Regional COVID-19 Housing Policy Update as of Today

Regional COVID-19 Housing Policy Update as of Today

Update: 2020-04-06


Benjamin Schenk and fellow colleagues recently did a 300 people survey on the housing policy under the quarantine due to COVID-19.

The results are as follows:

"After last week's City Council vote and Governor Newsom's Executive Order, I wanted to get back in touch to share two pieces of information.


We MUST avoid another 2008 foreclosure crisis. Local mom & pop Housing Providers care more about their tenants than does Wall Street. If Housing Providers default on their obligations, so too will the local lenders who provide vital credit and liquidity to our community. When that happens, Wall Street will purchase the assets from our local lenders at a substantial discount, and won't hesitate to liquidate the small apartment buildings -- of which our region's housing stock is comprised -- off their balance sheets and sell to vulture buyers, who would in turn evict previous tenants en masse to ensure the highest possible return on their investment. 


We already watched this movie in 2008. And given our region's already fragile housing market and homeless population, we really can't afford to produce a sequel. We are fighting NOW to prevent the condo conversions, apartment teardowns for luxury build-ups, and eventual ruination of stable neighborhoods. We truly understand how this business works.

We are all sacrificing right now. Some more than others. But we must sacrifice prudently; without giving into emotional urges that seek to benefit one group of people while bankrupting another. 


And we must not give into the convenient castigation that those who provide housing are uber-wealthy "landlords" who can and should unilaterally shoulder what is truly a shared burden. Because that is not who we are.


We are hard working folks who chose to invest in our communities by providing shelter. 

We are not Mega-Corporations. We're local citizens with shared civic values. Most of this group are in their 60s-90s (retired healthcare professionals, fire fighters, teachers, and law enforcement personnel) and face the highest physical and financial risks from this pandemic. People who have spent their lives on the front lines are now fighting to not lose their retirement.


The overwhelming majority of Housing Providers are falling through Federal and Statewide cracks, as our loans are not federally guaranteed, nor do they fall under Governor Newsom's 90-day forbearance solution for residential mortgages.


We don't have the luxury of unlimited reserves to pay our expenses and keep our tenants' lights on. We cannot pay mortgages, property taxes, insurance, and maintain depreciable appliances indefinitely. 


And for most of us, the income we receive from our modest investments feeds our families


Ultimately, what we are asking for is no different than any person who unexpectedly lost their job or had their pay substantially cut due to this unforeseen crisis: a fair shake and some semblance of security when Federal Stimulus and Pandemic Insurance become available."

You can find more about Benjamin and he work he has done on:

If you have any questions, he is also available through email:

He let us know the he is very much willing to answer any emails you may have on this topic

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Regional COVID-19 Housing Policy Update as of Today

Regional COVID-19 Housing Policy Update as of Today

Krystle Moore and Kenny Simpson