https://mv-voice.com/square/print/2016/05/27/tenant-advocates-push-back-against-looming-deadline


Town Square

Tenant advocates push back against looming deadline

Original post made on May 27, 2016

Each and every day will count in the race against time for the Mountain View Tenants' Coalition to gather signatures for a ballot measure to cap the city's rent increases. But exactly how much time remains to collect these signatures remains up in the air due to a brewing disagreement between lawyers from the tenants' group and the city over how election rules should be interpreted.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 27, 2016, 10:27 AM

Comments

Posted by Gladys
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 27, 2016 at 11:34 am

Please understand that what these people are doing by pushing this initiative, will be that they will put many Mom and Pop, small business owners, out of business when the next recession comes.

This only covers the older apartments that need the most expenses for upkeep to these 60 year old units.

In 2001 market rent was $1,500 it crashed to $850 in 2003. Landlords lost millions of dollars during the 2000 decade recession. Some owners where able to hold on until the economy started to recover in 2010.

Apartments are commercial buildings that require commercial loans and you can not go longer than 10 years before you have to refinance. Many building owners had to file for bankruptcy and lost there property to foreclosure because they did not have the income to refinance with the bank. If the rents are capped at the 2% increase in the next recession and rents fall to $1000, at 2% increase many many owners will lose their property because they do not qualify for a loan with the bank.

The Voice has been an advocate in pushing this agenda but has been very dishonest in covering this story as they never did one story covering all the apartment owners that lost millions of dollars or cover the expenses that they have.

Another major issue not discussed, this initiative has only been written from a tenants activist position. There is nothing fair about it, nor any consideration as to what a business needs to be able to stay in business.

If this passes there will be a new un-elected 5 panel rent board that will make new laws. They will be unaccountable as the voters can not vote them out if we do not like the rules they make. This power should remain with the city council members, those who we vote on directly.

If this passes this will change the image that Mountain View has to one like other rent control city's has. Like East Palo Alto, East San Jose, San Leandro, Oakland, etc. San Francisco is the number 1 city for property crime in all of United States.

These advocates are telling people in our city here that they will have the power to reduce rents if services are reduced. They know what happens in other city's that have rent control in that owners do not have the cash flow to do up keep and repairs properly. They can say they will reduce rents, but you can not squeeze blood out of a turnip.

These areas of the many older apartment buildings will become more blighted. This will create more issues for the city. This is not scare tactics, but hard facts. Just look at the other rent controlled city's an judge for yourself.

Be advised that this rent control does not cover newer apartments built after 1995, single family homes, town-homes, condos or duplex's.

We are due for the next recession and rents will once again fall as people will be laid of from work and will move out of the area. This happens in every decade.


Posted by CHURCH MONEY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 27, 2016 at 12:08 pm

Is this church collecting signatures not the same church that just sold their parking lot, for a nice sum I am sure, to a developer who is going to build for profit row houses?

If the church would not give their empty parking lot to a non profit builder so 40 family's could live in low income housing, why should small mom&pop people have to put up their money to keep their business going and have to subsidize people with rent control to the likes of Googlers who make $150,000 a year?

I do not support confiscation of anyone's rights.


Posted by @Gladas
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 27, 2016 at 12:11 pm

Actually landlords should appreciate rent control as it will slow down the wide swings of the so-called "market rent." Since rents will not increase sky high year after year, then it won't crash hard either. Properties are at an all time high. The new landlords come in with their highly leveraged mortgages, barely qualifying for the loan and then only in this bubble-rent price we are seeing. A small downward bump will send them into foreclosure as their current high rent payers are laid off and have to move out.

The true residents here in MV do not owe a favor to these greedy landlords. If we decide to slow down rent swings to preserve community, then it is our right to do so. It is the right of these landlords to sell their properties and move away.


Posted by So wrong
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 27, 2016 at 12:35 pm

Wow. Just wow. People like @gladas actually think they are entitled to the fruits of other people's risk and investment.

"The true residents" "decide to slow down rent swings" "our right to do so"

Wow.

This is our future people. I just wonder what it's going to be like when they run out of everyone else's money.


Posted by TELL THE TRUTH
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 27, 2016 at 12:56 pm

^^^^^^^^

Actually landlords do not want rent control because you will be putting many of them out of business.

As any business will tell you, you have to save money in the good times to get you thru the bad times. You can not do this with rent control.

In recessions rents will collapse again, history repeats itself. In this initiative there is no limit to the decline in rents, why do you not put these same restrictions when rents are going up on tenants when the rents fall for landlords? Meaning no lowering rents more than 2%, because right now there is no floor as to how far it can fall.

Landlords did not go into the city council during the last recession asking for any type of law that would stop rents from falling or to stop people moving out and having to deal with high vacancies as well.

Everyone should understand that we have a very intolerant group of people now, MountainViewTentantsCoalition/DayWorkerCenter/Voice,
Telling private property owners and businesses that they are the majority now and we will take away your rights by getting you to subsidize rents and by increasing property taxes on you to fund their agenda.

Either everyone has the same rights, or we no longer belong to the United States of America and we become Venezuela.


Posted by StevePeters
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 27, 2016 at 1:28 pm

The proposed amendment includes conditions for which it can be "turned off" if the market changes. Section 1718 (Decontrol) states: "If the average annual vacancy rate in Controlled Rental Units exceeds five percent (5%) , the Committee is empowered, at its discretion and in order to achieve the objectives of this Article, to suspend the provisions of this Article."

I think the concerns expressed about adverse effects to property owners in a downturn will be mitigated by this provision.


Posted by What's Your Point?
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 27, 2016 at 2:20 pm

@StevePeters,

You are making the point that is already stated.

There is no provision to "turn off" in a rising market any caps on rent, but there is one available in a falling market, "turn off" but what's the point to turn off in a down market? you are not going to do anything to stop the rents from falling or going to put a floor on it, nor are you going to do anything to keep the vacancy's low when people move out, and you are not going to be paying any of the bills when the cash flow does not cover them, and you are not going to provide and refinance funding to the owner when the bank says you do not have the income to qualify for a new loan.

Nor are you doing anything to limit to 2% all the other expenses that a business has, like utilities, taxes, insurance, plumbers,gardeners, pool care, painters, carpet and flooring, maintenance,management, and on and on.

If your are going to be fair to both sides, then it needs to work both ways.

To restate, if you live in a newer apartment building, 1995 and newer, and all condo, town home, duplex, single family home, this rent control will not cover you. Only the older buildings that need constant and expensive work will have this burden.


Posted by StevePeters
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 27, 2016 at 2:39 pm

Re: What's Your Point?

My point was that this measure wouldn't apply in a down market, but I think you're arguing that still causes economic injury to property owners. There are other provisions that allow owners to petition for a rental increase to cover necessary repairs.

It is a fact that this county already has some of the highest rents in the country. At the moment, I'm more concerned about the current plight of low-income renters than possible future difficulty for property owners.

I view this measure as short-term relief for low-income renters that will hopefully be accompanied by construction of higher-density affordable housing. I'd love to see people who work in Mountain View be able to walk or bike to work and not have to drive from Tracy.


Posted by So wrong
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 27, 2016 at 2:56 pm

Really Steve? I would argue that the fact that this "empowered" Committee has THREE tenants vs just TWO landlords would be the mitigating factor.

SO WRONG


Posted by Longview
a resident of another community
on May 27, 2016 at 3:22 pm

Longview is a registered user.

"Entitled to other people's risk??"

Yes, apartment owners are investing, and investors take both sides of risk - the possibility of profit, and the possibility of loss. Whose is at fault if these business owners did not think of all the risks as they invested? Changing regulation is a risk that should have been anticipated. With rent stabilization starting in such a high market, apartment owners will still be making a profit, and should start a rainy day fund if they haven't already. Risk can be managed.

"I do not support confiscation of anyone's rights."

Good! We agree on this. Community members have a right to organize and set the direction of their communities. Thank you for supporting our right to do so.

"These areas of the many older apartment buildings will become more blighted."

Many older buildings will become less blighted because tenants will finally feel safe to submit complaints about maintenance problems. Saying "more blighted" acknowledges that some buildings are currently poorly maintained, because managers have no pressure on them to provide habitable conditions when in this tight market they can pocket the high rent and repair nothing.

Apartments are homes to many people. Homes should be stable. Homes are not a luxury that you can purchase from time to time. It's the same as healthcare - do you want healthcare year after year, or only once in a while if you can afford it? Of course you want health care year after year. Of course people want stability in their housing. It is not unreasonable to ask for this. It is reasonable and moral to limit rent increases. Landlords, if you are already doing only modest increases, thank you. Landlords, if you have been terrorizing your tenants with huge rent increases, we are planning for that to end.




Posted by StevePeters
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 27, 2016 at 3:23 pm

Re: So wrong

It's true that the committee is limited to "no more than two (2) members of the Committee that own or manage any rental property, or that are realtors or developers."

Technically, the other three members don't have to be tenants; they could be home-owners that don't own rental property. It is asymmetric that rental owners are limited, but not tenants. Would you feel more comfortable with the measure if the Committee was also limited to two renters, and that the fifth seat had to be a home-owner with no rental property?

Your tone is a little harsh, but I'm hoping we can have a neighborly discussion.


Posted by Clarity
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 27, 2016 at 3:30 pm


"What is ominous is the ease with which some people go from saying that they don't like something to saying that the government should forbid it. When you go down that road, don't expect freedom to survive very long."

Thomas Sowell



Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 27, 2016 at 3:49 pm

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

StevePeters, yes, let's open this neighborly discussion. Sounds like Gladys has presented very factual information, I'd be interested to see your very specific responses to her very valid comments. Not 'feel good, everyone should get to live in Mountain View" comments, but specific comments that address her concerns.

It's very easy to say everyone should have the right to cheap housing, it sounds great, but you are not acknowledging the effect it will have on landlords such as Gladys. This is NOT the road we want to go down. It is wrong.


Posted by StevePeters
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 27, 2016 at 5:18 pm

I'd be interested to see more information to back up Gladys's case, since I'm not familiar with the specific numbers. If someone could upload a spreadsheet to google docs, that would be informative.

Given that rents are already at historic highs, it's hard for me to believe that limiting them from rising even higher is going to make anyone bankrupt, but that's just my gut feeling not based on any data.

Regarding "everyone should get to live in Mountain View": there are currently more jobs in Mountain View than places to live. I think it would be better for the environment and people's quality of life (less time spent in traffic) if they had the option of walking or biking to work. Is that really a controversial thing to say? You may think it's naive, but I think it's a valid goal to work towards.


Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 27, 2016 at 5:49 pm

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

gut feeling. no facts. Your entire argument is based on ideologue and not reality. Again, your position is admirable but your knowledge of economy lacking. If you truly want these things, why aren't you going after all the brand-new development, units that aren't even on the market yet, why not dictate what they can and cannot charge? Because it's not the way it works.

So let's talk facts. How about this very simple one. The City of MV recently advised residents that effective July 1 these following rate increases take effect:

Water 10%
Sewer 19%
Trash/Recycling 10%

Not 2%, not maxed out at 5%. Not tied to CPI. So I would argue then that if a city government entity cannot be held to those standards than neither should a business. In fact, I would argue the legality of this whole rent increase overall. Of course, the Tenant coalition has the help of Stanford Law but I'm wondering....is there an attorney our our highly educated City that would also come to the aid of these landlords, these small mom and pops who are being strong-armed by a group who is basically trying to dictate their income and investments?

This is WRONG.


Posted by StevePeters
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 27, 2016 at 6:12 pm

Re mvresident2003:

The 1995 cut-off is based on a state law: Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act

There is a fair rate of return portion of the act that allows rent adjustment petitions for "Increases or decreases in property taxes" and "Unavoidable increases or any decreases in maintenance and operating expenses." I expect that utility increases would be included in those factors.

Regarding facts, I'm trying to cite external sources and quote directly from the proposed ballot measure. It's true, I don't know the specifics of the commercial real estate finances, so that's why I asked for actual numbers and external references.

This is my first time commenting on this board, and if this is the tone that neighbors take with each other, then I will be disinclined to keep commenting here.


Posted by Tax and Spend
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 27, 2016 at 6:18 pm

Side note about this...

"So let's talk facts. How about this very simple one. The City of MV recently advised residents that effective July 1 these following rate increases take effect:

Water 10%
Sewer 19%
Trash/Recycling 10%"
-----

And the city just approved $160k of our taxpayer money to fund the completely underutilized bike-share program, while simultaneously jacking up our city services fees, and If I recall correctly, they are seriously considering cutting trash pickup to every other week?!? WTH is going on down at city hall?

This is OUR money, and you - Mountain View City Council - are supposed to be spending it wisely. I am having some serious doubts about the decisions you are making involving the taxpayers money.

Wow.


Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 27, 2016 at 6:42 pm

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

I'm not sure what "tone" you're referring to, I'm simply asking for you to back up your statements and position with fact. I'm sure you're well-intentioned and if my posts seem a bit assertive it's because this issue is quite divisive and has been hashed through and discussed, it's very obvious a majority agrees on the basic promise that rent-control is not something we want in our City, and yet this MINORITY, albeit very well organized group, continues to push an agenda of determining what an investor is allowed to make on their investment.

This is WRONG. I'm not a landlord. I have no personal vested interest in this other than it is taking from one who risked and invested and giving to someone with no skin in the game. It's WRONG.

And I will fight it tooth and nail as a simple matter of principle.


Posted by Gladys
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 27, 2016 at 6:54 pm

@StevePeters,

First off, if you are new to this topic, this has been building for some 8-9 months now so the temperature is getting turned up as time goes on. There are many threads already on this site discussing this topic.

Below is a very conservative spread sheet that has already been posted here, on another thread, showing some average-typical expenses for an apartment building. I will ad that these numbers are just showing very basic and limited expenses. They do not show any type of major work or repair.

I will also state that the other side does not care at all how many owners they put out of business. 1, they just do not care, 2- they have no clue what is needed to run any type of business, and 3-they have a plain outright hatred towards the people that are providing a valuable service to our community.

Rent control has never worked out as intended in any city. San Francisco has far fewer rent controlled units today than when the law was enacted. Look at what it did to East Palo Alto, only now after all these decades they have to raze blocks so as to get rid of the rent controlled properties and build new to revitalize the struggling city.

We have been asking the other side to post numbers as well, what is the amount that you deem to be a reasonable profit for an owner? If you say 2%, what happens in a recession that lasts 9 years and you lose 30% a year, each year and every year for 9 years, how does one get that back? It just happened this last recession we had.

Regarding this new rent board, this is starting the same way as the San Francisco rent board started. Then they will eventually take away all rights from the property owner where,
1-you can not have a son or family move into a unit because the rent board says owner has ulterior motives and Denys request.
2-You can not do major repairs because rent board will deem it as an upgrade and Deny's any rent pass thru.
3-Landlord tries to evict a drug dealer, Rent board Deny's eviction so other tenants sue landlord.

The other side is as dishonest as it comes. They say anything to get support for it. If you wanted rent control all you would have to do is say in the initiative that rent is capped at 2%, or CPI. You did not do that. If you wanted more rules, and I know what your side wants, all you would have had to do is write those rules in the initiative now. You did not do that, and that is because if the public new what all is coming, they would not support it.

There is no good reason to have this new 5 member, un-elected board that will only cost more money and make new regulations and the voters will not be able to vote them out or change those rules once they pass it.

Below is the post from another thread.

"I believe that many people, including Steve Levy, are uninformed about the situation that faces many people. I will supply this information to those individuals in the hopes that they will better understand the situation of apartment owners.

This is a very typical example, middle of the road in terms of upkeep, of a 24 unit apartment building in Mountain View.

Property Value-------------------------------------------------$10,080,000
(1) 60% loan at 4.5% fixed for 30 years, yearly payment --------$393,996
(2) Property taxes----------------------------------------------$123,660
Utility's--------------------------------------------------------$18,000
Property Insurance-----------------------------------------------$10,000
General Maintenance, pool, landscape, etc,-upkeep-repairs--------$40,000
Property management firm-----------------------------------------$60,480
Total Expense's-------------------------------------------------$646,136
100% occupied for 12 months at market rent for 1 year, income---$604,800
Net Loss for the year------------------------------------------- $ -41,336

That is the rough idea of a profit and loss statement for this property.

There are major capital expense's that money will need to be saved for, like new roof, copper re-pipe, kitchen and bath remodel, new windows,RECESSIONS, etc. All of this together is around $600,000.

Now, please tell me if rent control was passed, and Prop. 13 was repealed, who will step up and own these properties and put money into them so as these buildings can continue to stand and provide housing to people. If you say San Francisco has rent control, yes they do, they also have fewer rent controlled properties now than they did when they first passed that ordinance, and ever more expensive rentals that any where else in the valley."
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
And another post where one apartment building lost $13,000,000 in 9 years. Those owners will never get that money back. I new the first property owners who bought it in 2000. They put well over $1,000,000 cash into the business trying to keep it. The negative cash flow was just far to great for
any of them to over come during the recession.

Posted by Mike
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 19, 2016 at 8:01 pm
@Gladys and @Angel S.

I have done some research as to both of your claims that you have made.

Gladys, I have found that your claims are true. Also, with regards to the property on California St. I did a MLS search and that apartment building was sold 3 times. In November of 2000 it sold for $17,000,000. they then sold it for $10,000,000. Then it was sold on more time in August 2009 for $5,156,000.
During that time frame, there is no way to confirm how much cash they put into the business to keep it going, but I believe it must have been considerable. During this time period you had 2 owners lose a combined $12,000,000. There is no way that these property owners can earn that kind of money back.


Posted by Try it - it's AWFUL
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 27, 2016 at 7:04 pm

Have any of you actually LIVED WITH rent control? I did so in San Francisco and it was horrific. A few people in my building got pretty arrogant, which was extremely counter-productive, and felt they had a RIGHT to live where they wanted to live at the price they wanted to pay. Therefore, the building owner cut back on maintenance and it became a very sad situation for those of us who tried to play by the rules. I didn't have the money to fight the lack of maintenance, and eventually moved to Mountain View. You will NOT like what areas of Mountain View will look like with rent control, and don't kid yourself that there are "regulations" that prevent this. These regulations end up in court and the attorney fees are more than you want to pay - I guarantee it. Rent control takes you into a nasty whirlpool that you will surely regret. I've been there.
I feel sorry for people who cannot afford to live where they want to live, but I honestly don't think it's democratic to force property owners to take the brunt of tenants' desires. I'd LOVE to live in Atherton, but I can't afford it. Should property owners be forced to have low income housing and be limited to rental increases so I can have what I want? I can't, in good conscience, believe that.
I hope the Voice will be more equitable to both sides of this issue. I see the sign a woman is carrying that says, "housing is a right". I wish that were so - but in a free market it isn't true. I'd like everyone to live near where they work, of course, but trying to regulate this dream will never work. If apartment owners cannot get a fair return in the good times - to balance the bad times - they'll stop building here. Is that what you want? You'll have slums in Mountain View and you'll regret what you have done. We would all love to have a perfect existence, but unless you live in a police state, you cannot force others to carry more than their share so you get what you feel you deserve. Please be careful what you wish for - you will live to regret it.


Posted by Dump Trump
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 27, 2016 at 9:02 pm

So tired of our local Trump supporters railing against rent stabilization measures. This city is getting more and more liberal, so you should probably move away....


Posted by Dump Trump
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 27, 2016 at 10:00 pm

This city is getting more and more liberal, so you should probably move away because we are going to take away your property rights and stick you with the bill. We are liberals, we have the numbers on our side and we can.


Posted by Jim
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 28, 2016 at 8:34 am

I am a John F. Kennedy Democrat.

It's because of people like Dump Trump, my old party has left me. I am a registered Independent.
If JFK would be here today, he would be vilified by the party today.

We need all businesses in this country to succeed. They provide jobs and services that keep our economy going. We cannot be taxing them or regulating them to death. If we do, they will move jobs off shore and close up businesses here. That includes rental housing.

Without them, our country is headed for some seriously hard times.


Posted by Vic Cruz
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 28, 2016 at 1:43 pm

Rent control has been a massive failure everywhere it's been tried in the US.
Why is MV going to be different?


Posted by The future
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 28, 2016 at 5:06 pm

It's amazing that most of the cities with rent control have been and are the most desirable to live in. It's only the money grubbing landlords that attempt to change the dialogue, blame rent control for all the worlds woes and fight it off or, as in California, lean on the right wingers to pass state laws that prevent affordable housing.

We are on to you. Your days are numbered. The Republican Party is in a shambles. Anti-rent control, anti-climate change, anti-immigrant ideals have been dwindling since the 60's. Donald Trump is the last gasp of that awful party. The future looks bright indeed!


Posted by Yeah Right
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 28, 2016 at 8:42 pm

@The future,

If rent control cities are some of the most amazing and desirable to live in, why did you move to this dump of a city when the rent control city of East Palo Alto is right next door.


Posted by Pissed Tenent
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 29, 2016 at 11:35 am

to Gladys & sympathizers:
I relocated to Mountain View in 2011 for a job, I moved to a 1 bedroom apartment for $1540 / momth. I am still in the same exact apartment (no remodeling during the past 5 years) and I am now charged $3120 / month.
If this is not blood sucking, I am so sure what you call this outrageous rent increases.


Posted by Common sense
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 29, 2016 at 12:07 pm

To the angry "Tenent:" It's not that you don't have a valid gripe. Well all know that. The problem is, rent controls don't deal just with your complaint. They cause a lot of other effects too. In the name of helping some people in the short term, they harm more in the long run. I know about this, I've lived it, in a couple of places as a tenant (I'm not a landlord and have nothing to do with that side of things). "Try it..." above is exactly right. You end up with poorly-maintained aging housing, and a few arrogant tenants who become effectively squatters, eventually paying far lower rents than average, while acting self-righteous about it. Oh, and you know all those people today looking frantically looking for someplace, anyplace, to live? They're shafted. If finding vacancies seems hard now, wait 'till you see what happens under rent control. (I've lived that situation too.)

By the way, it isn't "blood sucking," it's market demand. Landlords can charge those rents only because that's what the place is WORTH right now. A very classy landlord might hold back the increases (effectively subsidizing you, even if you don't know it or appreciate it). But to artificially force the price below what the market already willingly pays is to create pandemic shortages, attract high-income tenants bribing their way in, and promote slums. (It might also bankrupt some current landlords, as they've explained in these threads.) Oh (as they've also explained in the past), they'll likely jack up your rents even more while they still can, if they see it coming. Start trying to control markets because you don't like what they do, and you have only yourself to blame for the consequences.


Posted by Ironic
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 29, 2016 at 12:25 pm

What I find so ironic is that the Voice newspaper criticises so called "Dark Shadowy Groups" only when they go against the papers interest's.

Why has the Voice not done a story on who these people are calling themselves the "Mountain View Tenants Coalition" Is it because 98% of them are with the Mtn.View Day Worker Center?

Why did they have to make up a new name?

Is it not true that the founder of the Voice some 15 years ago, was a board member of the DWC?

I bring this up for 2 reasons.

1- The Voice has only been covering this story from a one sided, emotional point of view. Never once have they done a story from the business side of what all is involved with running an apartment building.

2- Here is the hippocrate portion.The DWC has received very generous contribution from several cities so that they could purchase the property on Escuela St. No other person would have been granted permission from the city to keep the old building there, for it had been vacant for decades and by code it is non-conforming and should have been torn down, but they where given permission from the city. Then you have the property next door to it that is owned by the City. The DWC needed it for parking and the city waved the $20,000 lease for it,for 20 years. You also have the this center with a Non Profit status so they pay no taxes.

This group out of any other group should have been very appreciative of the community for giving them so many privilege's.

It is very unfortunate now that this group is leading the attack against a legal and lawful business in our community.

Maria Marroquin, the DWC director, is personally knocking on doors,as many others from the center as well,collecting signatures for a rent control ordinance that will change the image of the city to other rent controlled cities, and will put many small business owners out of business if that passes.

Will the DWC be paying the bills for owners who do not have the cash flow to cover bills in the next recession?



Posted by Pissed Tenant
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 29, 2016 at 12:28 pm

In a free market, no one get bailed out. But it is only common sense to use the "free market" argument when it's convenient and ignore the fact that the rules of the game are biased in favor of the rich and powerful (greedy landlords in this case with their lobbyist). I am not advocating rent control, but I am left with no choice.


Posted by NOT TRUE
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 29, 2016 at 12:33 pm

@Pissed Tenant,

As a person who is in the real estate business, your claim that you paid $1540 for 1 bedroom apartment in 2011 and now you pay $3120 for the same unit, could not be true with the only possibility that you are in one of the new properties that has many amenities. In that case you will not be covered under this rent control ordinance. But if you say you are in an older building, I would say you are not being truthful.


Posted by PROVE IT!
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 29, 2016 at 12:56 pm

@Pissed Tenent

Prove what you say, post the apartment address here and let us look it up! You do not have to post the apartment number, just the street address.


Posted by Gladys
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 29, 2016 at 1:34 pm

You will not hear back from @Pissed Tenent.
His claims are false.

Apartment properties built after 1994, single family homes, condos, duplexes and granny units will not have rent control if this initiative passes. Only the older apartment buildings will have this burden.

It has been a very typical tactic from the proponents of rent control to lie about what is actually going on in the community.

The city council has passed an ordinance that mediation will be required if rent increases go above 7.2% This program is just getting started and council has asked for updates as to what type of issues come before the mediation and if both sides agree they can disclose the very personal information from this.

The city council has said they want to address this issue in a step by step fashion and not to throw out the baby with the bath water, as this one sided activist initiative does. Council wanted one year of data from this and has said they are ready to go further.


Posted by Common sense
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 29, 2016 at 2:23 pm

Look too at the Orwellian, easily demolished claims upthread (by someone who might be equally comfortable insisting war is peace, freedom is slavery):

"most of the cities with rent control have been and are the most desirable to live in." Um, not the ones I actually lived in -- and rent control was precisely what made them decline.

"It's only the money grubbing landlords that attempt to change the dialogue, blame rent control for all the worlds woes and fight it off..." I wonder if the writer actually believed that, or knew it's wrong and was just cynically rhetorizing? Most people I've ever known personally who opposed rent control were NOT landlords (nor even, incidentally, Republicans). They did, though, often understand a little about markets (such as, if a desirable thing is in short supply, then you force down its price by law, you only hurt the underlying problem -- you certainly don't create more of the desirable thing). Then you have attractive-looking rental rates that no one can actually get, except those already renting. It's an extremely selective, unequal benefit. Quantitatively the main conflict that rent controls create isn't between "landlords" and "tenants," but between old and new tenants. Been there, done that.

Also, the Voice might more honestly drop euphemisms like "tenant advocates." "Rent-control advocates" is an accurate neutral term. I've advocated for tenants as a tenant, but opposed rent control. Neighbors Helping Neighbors (a local nonprofit group) has done more work probably than anyone else to actually assist struggling renters here -- and that group opposes rent control. And enough of hair-splitting euphemisms (which some ideologues defend extravagantly) like rent "stabilization" for forced prices. The generic honest term is rent control.


Posted by former MV resident
a resident of another community
on May 29, 2016 at 2:42 pm

I lived in Mountain View for 14 years. I lived through 2 recessions and my rent never went down. I have no sympathy for landlords and their likes and anything that could limit their wealth grab is fine by me.


Posted by Jean Valjean
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on May 29, 2016 at 2:57 pm

@Gladys

"You will not hear back from @Pissed Tenent.
His claims are false."

why did you assume that Pissed Tenent is male? is it too much to ask of you to use a bit of "Common Sense" for a change?


Posted by Gladys
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 29, 2016 at 3:37 pm

@Jean Valjean,

Really, is that the best you got!
If I was like you I probably would have called "him" that lying SOB that is the Mountain View Tenants Coalition. But I do have common sense and I will not lower myself to that level.


@former MV resident,
At the end of 2003, that was the bottom of the falling rents. In 2001 market rent was $1500, in 2003 it was $850.

I had tenants asking me to lower their rents, $100 every 3 months for 2 years. Those few that did not ask, I always lowered it for them. During the 2000 decade recession, vacancies where near 25% to 30% for 8 years. If I would have not lowered the rents my self, I would have had people just moving out for lower rents.

You probably moved here at the bottom of the rent market. From 2001 thru today market rent for that same one bedroom apt. is only up 35%.


Posted by Get real
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 29, 2016 at 3:46 pm

Talk to anyone in Berkeley who rents there. It's caused crazy rents and constant evictions. The landlords put up all the money and take the risk, yet the students want low rents and constant maintenance. It doesn't work that way. I'm a Democrat (FEEL THE BERN) and I am liberal in almost all situations - but I am fiscally conservative because I've seen what liberal fiscal policies do to a community. You end up with slum-lords or property owners who evict tenants when they cannot get a return on their money with current rents. I am not a property owner, but I think denying them a decent profit is plain nuts. Yes, there are property owners who gouge renters (and they are in the wrong, in my opinion) but they find enough people to pay their outrageously high rents. I don't have a solution, but I do know rent control is NOT it. I agree that the Mountain View Rent Mediation program is the most effective and positive way to deal with rental conflicts.
One thing I wish people would stop saying: that they have a RIGHT to low rents. That simply isn't true, and it only makes it an "Us vs Them" situation, which is always negative and combative. If someone owns a building, pays the taxes and upkeep, and manage it - it's theirs. I would hope they would make a rational return on their investment and not gouge renters, but that is purely out of our control. This is the nature of things, unfortunately. Palo Alto, Los Altos and Menlo Park have all gone through gentrification, and now it's happening to Mountain View. It's good for property values for those who saved their money, worked hard, and bought a house or condo - as their investment increases in value - and it is unfair to deny them this. You cannot, no matter how you try, stop this financial progress. You CAN however, move to a less expensive city. That doesn't mean Tracy or somewhere in the East Bay - it can mean East Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Campbell and San Jose. I wish everyone could live where they want to live, at an affordable price, but that is not reality. I cannot ask a clothing manufacturer to sell me clothes at a discounted price, just because I want them. I cannot demand a certain auto be sold to me at a price I demand. I cannot expect a property owner to rent to me for less than he could get from someone else. We live in a real world with real benefits and repercussions, so we need to deal with reality. I am truly sorry for those who cannot get their way on this - but that is how the world works. You accomplish nothing positive for ANYONE with rent control.


Posted by Economist
a resident of another community
on May 29, 2016 at 6:35 pm

@Get real

it takes only a single example to refute your flawed hypothesis about how the world works.
You can always ask for your salary to be at least equal to the minimum wage thanks to the law.


Posted by Phony posters
a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 29, 2016 at 8:31 pm

Some of the landlords will run their games - posting on articles. But many of them have not even read the initiative. It does not empower a rent board to lower rents except in the rare case where the landlord has failed to maintain a habitable unit (under state law) or has deceased services or raised rents in violation of this proposed rent law. Nonetheless, one of the landlord campaign games will be warning about am all-powerful unelected rent board. And the landlords will say nothing (true) about rent control units in San Jose or Los Gatos.


Posted by Talk About Phony posters
a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 29, 2016 at 9:44 pm

@Phony poster

I see you got assigned the night shift for your group.

Keep trying to confuse, lie to people and blow smoke in their faces to confuse them. Your side does not answer any questions as to the consequences of what happens to a city with rent control.

It's your signature collectors that is telling people that the new rent board will have the power to lower rent for even removing a swimming pool from service.

People are choosing to move to Mtn. View from San Jose because how bad it is there, they are not wanting to move to EPA, and just ask your friends how would they like to move to Oakland, San Leandro, Berkeley, Hayward. Most people I know do not even want to visit San Francisco let alone live there any more.

By the way, could you get your co worker who had the afternoon shift, Pissed Tenent, please come back and post the apartment complex address that he claims to have had his rent doubled in 5 years so that we could contact the manager and verify this.
After all, your side never ever lies, right?

And while your at it, could you also get your side to answer, Ironic post, about who the people are that are the Mountain View Tenants Coalition? And who all is involved from the Day Worker Center. Be real about this, a list of all names involved is what is needed for transparency.


Posted by Donald Duck
a resident of Slater
on May 29, 2016 at 10:28 pm

The initiative rightly creates a disincentive to reducing services when rent cannot be raised as much as the landlord might like. And it cannot and does not restrict the initial rent level established for new tenants that choose to move in despite the price. Landlords would continue to make a fortune but some tenants would be saved.


Posted by @ Economist
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 30, 2016 at 1:41 am

Note to "Economist": Perhaps you need a bit more depth to review your false economic theory? Otherwise, let us know when Tesla sells you a car for under market price because you have a "right" to it, let us know when Armani lets you have their clothing for a price you can afford because you want it, and let us know when Harvard grants you admission for a cheap cost just because you demand it.
The example in your post is comparing apples to footballs.
I am not saying I don't sympathize with others who demand housing at a cost they want to pay - I'm just saying that is NOT the way the economy works. You're free to disagree, of course. In the meantime, I'll expect to see you in a Dior suit driving your Escalade on the way to class at Stanford - and all this at the price you want to pay because you "deserve" or "demand" it.


Posted by Common sense
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 30, 2016 at 8:15 am

I believe (from a protest sign photographed in this story) the fashionable phrasing is to call the things you want, or think you deserve, "human rights."

In fact, of course, housing is normally a human *need* -- but that difference in meaning is everything. To expect society to somehow arrange to house you where you want, at a price you like, is to turn a willfully blind eye to the rest of the reality of how housing exists at all.


Posted by Answer this Donald Duck
a resident of Slater
on May 30, 2016 at 9:46 am

@Donald Duck

"Landlords would continue to make a fortune but some tenants would be saved"

Your side keeps saying that landlords are making a fortune. Stop assuming you know something when you do not. Your side just flat out refuses to put up any numbers to back up your claims. You will be putting many mom and pop businesses, out of business when the next recession hits and your side does not care at all about the consequences to people who put up the money to buy and run these businesses.

Start answering some questions, like why you are not limiting all expenses that vendor's can charge for services to 2%.

I would also like to know where was council member Siegel and the Day Worker Center and the MountainViewTenantsCoalition in expressing any outrage over the church for selling their parking lot to a For Profit Housing developer. That could have been given to a Non Profit builder and that could have housed 50 same low income families.

Your selective moral outrage stinks to high heaven.


Posted by Clarity
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 30, 2016 at 10:14 am

Former Mountain View Voice staff writer, Daniel Debolt, appears to be one of the folks organizing this campaign.
The group is now using a paid signature gather and paying about $4.00 per signature. Below was snipped from a recent SVBJ article.



It's gonna be close — Peninsula rent control advocates race to get signatures for initiatives

Web Link

...snip...

"We're on track to get enough but ... it might come down to the wire," said Daniel Debolt, Mountain View Tenants Coalition spokesman. "We're going to be collecting signatures until the very end."

....snip...

"Debolt said over 100 volunteers have worked on the campaign and that they've gathered more than 3,500 signatures.

A Mountain View Voice article quoted Coalition member Evan Ortiz as saying the group's goal was to gather 6,500 signatures in total.

The Coalition did have a recent dispute with the city attorney over the deadline, saying they thought election law gave them until late June to submit signatures. The June 13 date was a compromise between the Coalition's legal advisor and the city attorney.

Debolt said the group is on track to hit its goal, but that "it's going to be tight."

He said the Coalition brought on its first paid signature gatherer on Wednesday and is looking to bring on a few more. The group, which is not using an outside company, is paying $4 per signature. Debolt said he didn't know how much money the group has available for this purpose."

...more...




Posted by DITTO
a resident of Slater
on May 30, 2016 at 10:17 am

I also would like to see what numbers from the proponents of rent control think that landlords make. Calling them names like making a"fortune or greedy" is not enough for me.

There is a post from Gladys on 5/27/16 that shows income and expenses from a 24 unit apartment. The figure as stated shows a net loss of $41,000 for the year.

I have been watching and waiting for someone to give their view of it, but no one has commented on it. It appears to me that it must be correct and that there is no basis to call them any names, or to pass and type of rent controls on them.


Posted by Thanks Clarity
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 30, 2016 at 10:26 am

Thanks Clarity for this info.

This is further proof that the Voice/MountainViewTenantsCoalition/DayWorkerCenter are all the same group of people pushing an agenda for our city.

None of these people have any credibility and the Voice has the biggest conflict of interest here. Shame on them for not reporting that.


Posted by Donald Duck
a resident of Slater
on May 30, 2016 at 10:52 am

Gotta love those landlords claiming no one knows how much they make off their rental units. Reminds me of brother Trump. He will reveal his tax returns when he feels like it and never will feel like it. Apartments in Mountain View turn over, on average, every 3 years. New tenants pay and would continue to pay whatever rent the rigged "market" will bear. Any landlord unduly burdened by the restriction on raising rents on long-term tenants could apply for more under the law proposed. The alternative offered by the big landlords is that they will increase the rent as much as they like and they do like to raise rents.


Posted by Not Again Donald Duck
a resident of Slater
on May 30, 2016 at 11:32 am

@Donald Duck,

You still are not answering any questions, and let me educate you to this fact.

As already stated here, market rent in 2001 was $1500, in 2003 it was $850. What happens with rent control is that this new rent of $850 will be subject to the 2% increase. Many landlords lost their businesses during that recession because they did not have the cash flow to pay bills and not enough income to qualify for a refinance loan. That rent level of $1500 can never-never be reached again with rent control and that is the reason, and you know this, apartment owners will not have the money to make repairs properly and do the necessary upkeep that these 60 year old buildings need. That is why you are telling people not to worry about the decrease in services because the rent board will lower your rent.

What you are seeking to do with this rent control is to put many small mom & pop businesses into bankruptcy and you do not care about that.

Please answer the other post from Gladys that shows in today's market that this apartment building is losing $41,000 a year without rent control. Add rent control on top of it, and you can clearly see what a complete failure that would be.


Posted by Gordon Gekko
a resident of another community
on May 30, 2016 at 12:34 pm

to those who prefer to believe in the wonders of free market economy and self regulation, I tell them enjoy your disillusion.
It is a fact that the whole system is rigged. Some get bailed out, while others will have to financially assume their mistakes. The housing crisis in MV and in the Bay Area might on the surface look like the result of supply demand imbalance, but dig deeper and you discover the work of the landlord cartel that is so in bed with city council decisions in issuing permits for commercial/housing projects. The supply side is so tightly controlled that almost guarantees a windfall for property owners (not quite the definition of free market but rather of corruption). To those who quietly enjoyed seeing their property values soar while prefered to convince themselves they are savvy investors, I tell them you brought it on yourself and it is very understandable to fight back when one discover they are about to lose their unearned privileges. Greed is good!!


Posted by @DITTO
a resident of North Whisman
on May 30, 2016 at 12:43 pm

I looked at the data provided by Gladys and find it hard to make an assessment without additional details such as the date the property was purchased, its current value, the mortgage interest deductions etc.


Posted by Common sense
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 30, 2016 at 12:52 pm

So now they're paying gatherers by the signature to fill up their petition. When Prometheus Real Estate Group did that a few years ago (trying to find public support for a controversial new comstruction project), their gatherers were witnessed making up abject lies about what the petition was for (apparently to collect more signatures and more pay).

It's a matter of record that people strongly opposed to a proposed ballot measure sometimes undermine the petitioning by signing it with many bogus identities. (The promoters already expressed anxiety in the Voice article about having enough signatures by their deadline.)

The effectiveness of that tactic was demonstrated dramatically in the 1990s, when the California Teachers' Association and their friends used it to derail a statewide initiative drive to give parents more control over how public-education budgets were being spent.


Posted by Gordon Gekko AKA Donald Duck
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 30, 2016 at 1:00 pm

@Gordon Gekko AKA Donald Duck

You do not have to keep making the same failed speech and posting it under different name's.

With over 100 workers collecting signatures, and even going door to door in the high density apartment areas, with the city being 60% renters and you cannot collect enough signatures on your own? Now you have to hire professional signature gatherers at $4 per signature!

That says alot, the resident's do not support your agenda and it will be voted down in November.

You need to be transparent with the community and state who all is involved and who is funding it.


@DITTO from North Whitman,
[Portion removed due to disrespectful comment/personal attack]


Posted by NoTrustInTheVoice
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2016 at 7:33 pm

NoTrustInTheVoice is a registered user.

@Gordon Gekko AKA Donald Duck, and the Voice,

It never fails. The Voice shuts down posts to only registered users to limit debate.

That was really sneaky of you to do that again, and then magically it gets bumped up in likes for Gordon Gekko 160 times.

There is absolutely no doubt that the Voice/Mountain View Tenants Coalition/Mountain View Day Worker Center are the same group of people. The Voice has lost all credibility in covering these stories.

The Voice complains about "Dark Shadowy Groups" when it goes against their interests, but the most Shadowy Group is the Mountain View Voice paper.

They want their own candidates in council so the paper can control the city's agenda.

This is known as the "Publishers Council", or "Publishers Candidates". Just watch who they will endorse, it will be people who will further the Voice's agenda and will be people who will not treat everyone in the city the same way, they will be activist, ones who have no trouble taking away rights from one group of people to then give to another group.

The Voice publishers and Editors do not live in Mountain View. they do not cover stories from both sides, or disclose any conflict of interests when they are playing the role of an activist and pushing their agenda.


Below are 2 previous posts, they have not been answered.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Posted by Clarity
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 30, 2016 at 10:14 am
Former Mountain View Voice staff writer, Daniel Debolt, appears to be one of the folks organizing this campaign.
The group is now using a paid signature gather and paying about $4.00 per signature. Below was snipped from a recent SVBJ article.



It's gonna be close â" Peninsula rent control advocates race to get signatures for initiatives

Web Link

...snip...

"We're on track to get enough but ... it might come down to the wire," said Daniel Debolt, Mountain View Tenants Coalition spokesman. "We're going to be collecting signatures until the very end."

....snip...

"Debolt said over 100 volunteers have worked on the campaign and that they've gathered more than 3,500 signatures.

A Mountain View Voice article quoted Coalition member Evan Ortiz as saying the group's goal was to gather 6,500 signatures in total.

The Coalition did have a recent dispute with the city attorney over the deadline, saying they thought election law gave them until late June to submit signatures. The June 13 date was a compromise between the Coalition's legal advisor and the city attorney.

Debolt said the group is on track to hit its goal, but that "it's going to be tight."

He said the Coalition brought on its first paid signature gatherer on Wednesday and is looking to bring on a few more. The group, which is not using an outside company, is paying $4 per signature. Debolt said he didn't know how much money the group has available for this purpose."

...more...
===========================================================================

Posted by Ironic
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 29, 2016 at 12:25 pm
What I find so ironic is that the Voice newspaper criticises so called "Dark Shadowy Groups" only when they go against the papers interest's.

Why has the Voice not done a story on who these people are calling themselves the "Mountain View Tenants Coalition" Is it because 98% of them are with the Mtn.View Day Worker Center?

Why did they have to make up a new name?

Is it not true that the founder of the Voice some 15 years ago, was a board member of the DWC?

I bring this up for 2 reasons.

1- The Voice has only been covering this story from a one sided, emotional point of view. Never once have they done a story from the business side of what all is involved with running an apartment building.

2- Here is the hippocrate portion.The DWC has received very generous contribution from several cities so that they could purchase the property on Escuela St. No other person would have been granted permission from the city to keep the old building there, for it had been vacant for decades and by code it is non-conforming and should have been torn down, but they where given permission from the city. Then you have the property next door to it that is owned by the City. The DWC needed it for parking and the city waved the $20,000 lease for it,for 20 years. You also have the this center with a Non Profit status so they pay no taxes.

This group out of any other group should have been very appreciative of the community for giving them so many privilege's.

It is very unfortunate now that this group is leading the attack against a legal and lawful business in our community.

Maria Marroquin, the DWC director, is personally knocking on doors,as many others from the center as well,collecting signatures for a rent control ordinance that will change the image of the city to other rent controlled cities, and will put many small business owners out of business if that passes.

Will the DWC be paying the bills for owners who do not have the cash flow to cover bills in the next recession?