Renters’ Rights Activists Hold Rally in OB

by on June 7, 2016 · 4 comments

in Civil Rights, Culture, Economy, History, Ocean Beach, Organizing, Politics

OB rent rally 6-4-16 ACE 2

Photo by Albert C Elliott

Last Saturday, June 4th, a rally was held on the grassy area near Veterans’ Plaza in Ocean Beach by renters’ rights activists, who are circulating a rent-control petition for San Diego. They also have targeted one of OB’s landlords, Michael Mills.

Here is some of a report by Dave Rice at the San Diego Reader:

A group of activists seeking a rent-control ordinance and other tenant-protection measures gathered in Ocean Beach on Saturday, circulating a petition they hope will convince the city council to open a dialogue concerning their grievances.

One of the organizers, Rebecca Shulman of San Diego Tenants United , told Rice:

“We’re trying to raise awareness of the need for housing justice in San Diego, and that comes through a triangular platform involving either rent control or rent stabilization, better code enforcement, and wise investment in communities that doesn’t displace residents who’ve been there for years.”

“The people we’re targeting are really unscrupulous. The private, owner-occupied buildings, those people usually have a conscience and care about the conditions their tenants are living in. The people we’re targeting own large numbers of units…maybe they don’t even live in the state, they have no idea what kind of condition their property is being kept in.”

“Michael Mills has…been paying cash for multi-unit buildings around O.B. and, after 60 days, raising rents. Some of the tenants who’ve remained in these buildings say they’re half empty now, and though he’s coming in and putting a little paint on, some flooring, but if you look at the properties he owns they’re really some of the gnarliest, most run-down buildings in O.B.”

Rice did some homework and reported:

A Facebook page set up specifically for Mills’s tenants has garnered 49 likes but has seen little activity. A public records search based off one address indicated five buildings in the Ocean Beach area are owned by the same trust, though none appear to have been purchased within the past two years. Such a search, however, may not be indicative of a group’s total holdings, as separate trusts, limited liability corporations, or other structures may have been set up to hold title to more recent acquisitions.

Rice described San Diego Tenants United as –

” … a collection of individuals organized via social media that has also participated in organizing protests against alleged substandard living conditions at a Linda Vista apartment complex.”

 

 

 

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Connie June 7, 2016 at 1:21 pm

It’s about time! Between rapacious landlords and Air B&B schemes, the very soul of O B is under increasing threat.
Good work, renters.

Reply

Seamu June 8, 2016 at 6:14 am

OB=PB

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RC June 8, 2016 at 1:17 pm

If you can’t afford living in OB, move to El Cajon, Escondido, Vista, Lakeside, etc… Not property owners problem if someone can’t afford rent. High rents get rid of riff raff!

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Mercy Baron OB Mercy June 10, 2016 at 5:55 pm

Let’s see….my bf and I were both homeowners for over 25 yrs individually and sold those in just the last few years. We’re in our early 60’s now. We know how to take good care of our rental apt. We pay our rent on time and we are involved civically in OB.

We live in a building of hardworking, young professionals who also care a lot about OB. In all my reporting for the SD Reader, I find mostly caring people, young and old here in OB who just want to be able to live in a beach area and don’t mind paying a few hundred more dollars per month in rent to do so. But NOT have it raised $300-500 when a building is sold which is what is happening all over OB now.

Our building is currently in escrow and we are just waiting for the other shoe to drop. We pray it isn’t Mills buying our building, but no matter who buys it, we know we’re going to get a raise. We’re trying to prepare for it by cutting many other things out of our life. But we’re willing to do it to continue living in a town we love being in.

Just the riff raff weighing in here!

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