This article was posted on Wednesday, Mar 01, 2023

Dear Board of Supervisors: (letter to the board of supervisors and all other politicians voting for any form of rent control.,

Before you pull the “my constituents need me to do this” card to cast your edict over the realm (sounds feudal, doesn’t it?) and extend the eviction moratorium, or consider some monetary threshold landlords must lose before they can evict – please get real with your responsibility.

You are not to be emotionally propelled past reason and your actual jurisdiction by some misguided sense of social justice. You occupy positions of enormous responsibility and influence, and in the opinion of every single property owner and housing provider in LA County, you would be wrong extending an eviction moratorium or creating some monetary threshold before evictions can begin.  You do know this, yet do not seem to use reason or facts.  You seem to be propelled by the wrong things. There is no justification for you to do either of these things.

You appear (and have stated as much) to be buying time to figure out “How do we further punish housing providers (because we have no idea how to actually help housing to be more affordable) after we lift the yoke of the baseless covid eviction moratorium off their necks.”  I apologize for being a little harsh, but you are exactly step for step in mirror function of our state assembly and senate and many California city councils of not responding to reason, listening to facts, proposing to pay housing providers back for the money such legislation steals from us, or proposing any meaningful real solutions to the problems we have all identified.  All we ever saw was a badly disguised “other agenda” for social justice and here you are, walking the same path.  And, given the powers you assume to have to pass any law you like for state control over privately owned assets any time, who cares about buying time.  

If you want to continue the covid related eviction moratorium, please propose how you might enact the old “Tenant Assistance Program” that repaid landlords about half of what was fraudulently stolen from them – to repay every dime they would lose.  Government had emergency powers before we had an abundant covid vaccine and real good control over covid.  Let’s really feel what “emergency powers” means.  And you do not have them now – in any method of interpretation. 

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You do not need those severe measures by any reasonable standards.  It’s proof is everywhere – no other government body nationwide is utilizing emergency powers any more.  Yet here you are, not looking at any facts, or using any reason. No, you have another agenda, and it’s over.  Punishing housing providers with billions more in losses you won’t reimburse will not end racism, or get people equity.  There is just no other way to say it – you are way off base doing this. 

As for trying to establish how much money you should steal from housing providers with some silly “monetary threshold” before eviction can begin, tell me how this fixes anything.  It is just stealing a month or two months rent from landlords to give to tenants.  You will achieve no lasting solutions to anything by doing this, and I seriously doubt you have the right to do this. We all know rent lost during evictions is virtually never regained.  There are layer upon layer of tenant protections in the eviction procedures in place and with AB1482 and no housing provider/landlord WANTS to eat the huge losses of an eviction.  How many months of lost rent to process the eviction, attorneys and processing fees, then rehabilitation and marketing after the eviction.  Eviction in a $2000 / month apartment easily costs a building owner $12,000. Probably more.  When no solution between tenant and housing provider can be worked out, we do not need one extra month or any “monetary threshold” adding to our losses. How arbitrary, how much like “playing God” are you with this monetary threshold notion. Again – casting a decree over the realm with absolutely no democratic representation or reason.  

I doubt any of you have much experience being a housing developer or provider, or we wouldn’t be having this conversation.  Stop meddling with real estate under the wrong label of “tenants rights”.  Start trying to pull in advisors who can help us understand what we can do to create more housing, and subsidize tenants rather than steal from housing providers.  State control over privately owned assets is socialism, which has never sustainably succeeded.  

If you want to build your own inventory of housing by buying or developing it go ahead – just leave the rest of us property owners alone

By now we all know to even say the oxymoron “affordable housing” reveals a void in your understanding of facts.  Say “subsidized” housing.  In any metro market in California you can’t buy affordable housing, and you can’t build it.  Only with government financial subsidy can any movement away from market pricing for housing happen.  

How can you not connect the dots when the state wants to be a sanctuary state for illegal immigrants (any nicer way to say it?) and not understand the crush that puts on the inventory of the million or more of California’s least expensive housing units?  What role do the incredible incomes so many in California are earning play in pricing and inventory in other tiers of housing?  Focus on these two realities, and how to really increase supply outside urban hotspots. 

There are reasons to try to crack this housing affordability dilemma.  We can try with reason and facts, but we are not hearing these from you. 

Enough of wrong, painful, arbitrary prejudicial stabs at “how do we fix this”.  Let’s get serious about how to really start doing the right thing, and the many right things.  Eviction moratoriums and monetary thresholds added to eviction costs are NOT the right things. Sincerely, William Shelton