February 2, 2004
Presidio Trust Board
Subject: Presidio Housing
In 1994, Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) presented to Department of Interior (DOI) a need for National Park Service employees to reside in the Presidio emphasizing the capability for emergency callouts, stewardship, community, and a deterrent to ongoing problems with vandalism.
The DOI agreed to this compelling need and authorized 70 units to be set aside for GGNRA housing. Employees relocated into the Presidio, leaving behind various tenant housing rights which included maximum rent increases (ref: San Francisco Rent Control maximum 2004 allowable increase is less than 2%). The tradeoff was that NPS residents would contribute towards sustainability, stewardship, community and their tenant rights would be protected by various Government regulations, which includes: rental increased adjusted to OMB Circular A-45 (historically averaging 3-4% annually).
In September 1998, NPS Presidio residents received a notice that the Presidio Trust would not honor any prior tenant agreements with the National Park Service and the Department of Interior. The Presidio Trust further stipulated the following:
In early 2000 the Presidio Trust sent out a letter to NPS tenants claiming that "the supply of vacant residences of the same quality was no longer available at the Presidio" and what the Presidio Trust claims to be below the market rental rate is being adjusted to the Presidio Trust claims is the fair market rate. I say claims fair market rate because in proximate San Francisco neighborhoods, which form the basis for these "fair market rates", annual rental rate increases have been capped below the inflation rate for over the past ten years and non-renewal of leases is prohibited in all but very specific situations. Tenants renting in San Francisco receive extensive tenant protection.
What type of fair market value or consistent terms was applied to the Presidio Trust's highest paid managers who arrived and resided at the Presidio long after NPS residents moved in? According to a 10-2001-rent chart, the following applied:
Recently NPS tenants have offered the Presidio Trust a 70% rent increase phased in over a three-year period. This offer has been rejected and the only alternative offered by the Presidio Trust Management is a 200%+ rent increase when the lease runs out (March 2004), take it, or leave it. In all probability, some sort of legal process will proceed. My hope is that a Federal judge will defer to the local standards of the community and afford all Presidio tenants the same rights and standards of the local community under rent control.
If you have any questions or comments on this issue please feel free to contact me.
Michael P. Crahan
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