SF’s Biggest Landlord Veritas is Facing a Tenants ‘Debt Strike’ Revolt

The Bay's best newsletter for underground events & news

As of Monday morning, the state of California sits four days from a September 30 eviction cliff, and nearly 5,000 San Francisco households have applications for rent relief that are still completely in limbo. Obviously, quite a few of these terrified tenants live in properties belonging to Veritas Investments, San Francisco’s largest landlord, who took millions in PPP loans and are now exploiting Gavin Newsom’s $5.2 billion landlord bailout  to scoop up rent-controlled properties owned by smaller, struggling mom-and-pop landlords.

But one clever tenants association has a plan to thwart this, and force Veritas Investments to the bargaining table. They’re organizing a “debt strike”  — that is, they’re withholding the applications that Veritas needs to get that sweet landlord bailout money, and demanding that Veritas negotiate a rent relief deal with them so that the tenants get some relief too.

They’re called the Veritas Tenants Association (VTA), and they represent more than 5,000 San Francisco households whose landlord is Veritas. “For 16 months and counting, VTA members have sought good-faith negotiations with their multi-billion-dollar corporate landlord regarding COVID-19 rent relief,” the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco says in a statement. “Instead of negotiating with their own tenants, Veritas, Mosser, Maximus, and other corporate landlords have doubled down on their efforts to claim limited public funds without the consent of their tenants, risking the depletion of the funds while they expand during the pandemic and claim millions of federal dollars intended for small property owners.”

“VTA members have decided that the burden of COVID rent debt should not rest on each individual tenant,” the statement continues. “As these tenants come together and choose not to apply for government rent-relief programs, they transform their debt from an individual mark of shame into a source of collective power.”

To put it simply: Veritas needs tenant application information to get the landlord bailout money. The VTA is withholding this information until they get assurances that they’ll get some relief, too. Will it work? Stay tuned.

This is an unprecedented tactic for tenant organizing, and we’re definitely keeping an eye on this story. If you want to support the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco and the Veritas Tenants Association, you can sign their online petition and get email updates on the VTA Debt Strike.

Like this article? Make sure to sign up for our mailing list so you never miss a goddamn thing!
Previous post

The ‘Muppets Haunted Mansion’ Trailer Has Dropped

Next post

Oakland Maker Space American Steel Sold To Seemingly Horrible New Corporate Owners

Joe Kukura- Millionaire in Training

Joe Kukura- Millionaire in Training

Joe Kukura is a two-bit marketing writer who excels at the homoerotic double-entendre. He is training to run a full marathon completely drunk and high, and his work has appeared in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal on days when their editors made particularly curious decisions.

No Comment

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.