Opinion » Letters

The rental ordinance is class warfare



The city of San Luis Obispo has a problem of its own making. Or I should say SLO has made a problem worse. Too many people without adequate resources live on the streets and in creek beds. Many have jobs or fixed incomes or have mental problems. Nobody wants that. It’s bad for the homeless and bad for those who live and work in those areas. So what does the city do? It passes an ordinance to shut down “substandard” rentals forcing more people onto the streets.

Another symptom of the problem is the lack of available large storage rentals. They are filled with small business people who can’t afford commercial office and shop space in addition to a place to live in a depressed economy.

Over-croweded rentals for Cal Poly students and garages and shacks without proper facilities are a problem. But the health and safety issue is a ruse. Building codes have long addressed those issues. This is really about increasing the value of rental property by shrinking the supply of low-cost rental units. Simple supply and demand.

To be clear, this is class warfare pitting low-income people against real estate interests and SLO appears to have taken a side. This is not surprising given the sad nature of money and politics these days.

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