I can’t believe The Daily Californian is turning into a shill for developers! Remember about nine years ago when the hireling of the developers, then-mayor Tom Bates, showed his contempt for the American value of freedom of the press by tossing piles of the Daily Cal into the trash because you were endorsing his opponent?
I graduated in 1965 when a struggling middle-class family could still afford to send a kid to college. They can’t do that today. After working 30 years and saving money, I scraped up enough to buy a condo in a 4-unit building on Milvia Street. When I bought it, all units were occupied by senior citizens. I thought we’d be a small congenial condo association. But two of our four units are now owned by scumlords charging outrageous rents. What I thought would be my home in retirement has been turned into some absentee scumlords’ cash cow!
Two “developers” (greedy rip-off artists eager to make a buck at everyone else’s expense) bought a house nearby and applied to build five units on the property that was formerly a single home — in a neighborhood where parking is scarce. If every unit houses two students — at $3,000 plus per month per unit — that could mean an extra 10 cars looking for places to park. We had a neighborhood meeting, and the two men assured us that they were building the apartments for their daughters. But, if they are anything like the lying real estate agent I had to deal with selling the condo across the hall from me to the scumlord, I would trust their “daughters” alibi about as far as I could throw their 5-unit building.
Daniel Winkler whines that Arreguín’s policies “are putting small real estate businesses at risk.” So, we are to take pity on the petty thieves as well? Let’s not forget what real estate does. It buys and sells properties, taking a profit each time and thereby inflating the value of homes to the point where people who actually do productive work in society can no longer afford to own their own home. Renters can no longer afford to live in homes they’ve lived in for decades. I work with seniors here and many will have to move in their old age to new, unfamiliar, far-away areas because they can’t afford the rent hikes.
They never apply to build their high-rise apartments in rich neighborhoods such as Sonoma Avenue. Haven’t you exploited us longtime Berkeley residents enough already? I guess in this age of Trump where greed is king, we lower-class working people just have to drop our drawers, bend over and let you business types have your way with us.
Howard Curtis is a member of the Berkeley community.