SLO Housing agency’s disgusting pre-Christmas rent increases

November 26, 2019

James Lopes

Opinion by James Lopes, an open letter to the San Luis Obispo City Council

I recently learned that my affordable housing neighbors are being slapped with 300 percent plus rent increases, right before the holidays.

They live in an “affordable” apartment complex on Poinsettia Street in San Luis Obispo.  The project was apparently required as a condition of the Edna-Islay development.

And now, the rumor is that some “term” of requiring affordable units will be expiring. The units were not dedicated to the city. Why not?

Why is the City of SLO requiring exorbitant rent increases from the renters who occupy those few affordable homes which the city obtains from developers?

Why does the city treat the recipients of its affordable housing strategy like human “units?” Why would the City Housing Authority (HASLO) send anxious tenants such incoherent notices, with no explanation except that they are doing it?

Why would HASLO apparently time the notice for Oct. 18, 2019, three days after Governor Newsom signed the law prohibiting rent increases after March, 2020?

What kind of city do we live in that the affordable housing strategy essentially evicts low-income tenants?

Why would they do this Scrooge-like maneuver at the start of the Christmas season?

What assurance do affordable housing tenants have for some financial security when they are not even given leases to count on consistent rent?

Why are low-income people not given fair dignity to live in the same affordable units which our city council, planners and bureaucrats claim as their best solution, their only victory against unaffordable housing in SLO?

Who in the SLO City government can be proud of this rent increase, in defense even brag that they run a humane program?

What will our SLO City Council do to stop this inexcusable action, and correct the course HASLO is on?

I will deeply appreciate any answers you can find to my questions and concerns.


What were the rents before? What did they raise them too? How big are the units?


It was correctly stated that I sometimes go “all over the place” without addressing the “What, why and how” with “analysis”; without trying to sound like I am justifying it, it’s part of the nature of my disability, a head injury, or RHD, Right Hemisphere brain injury Damage, that effects my cognitive and communicative abilities. It also effects my short term memory to the point where I can get lost from one word to the next, especially when speaking, but also in trying to communicate with written or typed words. So, I often just say what’s on my mind and quickly send it down the line as not to forget what I just thought or said or typed.

You mix the above with the emotions I feel when some of you just saying off-the-wall bullshit meant to place blame on someone or something outside of where it should be, well I just go off.

Let me try to do better:

I would like you to try and use some self-pointed empathy for a moment, please. All of you are either paying a mortgage or rent, right? That amount is usually determined by the amount of income you have with the amount of your payment based on 1/3 of your gross income, right? Or at least when you applied for the loan to purchase or your rent amount at that time, right? Affordable housing is no different; the amount of rent you pay is based on 30% of your gross annual income. The difference is where your mortgage doesn’t differ from year-to-year and your rents don’t go up that often (my last home I lived in before my injury I was there for 3+ years with no rent increase), there is never a rent increase just because of a income increase, right? Those of us in federally subsidized housing get a rent increase every time our income goes up, sometimes the raise can actually cause some of us to lose our housing because we become outside of the income limits. At least one time a year, when COLA is on the plus side and you’re receiving SSA benefits, we get a rent increase.

Please try and imagine what would happen to you if suddenly your rent or mortgage would increase by 300%. What would that do to you and your family. How would that effect your quality of life? If your mortgage was say $2,000.00 a month and without much warning it jumped to $6,000.00 a month, how would that effect you?

Also, here’s something else to consider; if these rents are increased 300% that means you, those lucky enough to be still working and paying taxes, would feel the brunt of some of that increase as well. The federally subsidized portion would also go up, spending more of your tax dollars for the same space you once paid less for. To make it a little clearer; say the subsidized portion of the rent is $400 then an increase of 300% comes about suddenly the subsidized portion becomes $1,200.00, so now your tax dollars spent become $800.00 more for the same space. How would that sit with you?

More than anything else, while you’re placing blame anywhere and everywhere you’re ignoring those of us who are disabled who actually bear the brunt of this bullshit, and if the apathetic ways some of you feel here towards us American Citizens don’t change it will only get worse while you pay more-and-more for it…


Its my understanding that the new rent control law is retroactive back to march 2019.I have heard landlords all over the state are giving tenants eviction notices to vacate so they can up the rent….but if they keep current tenant rent can only be raised 5% plus local inflation which would also be retroactive back to march 2019 ….But I have read over the law it says retroactive back to march 2019 …just Google : Californias New Rent Control Law …and double check my interpretation


Mr. Lopes,

Let an informed voice break through the bullshit here, please!

There are a few reasons for this; one is because HASLO can! Another is no one cares, another is no body wants these folks as neighbors and would just rather see them disappear anyway, and finally, as usual, it’s being done to those who have no real voice in their community anyway!

This is robbery, plane and simple! And again, perpetrated against those who can least afford to be robbed. It’s the American way! Rob from the poor to feed the rich! Cut funding to essential entitlement programs and then give the rich the biggest tax cut in decades. And because we don’t have a voice, the same kind of voice the rich not only purchase but demand, we get no relief let alone actual representation.

It’s gonna happen, and nothing will happen! Accept of course those who need affordable housing will not have housing at all… Just what most of these on this sight would rather see anyway!


James, I’m glad you wrote this. It probably has something to do with the rent control bill recently signed into law by our great Governor Newsom that will go into effect in January 2020. In reaction to that law, rent increases and evictions are becoming epidemic across the state. Too many Californians are blissfully unaware of what our state government is doing to us and our legislature and Governor remain oblivious to the consequences of their actions. Merry Christmas!


There is no depths the like’s you would go to justify your penchant for demonizing any Democrat for any frickin’ reason, up to and including not holding those responsible for these outrageous rent increases at these highly emotional holiday times. HASLO did this, they made the decision to do so! And if you are suggesting, as it sounds like you are, that it was done because of what Gov. Newson did? Well that’s even lower yet, ’cause that’s a perfect example of financial revenge at the cost of those who cannot afford it!

Justify it any way you want, blame the boogey man, I don’t give a fuck, but all of us outside of your elitist entitled minded world knows that a rent increase like this would absolutely devastate us, especially at this time of year.

Hey! aye-caramba!

What difference does it make what the rent is or the size of the unit(s)? How is that relative? Those that are there, are there because they cannot afford the traditional high-as-shit rents that are demanded in SLO, and qualify for those affordable rents because of the combination of income and family size, nothing more!

My COLA increase for 2020 is fifteen bucks a month, if you were to increase my rent 300% you’d eliminate my increase and actually I would have less income after rent then I did this year, and back about 4 years! How does that make my quality of life better, or at least stay the same?

There is a lot more to the story, and that’s the absolute ignorance based prejudiced bullshit that goes on, on this sight, from most of you! That’s a story worth following…


One other thing; a realistic rent increase would have come to these folks anyway at the first of the year if they are in federally subsidized housing which HASLO does offer. That increase would have been 30% of 2020’s annual gross income; so in my case when my benefits go up in January by $15.00 a month my rent will increase by $4.50 a month, or $54.00 a year, very reasonable and realistic.

300% is robbery, pure and simple!


Thank you Mr. AmericaTheFree for finally clarifying where you are coming from.


If you have read any of past posts you’d have known I clarified where I was comin’ from a long time ago. Thank you though for noticing now.


ATF, Have to admit that you went ALL over the place, except the FACTs pertaining to what is exactly happening. What, why and how with analysis.


Thanks for your input, I’ll try and do better in the future.


Before reaching for the torches and jumping on the bandwagon here, what were the existing rents? For what sized units and what are the proposed increases? Sometimes there is a LOT more to the story.