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San Diego slumlords on notice

Socialist group cites leaky roofs, roach and vermin infestations

About two dozen activists from the San Diego Socialist Campaign, including their 2016 city-council candidate, gathered Saturday afternoon, August 22, in City Heights to protest what they say are intolerable living conditions created by landlords.

Rachel Scoma

"We're rallying for affordable housing, rent control, affordable housing in San Diego, and aggressive enforcement against slumlords," explained Rachel Scoma from outside the building that houses the county's Health and Human Services offices as well as those of California Housing Works.

"Recently an article came out that said that there are major slumlords in City Heights, and there's little we can do about holding them accountable. We started knocking on doors in City Heights and asking what residents' issues were regarding their landlords. We heard some really powerful horror stories — leaky roofs, roach infestations, the list goes on."

War on Roaches

Sandra Galindo, who is running under the socialist banner in an attempt to take Marti Emerald's District 9 city-council seat in 2016, also spoke, calling for a "war on roaches."

"Living in City Heights is especially bad for those living in low-income housing," Galindo said. "We need to remember that people who live here have incomes among the lowest in San Diego, and…in many of these buildings the living conditions are terribly unsanitary."

The group planned to meet up later in the afternoon with a resident who'd complained repeatedly of roach and vermin infestations, only to be met with a refusal of treatment by her landlord.

Fighting for More Funding

They insisted that their fight was against landlords and a lack of funding for enforcement agencies, rather than the organizations themselves.

"We're not protesting California Housing Works; we want to draw attention to the fact that the agency needs money — they're working on the issue of affordable housing, but they don't get the resources they need. So we're here in support of them," Scoma added.

Criticism was also heavy for a "derelict housing enforcement team" proposed in April by mayor Kevin Faulconer — activists say the budget of roughly $333,000 is insufficient to begin to address problems found throughout the city's lower-income neighborhoods.

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About two dozen activists from the San Diego Socialist Campaign, including their 2016 city-council candidate, gathered Saturday afternoon, August 22, in City Heights to protest what they say are intolerable living conditions created by landlords.

Rachel Scoma

"We're rallying for affordable housing, rent control, affordable housing in San Diego, and aggressive enforcement against slumlords," explained Rachel Scoma from outside the building that houses the county's Health and Human Services offices as well as those of California Housing Works.

"Recently an article came out that said that there are major slumlords in City Heights, and there's little we can do about holding them accountable. We started knocking on doors in City Heights and asking what residents' issues were regarding their landlords. We heard some really powerful horror stories — leaky roofs, roach infestations, the list goes on."

War on Roaches

Sandra Galindo, who is running under the socialist banner in an attempt to take Marti Emerald's District 9 city-council seat in 2016, also spoke, calling for a "war on roaches."

"Living in City Heights is especially bad for those living in low-income housing," Galindo said. "We need to remember that people who live here have incomes among the lowest in San Diego, and…in many of these buildings the living conditions are terribly unsanitary."

The group planned to meet up later in the afternoon with a resident who'd complained repeatedly of roach and vermin infestations, only to be met with a refusal of treatment by her landlord.

Fighting for More Funding

They insisted that their fight was against landlords and a lack of funding for enforcement agencies, rather than the organizations themselves.

"We're not protesting California Housing Works; we want to draw attention to the fact that the agency needs money — they're working on the issue of affordable housing, but they don't get the resources they need. So we're here in support of them," Scoma added.

Criticism was also heavy for a "derelict housing enforcement team" proposed in April by mayor Kevin Faulconer — activists say the budget of roughly $333,000 is insufficient to begin to address problems found throughout the city's lower-income neighborhoods.

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Comments
4

All apartment buildings are an investment in a downward spiral. As apartments age the more maintenance they need and the less one can get for rent. At some point the only money that can be squeezed out is from deferred maintenance. The owner then sells to someone who then becomes either a slumlord or rehabs the building and starts the cycle over. As apartment building reach the end of their economic life the only ones that are left to rent them are the very people who you don't want renting from you. It is a vicious cycle. In San Diego there is no such thing as affordable housing only subsidized housing.

Aug. 22, 2015

Alex, that generalization is not accurate. I don't know about City Heights, but here in North Park rents have only gone UP, not down, in older apartment buildings. Even with more maintenance, the landlords get more rent--NOT less. And I constantly see older apartment buildings being rehabbed, and then the rents really jump up. No vicious cycle at all; it's perfectly usual. [I worked for years in apartment property mgt. in the past.]

Aug. 22, 2015

bull

Show me a suffering landlord.

Aug. 22, 2015

And then there are the freaky anomalies,(at least I hope they are) that are these two characters I came across along 39th St. Our mutual cycling interests was the impetus of us ever meeting. One is about five three or maybe four and a good 200 lbs. The other a good six footer weighing in at a good 320lbs. They both ride the sweetest carbon fiber competition tour road bikes that cost thousands of dollars. The meticulous attention to detail in the King hubs and Headpiece and other sweet details forced one to come along when invited over for a few cold ones so, when you step in behind them as the open their respective doors,(they're neighbors, not roomates) and suddenly you see the squalor that they live in it is sickening. The observant eye can see weeks, No! months of the door opening and the shoes coming off with the socks, shirt and sometimes shorts in a consistent trail.The living area? Fuggedabahdit!! Disgusting, repulsive and embarrasing. And they look at you like YOU'RE crazy when you gaze at it all in horror.However, I know many in the area who's rent has skyrocketed and the apartment doesn't merit such a hike without improvement. A friend of mine is such a clean freak yet her battles with the famed city heights cockroach are legendary. Ask anybody, uh, ah,...they'll tell you. Go ahead, ask. .

Aug. 22, 2015

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