"The ugly reality is that shabby housing like the Grand View Apartments provides a necessary service in offering those on the lowest rungs of the economic ladder a place to live, which they would not otherwise have. While the law imposes an obligation on owners to only rent habitable housing, it doesn't provide a way to pay for it." —John Donegan ("Harsh realities," Nov. 21)
Wow. This guy really knows how to kick people when they're down.
The very act of being paid rental income is the "way to pay for it." That the owners never used their prior year profits to maintain, let alone improve, the property is a major factor of why it fell into the "shabby housing" it is today. But let's put a pin in that salient financial fact and turn our attention to these legal facts first:
Grand View Apartments LLC isn't a 501c-anything. It is not a nonprofit endeavor at all. It's a limited liability corporation, as reported in multiple arenas (SLO county legal documents being a main source).
Yet, Grand View Apartments LLC is not registered with the California Secretary of State. Go ahead, look it up (don't mistake it for the very nonprofit, similar-sounding, well-run Abode Communities housing organization down in LA though).
So what is it? An unregistered tax entity? A prevarication? Part of a shell game? Someone like, oh, say, a lawyer could do a little digging and find out more.
And now to circle back to the financial pin we placed earlier:
What we do know is that the owners of this "shabby housing" live in Santa Barbara. Something tells me their living conditions are in no way comparable to the Grand View residents' living conditions.
That seems to answer the question of where those "shabby housing" profits went, since they didn't get reinvested back into the "shabby housing."
Mr. Donegan's 12th word into his opinion piece showed the path he was about to embark on and where his true agenda lay—blaming the victims of this "shabby housing" debacle. Telling the poor it's their fault they live in squalor and that the rich are kind enough to do the poor a solid, so complaining about the proverbial rotten apple they were handed in the name of a made-up charitable endeavor is an example of how they just aren't grateful. His disclaimer was spot on though: "My knowledge of this situation is limited" and reminds me of two famous quotes:
"It's better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt." —Mark Twain
"What you don't know could fill a book." —Uncle Junior Soprano