Sunday, April 13, 2014

There's not $50,000 of there, there

Are you kidding me, I'd rather go back to a civil war than live in Oakland, says a tenant in a San Francisco rent-controlled apartment who has been offered $50K to move out by its owner;
In the Mission, Blanca Reyes wonders whether to accept the buyout and leave the only place she has lived in since emigrating from El Salvador more than two decades ago. The nurse's assistant said her landlord even gave her some leads on other apartments - which the landlord owns - but they cost more than $2,000 a month. The landlord recently bumped up the offer by $5,000.
Following the path of other displaced San Francisco tenants to the East Bay isn't an option for her family. Gasoline costs for her and her husband, a mechanic, would soar. Her daughter's transportation time to San Francisco State would more than double, making it difficult to take early morning classes.
"I would rather move back to my home country than move to Oakland," Blanca Reyes, 50, said. "I am a citizen here. And this is the only home I've ever known in this country."
Which belongs to someone else. The $50,000 is just a measure of how much--at discounted present value--she's stealing from the owner. Something that the author of this piece doesn't seem to get.

Though it's nice to see someone (an interviewee) recognizing the power of market forces;
"It's not as big of a deal as our elected officials are making it out to be," [Janan] New said. "We believe that buyouts have been in existence for the past 10 years for a way for building owners under strict rent regulations to kind of manage their properties."
....She's dubious about whether any legislation could regulate the practice because "buyouts are privately contracted agreements, and it's very difficult for the government to control private contracts."
There's a lot of wisdom in that. Wisdom that goes back thousands of years.
New doesn't favor requiring that buyouts be recorded, either.
"It's not a transfer of real estate," she said. "It's a private agreement between two parties. So I don't really think that's feasible. We believe the system works well for both parties now."
It worked even better before San Francisco adopted rent control, as a famous argument demonstrated.
New believes it works for the tenant's benefit.
"We're pro-choice here," New said. "If they choose to accept the money, that's what they choose to do. They have a right to do it. They may choose to become homeowners and buy a home and put some money down."
I wonder if she's 'pro-choice' about workers accepting employers' offers of wages too. Speaking of another San Francisco fetish.

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