Opinion by James Lopes, an open letter to the San Luis Obispo City Council
I recently learned that my affordable housing neighbors are being slapped with 300 percent plus rent increases, right before the holidays.
They live in an “affordable” apartment complex on Poinsettia Street in San Luis Obispo. The project was apparently required as a condition of the Edna-Islay development.
And now, the rumor is that some “term” of requiring affordable units will be expiring. The units were not dedicated to the city. Why not?
Why is the City of SLO requiring exorbitant rent increases from the renters who occupy those few affordable homes which the city obtains from developers?
Why does the city treat the recipients of its affordable housing strategy like human “units?” Why would the City Housing Authority (HASLO) send anxious tenants such incoherent notices, with no explanation except that they are doing it?
Why would HASLO apparently time the notice for Oct. 18, 2019, three days after Governor Newsom signed the law prohibiting rent increases after March, 2020?
What kind of city do we live in that the affordable housing strategy essentially evicts low-income tenants?
Why would they do this Scrooge-like maneuver at the start of the Christmas season?
What assurance do affordable housing tenants have for some financial security when they are not even given leases to count on consistent rent?
Why are low-income people not given fair dignity to live in the same affordable units which our city council, planners and bureaucrats claim as their best solution, their only victory against unaffordable housing in SLO?
Who in the SLO City government can be proud of this rent increase, in defense even brag that they run a humane program?
What will our SLO City Council do to stop this inexcusable action, and correct the course HASLO is on?
I will deeply appreciate any answers you can find to my questions and concerns.