Mark Zuckerberg Inserted Into Bay Area Housing Crisis
By DANIEL BORNSTEIN, ESQ.
Having resolved landlord-tenant disputes for over two decades, the real estate attorneys at Bornstein Law have weathered many cycles of the real estate market. In every season, through prosperity and decline, we have witnessed firsthand many unfortunate housing situations and we never let this human element escape us. That was a salient message in our earlier post that studied the Rent Board’s exhaustive study of eviction trends over time.
And so we were captivated by this recent article in The Guardian that successfully puts a face on the housing crisis, or five to be exact – a young couple with three children, age four, nine and eight.
Nicole and her husband Victor both work at one of Facebook’s cafeterias and live in a cramped, two-car garage with their children, just a few miles distance from Zuckerberg’s five-house compound in Palo Alto and a stone’s throw away from the Facebook’s sprawling Menlo Park headquarters.
While Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg trots around the country in a tour to “learn about people’s hopes and challenges”, the billionaire should address the challenges outside his own back door, according to the article. In a region where software engineers who earn four times as much report difficulty making ends meet, this family is especially struggling.
Like everyone else, we are aware of the pervasive housing problem in the Bay Area, and feel it is important to chronicle the plight of families that are working hard to keep their heads above water. However, we find it unproductive to assign blame to property owners.
For its part, Facebook has made a good-faith effort to ease the housing crunch with the development of a tentative residential and retail space in Menlo Park that could feature roughly 1,500 new units. For sure, Silicon Valley is struggling to adequately house its burgeoning workforce, but at Bornstein Law our quintessential point is this: everyone is struggling with the housing crisis and even high-income residents are being priced out of the market.
Mark Zuckerberg may be one notable exception, making him an easy target for tenant rights advocates, but even he cannot solve the housing shortage, much less the modest “mom and pop” landlords that account for most of the rental property owners throughout the Bay Area. Rising costs also impact their bottom line and so it seems that no one is impervious to the macroeconomic forces that affect everyone.
Since we are all in the same boat, we should not pit tenants against landlords, but instead, band together to find solutions to an intractable problem that affects us all.
As the founding attorney of Bornstein Law, Broker of Record for Bay Property Group and expert witness, Daniel Bornstein is a foremost and well-respected expert in landlord-tenant disputes and other property management issues with over 23 years of experience in handling real estate and civil litigation related disputes in and throughout the Bay Area. More than a litigator, Daniel manages rental properties, assists in completing real estate transactions and is well known for his educational seminars. He is always eager to answer questions and engage with Bay Area landlords, property owners and real estate professionals. Email him today.
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