Letter of Resignation from the Palo Alto Planning and Transportation Commission
Kate Vershov Downing
1.2K80

Hi Kate,

Just wanted to offer my congratulations on the excellent work. You are shining a spotlight on what is arguably the premier socio-economic issue of are time, not just here in the SF Bay Area but nationally.

Last May I was laid off from a contract tech writing gig at the Bare Escentuals HQ on Stevens Street in The City after only five days (it was a three month contract). The RIF was made because Shisheido, the Japanese conglomerate that owns BE, decided that the rent in SF was too high (first among other issues) so it would be better to move to MANHATTAN. Remember when NYC was the most expensive place on earth? No more. San Francisco now owns that dubious distinction.

Here in Fremont there is another issue that is distorting the housing market. Many landlords at the larger apartment complexes are flouting local usage laws by renting units out to anywhere from four (studios) to eight (two bedrooms) tenants. Most of these individuals are replacement workers earning a third to half of those they have replaced.

In October of 2014, just before I moved out of the two bedroom I shared with a single roommate (rent: $2100.00 per month), the landlord informed us that our rent was increasing to $4200.00 per month. At the time I thought it was insane, but I also noticed the large influx of new tenants who seemed to be living with three or more roommates in each unit they occupied. Now I understand the correlation.

Anyway, food for thought. Please keep up the good work, and thank you for it.

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