SAN FRANCISCO, CA, August 14, 2020 – Veritas, San Francisco’s premier operator of rent-controlled housing, today announced several groundbreaking initiatives to help meet the housing needs of San Franciscans impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
“We understand the extreme hardship and stress that San Franciscans are facing, especially given the end of federal unemployment benefits” said Yat-Pang Au, Founder and CEO of Veritas. “Since the beginning of this crisis, when we issued a voluntary moratorium on evictions and rent increases, we have been working hard with our residents and retail tenants to keep them housed and stable.”
Focused on keeping Veritas residents in their homes, the new program consists of four principal tenets:
Keeping Residents and Retailers Housed
Even before the City and County of San Francisco proclaimed an eviction moratorium, Veritas offered their residents a voluntary eviction moratorium based on financial hardship caused by COVID-19. Veritas is now extending that moratorium through the end of 2020, while San Francisco’s moratorium is scheduled to expire on August 31. This eviction moratorium applies to 100 percent of Veritas units, as well as being extended to all their retail tenants.
Rent Increase Freeze
Veritas was the first San Francisco building owner and manager to temporarily pause rent increases at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Veritas is now voluntarily committing to extend that rent increase freeze for all of its units through the end of 2020.
Because Veritas-owned buildings are often more than 100 years old, they can require extensive capital improvement work; much of it required by law, such as fire alarm upgrades and seismic retrofit. These improvements have resulted in buildings that are much safer and more comfortable to live in, but for select buildings that received a rent increase in the form of a passthrough, there is additional stress on the affected residents.
To bring greater peace of mind, Veritas is committing not to file any new pass through petitions during 2020, and also withdrawing all pending petitions currently awaiting decision from the San Francisco Rent Board, forgoing the related passthrough income in perpetuity.
Residential Support Measures
Veritas will be deploying a series of support measures, including continuing rent deferrals, on a case-by-case basis according to the respective situation of our residents most impacted by COVID-19. We will continue to reach out to all our residents who are experiencing hardship to remind them that our Resident Services Team is there to offer assistance.
“These carefully crafted programs reflect our commitment to our residents and the greater San Francisco community,” said Au. “We believe these are the broadest relief efforts by any major building owner and property manager in the nation, and we hope this inspires the industry to join us in offering similar levels of assistance.”