thus you have a market segment that sees no investment in it at all. This is the “flaw” in the private investment is the only solution approach. I hope that when Costa Hawkins is repealed, that communities will use public funds to create public projects exclusive of private investment. There are more funds available when the legislation can force fees on the private sector for failure to provide housing, and then use that resource to compete with the private sector in markets the private sector simply ignores. You also said:

“Your answer to my question was not an answer it was some gibberish about economics that don't apply.”

That is your opinion, and I respect it. But the public should be free to learn what I understand having 2 Business Degrees from San Jose State University, ironically the same University that Tom Means teaches Economics in. Since I got A’s in my economics studies there, it would appear that I have some competence in the subject. My father was a Doctorate of Chemistry, I worked with him on projects with NASA, EPA, DOD, MIT Lincoln Labs, and the Harvard School of Public Health. What accredited education do you have, please I really want to know? You also said:

"You know that there 2 major forces on the market as defined in porters 5 forces model of markets."

They are :"Threat of New Entry" and "Threat of Substitution".

Well theres plenty of investment capital in the bay area to invest in lucrative markets especially a market that has such protections as you state. Investment Capital will always run to the most profitable markets. The tenants don't need to buy, let the rich capitalists do it and you'll see supply and demand in action! The market will correct and all your tenants will enjoy affordable housing again.

BUT No, you want to make it a bad investment instead because you wanna get those rich landlords. Like I said, break everyone's toys and go home, Businessman.”

Again given that:

Yes, the real problem was that for 20+ years of “supply-side” economics in housing has resulted in a defect somewhere between 1.5 to 4 million affordable housing units, instead the “supply-side” developers built “luxury” or “premium” housing, and has refused to develop affordable housing without extorting from the public. The reality seems to disagree with you.


5 people like this
Posted by Howard
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 8, 2018 at 10:35 am

Howard is a registered user.

Businessman,
You said:
"What accredited education do you have, please I really want to know?"

Think of me as Rodney Dangerfield in Back to School!
Always had the best parties and did a little Marine Biology in the Jacuzzi on a regular basis myself and yes, I pulled off an engineering degree from SJSU.
I received my PhD from the school of hard knocks and now, I'm a businessman, in the real world.


5 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 8, 2018 at 11:30 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to Howard you said:

“Think of me as Rodney Dangerfield in Back to School!

Always had the best parties and did a little Marine Biology in the Jacuzzi on a regular basis myself and yes, I pulled off an engineering degree from SJSU.

I received my PhD from the school of hard knocks and now, I'm a businessman, in the real world.”

Let me explain it to you in simpler terms:

Say the gas stations in a state only offer 93+ octane gas at that price.

And the people driving cannot afford that gas in the state, you wind up with hundreds of cars on the road out of gas, getting emergency gas from the cities and towns.

Eventually, either the cities and towns will charge a fee to the gas stations for providing emergency fuel to the public, they will open new gas stations offering cheaper gasoline, thus reducing the sales of the gasoline at the original stations, or that the public will simply leave taking their skills and abilities somewhere else, leaving a resource drain in the state.

That is exactly what happened in California regarding landlords, investors and developers. In any case, the lack of providing more varied housing options is a dangerous if not worse problem.

You simply do not address how the private landlords, investors or developers will solve the problem. You avoid that topic because it is extremely toxic. Until the landlords, investors or developers correct the deficit of 1.5 or 4 million units, they only have themselves to blame for the problem. Since they were “in the driver’s seat” regarding the last 20+ years. They promised that the market under their control would provide ample inventory, but failed miserably.

So can you please explain why the public cannot throw the landlords, investors and developers under the proverbial bus for the crisis they created?

Do you understand now?


5 people like this
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 8, 2018 at 3:18 pm

@BusinessMan

You keep using the term "affordable housing" in a way that suggests you don't mean subsidized housing. That developers are only building "luxury" housing and not "affordable" housing. Can you elaborate on what you think "affordable" housing is, and what makes it different from "luxury" housing besides the implied price difference?


3 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 8, 2018 at 4:04 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to YIMBY yous said:

“You keep using the term "affordable housing" in a way that suggests you don't mean subsidized housing. That developers are only building "luxury" housing and not "affordable" housing. Can you elaborate on what you think "affordable" housing is, and what makes it different from "luxury" housing besides the implied price difference?”

I really appreciate the question, I don’t claim to know everything, but I know how to ask that kind of question. This may be enlightening. I looked at the Association of Bay Area Governments and this is what I found:

The San Francisco Bay area Housing statistics (Web Link) look like this

The Total Bay Area the results are indicates that there is a documented need for 48,840 for Very low income housing which is defined as 0-50% Average Median Income, but there are reported 14,251 permits which means that only 29% satisfaction is achieved. There are 35,102 need for Low Income housing which is defined as 50-80% Area Median Income, but there are only 9,182 permits reported or 26% satisfaction. The needs for Moderate Income are 41,316 which is based on 80-120% Area Median Income, there are 11,732 permits or only 28% satisfaction. The last information is for the needs of Above Moderate Income which comes to 89,242,that income is based on 120%and above Area Median Income but there are 87,933 permits or a whopping 99% needs satisfaction.

Santa Clara indicates that there is a documented need for 13,878 for Very low income housing which is defined as 0-50% Average Median Income, but there are reported 3,789 permits which means that only 28% satisfaction is achieved. There are 9,567 need for Low Income housing which is defined as 50-80% Area Median Income, but there are only 2,692permits reported or 28% satisfaction. The needs for Moderate Income are 11,007 which is based on 80-120% Area Median Income, there are 2,371 permits or only 22% satisfaction. The last information is for the needs of Above Moderate Income which comes to 25,886,that income is based on 120%and above Area Median Income but there are 35,962 permits or a whopping 139% needs satisfaction.

The Mountain View the results are indicates that there is a documented need for 571 for Very low income housing which is defined as 0-50% Average Median Income, but there are reported 237 permits which means that only 42% satisfaction is achieved. There are 388 need for Low Income housing which is defined as 50-80% Area Median Income, but there are only 28 permits reported or 7% satisfaction. The needs for Moderate Income are 488 which is based on 80-120% Area Median Income, there are 4 permits or only 1% satisfaction. The last information is for the needs of Above Moderate Income which comes to 1,152,that income is based on 120%and above Area Median Income but there are 2,387 permits or a whopping 207% needs satisfaction.

If this doesn’t satisfy that the private sector simply disregards a large number of people simply based on their income, what else are you looking for.

This seems to be a good demonstration of what I discussed above.


7 people like this
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 8, 2018 at 6:38 pm

Sure, but that's all about what the unit costs. On an open market, how does someone build affordable housing? Specifically, in a supply-strained housing market such as this. If you want a studio around here, you're going to pay well over 2000 a month for it. Is that because it's a luxury studio, or is it because there's so little supply that, for any new unit that comes onto the market, aside from people in low-income brackets that would love to have it, there are numerous people in higher income brackets clamoring for whatever they can get and willing to throw money at it to get it?

This is why there are bunk beds in SF going for $800 a month. This is why there are bedrooms in shared apartments going for $1300 a month (or even $2500 if you're in SF).

When someone is willing to pay $800 to rent a bunk bed, how do you build an apartment in that market that's affordable to lower income brackets without using taxes to subsidize it for them?


10 people like this
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 8, 2018 at 7:55 pm

The point being, you can't build affordable housing directly in a market so supply constrained that any hovel is beset upon by massive numbers of people trying to eek out a space here, wherein the person willing to throw the most money at it gets it. Unless you specifically build it intending to sell it at a below market rate, or use tax dollars to subsidize it, then it's going to cost whatever people are willing to pay for it.

To actually make housing affordable, you don't make "affordable" units, because that doesn't actually exist in this market. You make enough units such that the demand and competition starts to spread out. Eventually enough of the demand is soaked up that the remaining supply needs to have the rent lowered if it's going to attract any renters. For the income brackets that the market can't reach, you use subsidized housing.


3 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 8, 2018 at 8:37 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to YIMBY you said:

“Sure, but that's all about what the unit costs. On an open market, how does someone build affordable housing? Specifically, in a supply-strained housing market such as this. If you want a studio around here, you're going to pay well over 2000 a month for it. Is that because it's a luxury studio, or is it because there's so little supply that, for any new unit that comes onto the market, aside from people in low-income brackets that would love to have it, there are numerous people in higher income brackets clamoring for whatever they can get and willing to throw money at it to get it? “

If the private sector does not build affordable housing, then let the public sector build non-profit housing projects, taking funds from the private sector because they refuse to build them. Simple enough, no cost to tax payers because it is funded by private landlord, investor and developer funds. You also said:

“The point being, you can't build affordable housing directly in a market so supply constrained that any hovel is beset upon by massive numbers of people trying to eek out a space here, wherein the person willing to throw the most money at it gets it. Unless you specifically build it intending to sell it at a below market rate, or use tax dollars to subsidize it, then it's going to cost whatever people are willing to pay for it.”

Use emanate domain to take land for the public non-profit use, and only pay for the land value because the building will be destroyed for a new design. Again, use the fees charged to private landlords, investors and developers to pay for it. You also said:

“To actually make housing affordable, you don't make "affordable" units, because that doesn't actually exist in this market. You make enough units such that the demand and competition starts to spread out. Eventually enough of the demand is soaked up that the remaining supply needs to have the rent lowered if it's going to attract any renters. For the income brackets that the market can't reach, you use subsidized housing.”

Yes, let’s use fees charged to private landlords, investors and developers to build public non-profit housing. Because the private landlords, investors, and developers caused the problem due to the “supply-side” control. No subsidies for any private landlords, investors or developers because they are responsible for the housing crisis.

Simple enough.


7 people like this
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 8, 2018 at 9:53 pm

"Because the private landlords, investors, and developers caused the problem due to the “supply-side” control. No subsidies for any private landlords, investors or developers because they are responsible for the housing crisis."

What makes you think developers are the ones constraining supply? Do you believe that developers are holding back on the number of units that they could build?


3 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 8, 2018 at 10:33 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

YIMBY,

The answer is YES. I almost am certain that the private landlords, investors and developers are holding back to inflate the values of existing stock. It is the SAFEST strategy to increase ROI.

This is market manipulation. It has been used in as many markets as you can shake a stick at.


6 people like this
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 8, 2018 at 10:38 pm

I appreciate that you are not shy about diving into hard data and reports, so I'd invite you to read this (especially the section Why DO Coastal Areas Not Build Enough Housing?)



Web Link


3 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 8, 2018 at 11:09 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

YIMBY,

Here is some evidence of Real Estate Market Manipulation

Web Link

Look at history:

Web Link

and:

Web Link

And:

Web Link



8 people like this
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 8, 2018 at 11:21 pm

Sure, and I'm not saying that such manipulation does not occur. But one of the main conclusions of that report I posted, which lines up with many others as well as what I'm seeing anecdotally, is that restrictive zoning ordinances mandating low density construction, massive pressure from local homeowners against new development (how many times have you seen people on here complain about building heights?), and anti-growthers throwing legal wrenches into proposed developments in the form of bad faith CEQA lawsuits in an attempt to delay projects until they stop, is what's causing the shortage.

That's one reason why SB 827 was mandating higher zoning heights around mass transit. Because cities were zoning so low and preventing tall, dense, multi-unit construction, even around mass transit, because local homeowners didn't want anything tall getting built.


3 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 8, 2018 at 11:37 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

YIMBY,

That report did not disclose if there was any “Conflict of Interests” by the authors.

In fact the California Building Industry Association was a contributing group who worked on the report. This group is a lobbying group regarding the private landlord, investment and development as seen here (Web Link )

If you read this part of their webpage (Web Link ) you will see their motives are to manipulate the public policies for the benefit of their own membership.

Also there was the found here (Web Link)

Without the disclosure defined by the American Economist association found here (Web Link ) one must not provide much credit regarding this analysis. In fact the reality is that the state of California allowed itself to invest largely in the housing market, and when it fell in 2007 it lost a great deal of funds in pensions and other instruments. So the state of California has a “invested” interest in allowing continuing manipulation on real estate values.

The people should simply be skeptical regarding any governmental study which allows private interests to contribute or worse craft the information being discussed.

All I want is good "pure" investigation done solely by public research performed by independent analysts. If you can provide such research, I want to read it.

This report reminds me of 1984 and the "ministry of truth"


9 people like this
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 9, 2018 at 2:09 am

But you're suggesting that developers are not only colluding to not build more developments, but also funding studies that conclude that the housing crisis is caused by developers being prevented from developing, in order to throw people off the trail of the real problem (developers not wanting to build).

That seems a bit convoluted though. Time and time again, even on this board, we see proposed developments hit major roadblocks as the city council and residents demand fewer stories and fewer people, and eventually the proposed developments are reduced in scope to fit the complaints. It would very much seem that developers are indeed trying to build, and build tall, and having to pair down their plans to satisfy the council and residents. This is happening throughout the country in almost every major metro area currently, where attempts to densify urban areas hit major roadblocks due to local homeowners organizing against such developments.

Web Link
Take Seattle, for example.


3 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 9, 2018 at 6:48 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to YIMBY you said:

“But you're suggesting that developers are not only colluding to not build more developments, but also funding studies that conclude that the housing crisis is caused by developers being prevented from developing, in order to throw people off the trail of the real problem (developers not wanting to build).”

In effect, YES. When you have this situation where “supply-side” economics is in control, every kind of trick that provides the false impression that the “government” gets in the way of the solution is the tried and true approach. This was the game played by the Reagan administration propaganda machine. You also said:

“That seems a bit convoluted though. Time and time again, even on this board, we see proposed developments hit major roadblocks as the city council and residents demand fewer stories and fewer people, and eventually the proposed developments are reduced in scope to fit the complaints. It would very much seem that developers are indeed trying to build, and build tall, and having to pair down their plans to satisfy the council and residents. This is happening throughout the country in almost every major metro area currently, where attempts to densify urban areas hit major roadblocks due to local homeowners organizing against such developments. “

Actually, the developers propose plans they know will not work in the locations being proposed. Things like not enough parking, local roadway traffic constraints and other operational issues that would result in significant problems for the existing residents. These groups know how to make it appear that it is everyone else’s fault for the failures of a project.

Take for instance that a new proposed project in the works last night at the City Council meeting is going to result in 60+ less parking resources for those already living in the area. Where are the cars going to go?
Why are plans being approved with the premise that only one parking slot per unit are being allocated whether its is a studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, etc. Reality proves that the number of parking is dependent on that fact that the number of workers in a particular unit. So a studio can have 2 workers living in it.

So developers are taking advantage of their expertise to promote projects that are not likely to be successful in the given locations based on well known constraints. The Citizens of Mountain View have the right to be aware of it.


13 people like this
Posted by Howard
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 9, 2018 at 8:28 am

Howard is a registered user.

Businessman,

You said:
"Say the gas stations in a state only offer 93+ octane gas at that price.

And the people driving cannot afford that gas in the state, you wind up with hundreds of cars on the road out of gas, getting emergency gas from the cities and towns.

Eventually, either the cities and towns will charge a fee to the gas stations for providing emergency fuel to the public, they will open new gas stations offering cheaper gasoline, thus reducing the sales of the gasoline at the original stations, or that the public will simply leave taking their skills and abilities somewhere else, leaving a resource drain in the state.

That is exactly what happened in California regarding landlords, investors and developers. In any case, the lack of providing more varied housing options is a dangerous if not worse problem."

Businessman, what your lacking in your analogy is that this happened over 30 years and the community had time to adjust to this as a problem so it wasn't a crisis.
This was the responsibility of the community, people like you and not a specific problem for landlords to solve.

Also, California did adjust to the cost of gas over those 30 years by subsidising car manufacturers that build alternative fuel vehicles. Tesla is a great example of that. The community responded to this problem before it became a crisis and solved it as a community.

Stop looking to your landlord to be your daddy and take responsibility for your own needs and that of the community.

Your landlord isn't supposed to subsidise your housing!!


13 people like this
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 9, 2018 at 9:58 am

BusinessMan, you're essentially claiming a complex conspiracy is occurring that, again, seems incredibly convoluted. Now developers are not only funding studies suggesting that housing costs are rising because of lack of development due to zoning restrictions and community pushback (but in reality it's a smokescreen around them not wanting to develop), but are also intentionally proposing developments that ... run into zoning restrictions and community pushback ... but it's all intentional so the developers won't have to build it?

Occam's Razor says the issue is simply restrictive zoning and community pushback.


5 people like this
Posted by thnaks for dialog
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 9, 2018 at 10:15 am

YIMBY and The Business Man. thanks - TBM, these postings can get long, but, if YIMBY and you are good about posting real-data links (like the LAO, California's Legislative Analyst Office), so much the better for informed civic engagement


3 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 9, 2018 at 4:09 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to Howard you said:

“Businessman, what your lacking in your analogy is that this happened over 30 years and the community had time to adjust to this as a problem so it wasn't a crisis.”

If it isn’t a crisis, why did the City Council state it was in October 2015. I think you do not pay attention to the recent history. You also said:

“This was the responsibility of the community, people like you and not a specific problem for landlords to solve.”

Not when Costa Hakins legislation was passed based on promises that the private landlords, investors and developers claimed that preventing rent control would provide them with the resources to provide adequate housing. You also said:

“Also, California did adjust to the cost of gas over those 30 years by subsidising car manufacturers that build alternative fuel vehicles. Tesla is a great example of that. The community responded to this problem before it became a crisis and solved it as a community.”

That would only work if the “alternatives “ of the 93+ octane gas is sufficient enough to cause enough reduction of dependency on gasoline. What you are trying to do is distract the public from the manipulation of the apartment market. You also said:

“Stop looking to your landlord to be your daddy and take responsibility for your own needs and that of the community.”

Not when the private landlords, investors, and developers have used the Citizens of Mountain View like they have. You also said:

“Your landlord isn't supposed to subsidise your housing!!”

Collective Bargaining via Public Policy is our right. If you want to play in the park, you have to follow the rules. Simple enough.


3 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 9, 2018 at 4:24 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to YIMBY you said:

“BusinessMan, you're essentially claiming a complex conspiracy is occurring that, again, seems incredibly convoluted. Now developers are not only funding studies suggesting that housing costs are rising because of lack of development due to zoning restrictions and community pushback (but in reality it's a smokescreen around them not wanting to develop), but are also intentionally proposing developments that ... run into zoning restrictions and community pushback ... but it's all intentional so the developers won't have to build it? “

Given the financial interests at stake here, you will be amazed how ingenious a focused group can be. Also, this script that has been played out for more than 40 years. You also said:

“Occam's Razor says the issue is simply restrictive zoning and community pushback.”

Please read this:

Occam's razor

William of Ockham

Occam's razor (also Ockham's razor or Ocham's razor; Latin: lex parsimoniae "law of parsimony") is the problem-solving principle that, when presented with competing hypothetical answers to a problem, one should select the one that makes the fewest assumptions. The idea is attributed to William of Ockham (c. 1287–1347), who was an English Franciscan friar, scholastic philosopher, and theologian.

IN SCIENCE, OCCAM'S RAZOR IS USED AS AN HEURISTIC GUIDE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THEORETICAL MODELS, RATHER THAN AS A RIGOROUS ARBITER BETWEEN CANDIDATE MODELS.[1][2] In the scientific method, OCCAM'S RAZOR IS NOT CONSIDERED AN IRREFUTABLE PRINCIPLE OF LOGIC OR A SCIENTIFIC RESULT; the preference for simplicity in the scientific method is based on the falsifiability criterion. For each accepted explanation of a phenomenon, there may be an extremely large, perhaps even incomprehensible, number of possible and more complex alternatives. SINCE ONE CAN ALWAYS BURDEN FAILING EXPLANATIONS WITH AD HOC HYPOTHESES TO PREVENT THEM FROM BEING FALSIFIED, SIMPLER THEORIES ARE PREFERABLE TO MORE COMPLEX ONES BECAUSE THEY ARE MORE TESTABLE.[3][4][5]”

This principal doesn’t apply to everything, in fact it works on issues restricted to testable “cause and effect”. But in economics it is not possible to establish “cause and effect” because it is a social science. Only natural sciences can establish reproducible tests that establish “cause and effect” Economics cannot “test” for “cause and effect”

Economics is:

Economics (/ɛkəˈnɒmɪks, iːkə-/)[1][2][3] is the social science that studies the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.[4]

Economics focuses on the behaviour and interactions of economic agents and how economies work. Microeconomics analyzes basic elements in the economy, including individual agents and markets, their interactions, and the outcomes of interactions. Individual agents may include, for example, households, firms, buyers, and sellers. Macroeconomics analyzes the entire economy (meaning aggregated production, consumption, savings, and investment) and issues affecting it, including unemployment of resources (labour, capital, and land), inflation, economic growth, and the public policies that address these issues (monetary, fiscal, and other policies). See glossary of economics.

Other broad distinctions within economics include those between positive economics, describing "what is", and normative economics, advocating "what ought to be"; between economic theory and applied economics; between rational and behavioural economics; and between mainstream economics and heterodox economics.[5]

It simply not a natural science, thus it cannot “prove” “cause and effect” via “testing”. The only thing Economic can do is forensics on specific events, but that simply means that explanation only applies to one specific event, in one specific time, and only one set of circumstances. You do not want the public to know that.


10 people like this
Posted by Howard
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 9, 2018 at 5:14 pm

Howard is a registered user.

Businessman,

Your right! Rent control has been deemed legal by the Judicial Branch of our government and if the public wants to vote it in...it's legal. I don't argue that point because that is set in stone.

As a businessman myself, I accepted that fate and maneuvered my capital out of Mountain View rather than fight it or even deal with it. So I decided to play in a different park because I didn't like the rules in your park.

What's troubling is not the rent control law but the consequences of what will follow in your community. Quite honestly, I think rent control will hurt tenants more than landlords and Mountain View is the hub for Job creation in our region.

I want to see housing built with transportation in our region that will support housing for all but if we continue to point fingers at each other and blame each other we will see a continuation of dysfunction like a dysfunctional family that fights over money. We will fail!

It is the job of our local representatives to get control of this dysfunction and to plan a community of function. To pit one group against another like tenants and landlords only removes this responsibility in the communities eyes off the city council. This is a government trick to blame one group for the impoverishment of another and produces no solutions to the real problem.

It is clear to me that you are set in your beliefs and you feel the landlords are the problem but you're wrong and time will show that rent control won't create a solution but only more problems.


7 people like this
Posted by LOL
a resident of Castro City
on May 9, 2018 at 5:45 pm

Bob, your pretending to be conciliatory and above it all is laughable for those of us who remember your older posts here. Care to own up to those?


3 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 9, 2018 at 7:33 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to Howard you said:

“It is the job of our local representatives to get control of this dysfunction and to plan a community of function. To pit one group against another like tenants and landlords only removes this responsibility in the communities eyes off the city council. This is a government trick to blame one group for the impoverishment of another and produces no solutions to the real problem.”

That is such a wrong statement. I never claimed that the private landlords, investors or developers impoverish the public. I make the statement that they exploit the market. You love to use language so that you shift that responsibility from the private landlords, investors and developers. Costa Hawkins was designed that way due to promises being made by these groups when they know they would not achieve this because it is SAFER and EASIER to overprice existing and current units by proposing UNREALISTIC projects or building units that are not the type needed. You said:

“It is clear to me that you are set in your beliefs and you feel the landlords are the problem but you're wrong and time will show that rent control won't create a solution but only more problems.”

Until you can PROVE your point, this is simply an empty threat against the Citizens of Mountain View.


3 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 9, 2018 at 10:38 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

Just an FYI:

Costa Hawkins was a Trojan horse with devastating results, please read the following opinion (Web Link)

The fact was twenty plus years ago, however, Sacramento legislators took away the rights of local California governments to regulate the cost of rental housing. Passed by one vote in 1994, the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act froze or undid California's municipal rent-control laws. Ratifying the Affordable Housing Act would repeal Costa-Hawkins and give those rights back.

Republicans and the landlord lobby, which spent $50 million to push Costa-Hawkins, claimed the law would incentivize developers to build more housing, which would cause rents to fall. Yet rents are soaring, and affordable housing is scarce. When Boston lost its rent control laws in 1994, both median rent and the homeless population doubled.

The facts are Costa Hawkins set the state up for the following problems:

Instead of a building spree beneficial to California renters, Costa-Hawkins accomplished four things, each devastating to the affordability of housing in the state.

1. Costa-Hawkins exempted single-family homes from rent control, encouraging Wall Street speculation.

Before 1995, most municipal rent control laws applied to buildings of all types and sizes, protecting all renters from market whims. Costa-Hawkins mandated that rent control could no longer apply to single-family homes. The law's designers claimed the exemption would help mom and pop landlords maintain an investment property. Instead, it made the single-family market a playground for corporate gambling.

Invitation Homes — managed by Blackstone, one of the world's biggest financial firms with $450 billion in assets — is now L.A.'s primary landlord of single-family homes. Because of Costa-Hawkins, every one of these homes is exempt from rent protections. Tenants have no options but to pay up or leave when faced with rent increases or run-down conditions.

Meanwhile, Blackstone can spend $100 million a week acquiring foreclosed homes — it once bought 3,000 California homes in a day. It even invented a financial instrument to profit from all its rental income: rent-backed securities. Instead of protecting "mom and pops," Costa-Hawkins has lined the pockets of the biggest corporations in housing.

2. Costa-Hawkins removed all vacancy controls, making once affordable homes expensive.

According to the law, when Californians move out of a rent-controlled apartment, landlords can reset the rent at whatever they want for the next tenant. As rents soar, a target grows on the backs of long-term tenants, whom landlords are incentivized to evict. Harassment, deportation threats and "buyout" scams are some of the means by which landlords accomplish this goal.

Before Costa-Hawkins, Santa Monica had what's called vacancy control – there were limits on how much of an increase the next tenant would get. As a study by Santa Monica's Rent Board has shown, before Costa Hawkins, 82% of that city's rent-stabilized apartments were affordable to low-income households. A decade after Costa-Hawkins, only 14% remained affordable.

3. Costa-Hawkins legalized price-gouging.

Municipal rent control on apartments still exists in many cities, but Costa-Hawkins froze these laws at the year of their passage. For L.A., this is 1978. If you live in a building built after 1978, your landlord can raise your rent however much he wants, and at any time. A notification is all that's required for a rent increase: 30 days for a 10% increase, 60 days for more.

Extreme rent hikes have become commonplace. Last fall, Boyle Heights residents were hit with rent increases up to 80%, or $800 a month. Two-hundred families in Westlake recently saw increases of as much as 40%, or $475 a month — to name just two examples.

4. Costa-Hawkins supersedes local democracy.

The state law makes it illegal for Los Angeles and every other California municipality to step in and stop such rent hikes in their own backyards.

But the relative success of L.A.'s limited rent control shows the promise of its expansion.

L.A.'s 1978 ordinance limits rent increases to around 3%-5% a year — this is why even without vacancy controls, Mayor Eric Garcetti compared having a rent-controlled apartment to winning the lottery. As a 2009 report by L.A.'s Housing Department made clear, the ordinance protects tenants from being priced out of their homes when "hot" markets boil. It also gives landlords reasonable returns on their investments as well as allowances to pass on renovation costs.

As rents spike and the unhoused population swells, we can return to local governments the right to deter price-gouging and speculating, by repealing the 20-year-old, landlord-lobby Costa-Hawkins law.

Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal is a member of the L.A. Tenants Union. She tweets @xxexegesis.

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion or Facebook


3 people like this
Posted by Lurker
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 10, 2018 at 1:09 am

Lurker is a registered user.

Business Man, I'm at my own wits end and that was exactly the right number of words to make me feel like I'm not going nuts. Please keep posting!
≤3


3 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 12, 2018 at 4:24 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

I wonder what's going on. Last I heard the petition only had 1500 signatures. It need approx 5500 by May 30, 2018.

I think the petitioners simply are surprised to see such almost organized resistance regarding this situation. Also, the Costa Hawkins repeal being on the ballot in effect almost makes it impossible to get the electorate to vote against their own interests.

I think this ballot measure is in bad shape.


7 people like this
Posted by It's Sad
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 12, 2018 at 7:25 pm

It's sad that in front of the Shoreline Safeway this evening is a paid petition table with two pink signs saying "rent control" in effort to gather repeal rent control signatures. When I looked at the signatures, the page was full of apartment residents. Yes, residents should read carefully what they sign, but petitioners shouldn't be misconstruing their initiatives. It's sad.


5 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 12, 2018 at 10:26 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

Please use your smartphone and document it. THen send the evidence to the City Council, City Attorney, and the California Election Boards.

THanks


3 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 12, 2018 at 11:20 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

One observation.

I was at the City Council meeting on Tuesday and John Inks was there along with Curt Conroy.

Curt exercised his rights to address the City Council, but John Inks did not. I have actually significant respect for Mr. Conroy even though I do not agree with him and the content of his discussion. Primarily because I see nothing wrong with his conduct given the circumstances. But John Inks on the other hand has been earning a living via his work with the Measure V Too Costly website and his ballot initiative. I call it his initiative because he signed the documents in filing for it.

He has clearly made false statements, and simply refuses to remove the false claims from the Measure V Too Costly website. The same goes for Mike Kasperzak and Margaret Abe-Koga. What is good for those of us who keep vigilance on what is on the Internet.

It was a surprise that he chose not to discuss his initiative at the meeting even though it does look like he will need the City Council to get his initiative on the ballot.


7 people like this
Posted by No Decency
a resident of Bailey Park
on May 13, 2018 at 11:24 am

A women (paid signature gatherer) is in front of the Shoreline Blvd Safeway right now (Sunday 11:20am) telling shoppers to sign to pass rent control when the petition she is holding is to repeal it.


24 people like this
Posted by Disgusted
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 13, 2018 at 1:36 pm

"telling shoppers to sign to pass rent control when the petition she is holding is to repeal it."

No, she is soliciting signatures for badly needed reform of rent control. You people can (and do) spin that all sorts of ways, and probably even believe the spins. Even though Measure V's organizers played very similar games, when they claimed that V would let needy people stay in their homes.

But if you'd really wanted a rent control measure that benefitted the most needy Mountain-View renters, you'd have required a "means test" in Measure V originally. Instead, you supported a meaure with exactly -- EXACTLY -- the wrong long-term effects for your stated goals. It increases demand and reduces supply, long-term. Going forward, it favors highly-paid individuals who can impress landlords, or bribe their way in. I've experienced all that under rent control. Many people have. How can you seriously call that "decent?"
It is part of Measure V's reality, whether you know that or not.

This current rhetoric against the new proposed initiative is arguing against a means test, and therefore in favor of the most discredited kind of rent regulation.


6 people like this
Posted by Reply to above
a resident of Bailey Park
on May 13, 2018 at 2:52 pm

Person above, calling truth spin and lies truth. Indeed disgusting. People from outside MV get paid to come tell your neighbors to sign to pass rent control when the initiative does the opposite, and you accuse those who point these liars out as spin?

Explain how “sign to pass rent control” is not a miss representation.


6 people like this
Posted by @Disgusted
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 13, 2018 at 5:47 pm

Please explain how someone can “bribe their way in” to a unit in MV under the existing rent control laws.


7 people like this
Posted by Howard
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 13, 2018 at 9:34 pm

Howard is a registered user.

Meanwhile, I'm making a ton of money in San Ramon with my Mountain View profits!
All 10 million of them!
Thank you Mountain View tenants!!!


16 people like this
Posted by Disgusted
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 14, 2018 at 10:34 am

"Please explain how someone can “bribe their way in” to a unit in MV under the existing rent control laws."

With money. To the owners, under the table, bypassing official rent limit. Same way it's been done for decades in all rent-controlled cities, Manhattan, Berkeley, SF, etc. Really, I'm surprised anyone has to ask, I can only infer naïvete. This consequence of rent control is familiar to many people, like me, who've lived where such laws were in effect for a while.

The phenomenon is hardly limited to rents. Human nature: if a law artificially forces down the price of something below what people are WILLING to pay for it (thus creating what economists call a "shortage" and boosting demand in the process), those who can afford to will find ways.

Current public reports show (for example) Facebook's median pay at $240,000/year, and MV's median household income being half that figure. That leaves room for some under-the-table rent supplementation. Part of the much-needed reform that the new initiative offers (this reality transcends all the spin, name-calling, and willful self-deception that Measure V's defenders are currently spouting) is to limit rent controls to households with median income (120,000 now) or below. Anyone who claims to support needy renters staying in their homes is therefore logically in favor of that reform -- it isn't a point subject to opinion.


16 people like this
Posted by Realist
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 14, 2018 at 4:44 pm

I wouldn't have a problem with some controls being put on rentals if it really helped those it says it will. Having a landlord subsidize renters who are not low income and giving them no way to get rid of a bad tenant (and there are terrible ones who still can not be evicted!) is not right or fair. It will end up hurting tenants because it punishes even the good landlords. The fix may not be perfect but at least it provides a means test. I'm voting for it.


5 people like this
Posted by @Disgusted
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 14, 2018 at 5:17 pm

Still don’t understand. Explain how in MV, by way of example, an under-the-table payment can utilize some loophole in Measure V rent control. Be specific. So far, you are showing your own ignorance.


3 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 14, 2018 at 5:51 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to Realist you said:

“Having a landlord subsidize renters who are not low income and giving them no way to get rid of a bad tenant (and there are terrible ones who still can not be evicted!) is not right or fair.”

Rent control is NOT landlord subsidization. Why do we keep hearing this broken record? Rent Control is collective bargaining by citizens to establish a market cap on market exploitation, nothing more.

“It will end up hurting tenants because it punishes even the good landlords.”

There is no punishment involved in rent control, only cllectivbe bargaining via public policy. There is no “punishment”

In response to Disgusted you stated:

“Please explain how someone can “bribe their way in” to a unit in MV under the existing rent control laws."

With money. To the owners, under the table, bypassing official rent limit. Same way it's been done for decades in all rent-controlled cities, Manhattan, Berkeley, SF, etc. Really, I'm surprised anyone has to ask, I can only infer naïvete. This consequence of rent control is familiar to many people, like me, who've lived where such laws were in effect for a while.”

So you are saying that tenants pay more for their apartments than what is required by the legal rent? I can understand if they are getting improvements in their units. But if they are simply paying more than what they need to, that just is confusing. You also said”

“The phenomenon is hardly limited to rents. Human nature: if a law artificially forces down the price of something below what people are WILLING to pay for it (thus creating what economists call a "shortage" and boosting demand in the process), those who can afford to will find ways.”

Yes, if there is a shortage that can require higher prices. But if the rent is legally lower than what they have to pay, why do it? This sounds like in some way, the tenants is being intimidated or threatened in some way to coerce them to pay more than what they are required to do. Doesn’t make sense, you also said:

“Current public reports show (for example) Facebook's median pay at $240,000/year, and MV's median household income being half that figure. That leaves room for some under-the-table rent supplementation. Part of the much-needed reform that the new initiative offers (this reality transcends all the spin, name-calling, and willful self-deception that Measure V's defenders are currently spouting) is to limit rent controls to households with median income (120,000 now) or below. Anyone who claims to support needy renters staying in their homes is therefore logically in favor of that reform -- it isn't a point subject to opinion.”

I simply state market exploitation requires correction, it simply doesn’t matter what a person earns. When one owes student loans to get the education necessary to be highly skilled and paid, the landlord does not have any realistic expectation to make more money based on this situation. This sense of “entitlement” by landlords is simply irrational, and when the collective bargaining of the citizens established rent control to eliminate that expectation, so be it. You said:

“The fix may not be perfect but at least it provides a means test. I'm voting for it.”

When market exploitation results in successful rent control, it simply doesn’t matter whether a person must pass a “means” test to get public policy to prevent “exploitation”.

Why can’t landlords understand this simple situation?


5 people like this
Posted by Rent Gouging
a resident of another community
on May 14, 2018 at 7:47 pm

Sign to enable rent gouging.


5 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 14, 2018 at 8:17 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

When private landlords, investors and developers prove they are adequately providing affordable housing, I will strongly advocate for the removal of all rent controls. The Costa Hawkins legislation was based on the premise that private landlords, investors and developers are the efficient means of providing affordable housing. But if you read this story (Web Link) the industry in effect admits it cannot do it without being given “significant” gifts to build them. The fact is that the private landlords, investors and developers chose to not provide affordable housing. The proof was provided by myself regarding the permit statistics by the Association of Bay Area Governments.

In fact the private sector home building has actually worked to do the same thing regarding building homes if you read this story (Web Link). The private sectors constant claim is that private enterprise is the solution to affordability because it is the most efficient means to accomplish it. This story in effect disproves that argument.

The simple fact is that at least the current private sector elements in both apartments and homes dictate to the market they must receive a “minimum” (the one they dictate) ROI in order to move forward. But the fact is that since these markets are significantly “exclusive” can be proven to not be competitive because the parties act to artificially improve the ROI of their investments. That is why these parties demand that they be given public funding to achieve private profits. As a business school graduate, I simply say this. Private business should not expect the public government to provide any resources regarding the ability to make profits, or ensure that a “minimum” profit margin (the one they dictate) is always achieved. Business is competition, and some parties lose.


17 people like this
Posted by Disgusted
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 15, 2018 at 10:08 am

To "@Disgusted": I can't believe you really Don't Get It.

Um, rent controls are laws. For anyone who didn't know the following ("showing ignorance"), the nature and point of black-market or under-the-table transactions is to circumvent laws. Therefore, details of those laws, their "loopholes," etc. are not relevant. I won't explain that again.

I'm only referring to observed behavior, familiar in established rent-control cities, part of the usual package of consequences you invite by rent control. Not theory, not rhetoric, not the multi-screenful strained rationalizations one commenter frequently posts here. In NYC, landlords developed euphemisms for discreetly soliciting big buy-in fees from prospective tenants who are desirable anyway because of high income. The landlord gets a better return and desirable tenant; the high-income tenant benefits long-term from the artificially low controlled rent.

This does not benefit the general lower-income tenant population at all. Even those controlled rental units that don't get pulled off the market for one reason or another become available less often. Like the example in the recent editorial letter here, a wealthy tenant holding on to her rent-controlled SF apartment despite rarely beng there, because it was too cheap to give up. In other SF cases recently publicized, renters illegally turned the places into AirBnB dormitories for new tech workers to make profits.

It's weird that someone like Lenny Siegel who espouses more long-term rental housing affordable to everyone has actively supported a strategy proven in practice to diminish it.


3 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 15, 2018 at 2:04 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to Disgusted you said:

“I’m only referring to observed behavior, familiar in established rent-control cities, part of the usual package of consequences you invite by rent control. Not theory, not rhetoric, not the multi-screenful strained rationalizations one commenter frequently posts here. In NYC, landlords developed euphemisms for discreetly soliciting big buy-in fees from prospective tenants who are desirable anyway because of high income. The landlord gets a better return and desirable tenant; the high-income tenant benefits long-term from the artificially low controlled rent.”

However, the deposits that are collected are not the property of the landlords, investors or developer. They must be held in a bank account separate from the business, and in some cases interest must be paid. So what is the problem with that? In fact it must be returned to the tenant when they leave. And what is wrong with a low rents for everyone? I don’t think it is a problem You also said:

“This does not benefit the general lower-income tenant population at all.”

When those are dedicated to exploit others, they will be very creative to find a way to do so. You also said:

“Even those controlled rental units that don't get pulled off the market for one reason or another become available less often. Like the example in the recent editorial letter here, a wealthy tenant holding on to her rent-controlled SF apartment despite rarely being there, because it was too cheap to give up.”

Again, what is the problem with her keeping her apartment? I see nothing wrong with it, the customer is the one that choses their actions, not the private landlords, investors or developers. You also said:

“In other SF cases recently publicized, renters illegally turned the places into AirBnB dormitories for new tech workers to make profits.”

I do not argue against the idea that an apartment should not be used as a AirBnB unit because you can place in the lease that doing so violates the agreement and you can put an additional penalty if you are caught into the contract. So what is the problem with that? You also said:

“It's weird that someone like Lenny Siegel who espouses more long-term rental housing affordable to everyone has actively supported a strategy proven in practice to diminish it.”

What evidence do you have to prove this? Again you cannot use any information or evidence supplied by those with a conflict of interest, if you do, that will disqualify the evidence. You must use research devoid of any influence by private landlords, investors, developers, or real estate. If you can provide it, I will be happy to read it, and very likely support your point of view. But until then, you are simply attempting to protect either your, your friends, your business partners, or business associates financial interests with nothing more than your opinion.


7 people like this
Posted by Realist
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 15, 2018 at 2:32 pm

The measure proposed for the ballot actually indicates the following:
a 5 percent vacancy does not trigger an end to rent control; it only enables the Rent Control Committee to end rent control if it chooses to.

It's really not that different from how measure V stands now. Not that scarry, but Measure V proponants will never point that out. They will point fingers, call names, demean landlords and use all sorts of scare tactics. The other aspects included in the "fix it" proposal are much needed revisions so I'm definitely in favor.

The educated voter will sign the petition and will vote for it.


6 people like this
Posted by @Disgusted
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 15, 2018 at 3:52 pm

You clearly don’t understand how rent control works in MV. When an apartment becomes available, the rent resets to whatever the landlord wishes. If the rules operated so the rent would continue on to the next tenant, then you would be right. But that is not how the law is here.

The fact that you are ignorant of this is truly disgusting. Please go away and let us truly local residents govern our community.


3 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 16, 2018 at 8:29 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

I love what is happening in the state of California.

Real BUSINESS means that the “supply-side” owners cannot dictate the market. And now with Costa Hawkins in critical condition many of those who exploited the market in California are running like rats off a sinking ship if you read this article (Web Link)

Specifically:

A push to expand rent control in California is sending a chill through the state’s apartment industry, prompting more investors to sell properties or hold off on buying.

Ben Lamson, whose family owned just under 100 apartments in the Inland Empire area in southern California, said he has sold about 70 units and is in contract to sell the remaining ones. He is taking all the money and investing it in properties in the Las Vegas area, he said.

Mr. Lamson said he started reading news about the push for rent control a year ago and decided it was time to leave the state where he was born and has lived for five decades. He and his wife bought a home for themselves in Las Vegas, where they plan to retire in the next five years.

“These renter groups are starting to speak out and say, ‘These rents are ridiculous.’ They’ve gotten more organized than they ever have been,” he said. “I started getting a little freaked out or a little scared or concerned [that] this could really happen.”

In late April, a coalition of housing advocates said they submitted some 595,000 signatures, more than enough to get a measure on the ballot in November to repeal Costa Hawkins, state legislation that prevents cities and towns from imposing rent control on buildings constructed after 1995 and on single-family rentals.”

YES, but it went on to say:

“In Santa Monica, the number of properties on the market is at the highest level in 20 years, according to Tony Solomon, a first vice president at Marcus & Millichap based in southern California. Mr. Solomon said there are 90 properties on the market, about 80% more than normal.

He said developers are also holding off on bidding on land to build new developments.

Many of the buildings on the market are a direct result of the fear that if “this were to pass, what this would do to the community again” in terms of prompting landlords to stop investing in their buildings and creating widespread disrepair, Mr. Solomon said.”

WRONG, there will be laws and regulations put into place to require that the landlords must never be allowed to let properties go into disrepair, by either direct penalties by the local government, or the power of tenants to dictate a lower rent via petitions. Simply put, this is the empty threat the landlords make every time their market control is threatened. It went on to say:

“Data from property tracker Real Capital Analytics show a 22% increase in multifamily sales, to $4.5 billion in the first quarter of 2018, compared with the same quarter a year earlier. Prices have risen 8% during this time, which indicates demand is healthy.”

WELL, that means that there are buyers willing to take over the properties, but the price rising only 8% is not in parity with the 22% rise in sales. These should be equal so that the prices should be rising at about 20% given stable demand. Thus this does not prove a “healthy” demand. It went on to say:

“Brokers and owners say they have become more spooked since the measure officially garnered enough signatures to be on the ballot, which won’t be reflected until the second-quarter data. The potential expansion of rent control is also having a bigger effect in places like Santa Monica and Santa Ana, where politicians and advocates are openly weighing expanding rent control.”

Advocates are skeptical of owners’ complaints that the push for rent control is having a negative impact on the market. Stephen Barton, who has a doctorate in city and regional planning from the University of California at Berkeley and is a former deputy director of Berkeley’s rent stabilization program, noted that real-estate groups are pushing for loosening development regulations even though that can depress rents.

“It’s very self-contradictory to say we need an enormous increase in supply and then point to rent control and say this would be terrible,” Mr. Barton said.

Landlords said what is concerning to them is the uncertainty over how municipalities will react to the repeal of Costa Hawkins and how far they will go to limit their ability to raise rents.

A Santa Monica apartment owner with roughly 50 apartment buildings, who declined to be named because he said he was afraid of attracting additional scrutiny at a politically sensitive moment, said he was in contract to purchase two properties but decided to back out because he wasn’t confident the measure would be defeated.”

I have always said that we do not need “specific” owners of properties. They are free to divest and leave. Of course they will see significantly lower sales prices in this situation. But they are free to go. The properties will remain on site until there are plans approved for replacement. The opposition simply understands that the customer is prevailing in the market after much exploitation via Costa Hawkins.


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