Meet Local Housing Provider – Karen

“The initiatives are stifling and are crafted in such a way that caring and fair property owners are being penalized and driven away from our homes and our small businesses. In this case, we have provided a tremendously important component of life — a great place to call home.”

Name: Karen

How long have you owned rental property? Since 1979

How many units do you own? 4

Owner/occupied? Yes

What do you like most about owning property in Oakland?  I like the diversity in Oakland neighborhoods. It is wonderful and fulfilling to know that I have been able to offer a desirable place to call home for the many residents over the years who enjoy living together in a diverse community.

How would you describe your relationship with your renters? Very good. Communication is the key.

What concerns you most about the renter-proposed initiatives being considered in Oakland? The initiatives are stifling and are crafted in such a way that caring and fair property owners are being penalized and driven away from our homes and our small businesses. In this case, we have provided a tremendously important component of life — a great place to call home.

What is the most difficult part about being a property owner in the city?  The current restrictions of rent control are so unfair to small business property owners who have been fair with their renters. When rent control was first introduced many years ago, I felt the percentage increases allowed were fair and reasonable and I had no need to give a rent increase every year.  Banking was a good idea and with the moderate restrictions it was workable. The fee to the Rent Arbitration Board of $30 a unit is affordable and painless! Proposals to increase this fee could be the final straw along with the skyrocketing garbage and recycling rate increases (I feel like I’ve been blindsided with this one), higher water rates (after we do an excellent job AGAIN of lowering our water usage), and higher fees for gas to heat our homes. All of these increased costs are sending many of us small business owners over the edge and will make us extinct!

Any other comments? Oakland rental housing proposals are inflicting pain and causing the ruin of small business owners who provide residential housing and who have been fair and care about their renters and who have been a significant piece in the tapestry of our beautiful city of Oakland. Contributions to the financial needs of our city should be borne by a larger pool of property owners — too many of the large property owners and newer buildings built after a certain cutoff year are exempt from these debilitating measures. Let’s spread the responsibility of creating a better Oakland to a much larger pool. Let’s stop bickering over the same small piece of pie. Oakland can and should be a maverick — stop sucking the life out of the goose that lays the golden eggs, the small property business owners. Meet the challenge. Be a maverick. See to it that more affordable housing is built in EVERY NEIGHBORHOOD in Oakland.