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Veritas, the massive real estate company that owns more than 200 San Francisco properties and in recent years reported a value exceeding $3 billion, was the recipient of a Payroll Protection Program loan of the sort ostensibly earmarked for small businesses. 

“We applied for and received a Payroll Protection Program loan, which we also communicated to the entire Veritas workforce,” the company said via a statement after Mission Local this morning phoned Veritas CEO Yang-Pat Au. “The PPP loan enables us to save the jobs of our front line employees, and is critical to our business operations and keeping these San Francisco workers employed.”

Veritas stated that it received a $3.6 million loan. The company has furloughed 26 of its 196 employees, and these funds were intended to bring them back to work. 

San Francisco politicos and tenant activists, however, were gobsmacked by the news that Veritas applied for — and received — this money. 

“It’s totally outrageous that San Francisco’s largest landlord, with more than $3 billion in assets and a history of harassing tenants, has received a forgivable loan that’s supposed to be for struggling small businesses,” said Fred Sherburn-Zimmer, the executive director of the Housing Rights Committee. 

“We are urging them to return the entire loan and use their years of profit from flipping rent-controlled apartments to forgive rents for their tenants for these months. They can afford to.” 

Added Supervisor Aaron Peskin, a frequent Veritas critic, “One of San Francisco’s largest landlords and real-estate investors should not be hoarding money that should’ve gone to people who are hurting.” 

A number of high-profile companies have received PPP loans during the COVID-19 crisis, even while smaller companies — including plenty here in San Francisco — have come up empty. 

Following a torrent of negative press, the national restaurant chain Shake Shack last month returned a $10 million PPP loan and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse last month gave back a $20 million PPP loan. 

Neither outfit, however, has a value approaching that of Veritas’ reported worth. While a real estate company is not run on the same economic model as a restaurant chain or pro sports franchise, Veritas’ reported worth may exceed even that of the Los Angeles Lakers — who also received, then last month returned, a $4.6 million loan. 

As well as being San Francisco’s biggest landlord — controlling some 5,000 city homes — Veritas is also one that frequently finds itself in the crosshairs of elected officials and tenant activists. 

It has been accused, in multiple lawsuits, of shirking repairs to its rent-controlled buildings and harassing its aging, rent-controlled tenants. A 2019 Public Press analysis revealed that both complaints and citations spiked in buildings after they were obtained by Veritas.  

Finally, Veritas was accused in March of undertaking superfluous construction during the early days of the shelter-in-place order — an act that enraged city officials and appears to have led to a tightening of construction restrictions

“Once again, the idiots at Veritas have overplayed their hand and were too cute by half and screwed it up for everybody who keeps their proverbial shit together,” Peskin told Mission Local at the time. 

Reached today for comment on Veritas receiving this loan, Peskin said the company should return the money so it “can be redistributed to people who really need it.” 

Veritas stated the company does not intend to do this. 

“With our management company revenues deeply impacted and a lack of access to capital, we furloughed significant portions of our staff and implemented salary cuts across the board,” reads its statement.

“These are the maintenance people, building managers, and our resident services team who work hard every day to make sure our residents sheltering in place continue to receive the high-quality living experience they deserve.”

If you are here regularly, it’s time to chip in. Excellent reporting is not free. 

 

Joe Eskenazi

Joe was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. “Your humble narrator” was a writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015, and a senior...

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100 Comments

    1. The nerve their ownership has is almost beyond belief. It seems they could not have chosen a name less like what they are.

      1. Don’t hate the player, hate the game. They did what good businesses do and took advantage of a law that Congress passed. Blame the fucking idiots who wrote the law and not a company doing what it’s supposed to do which is make money and provide jobs. Call your lawmakers not the folks abiding by the law.

        1. Lol @ the idea that a company sees its mission as “providing jobs.” Any company will employ the barest minimum number of people it possibly can, and most would gladly fire everyone if they could continue to operate with no staff at all. This “cult of the benevolent capitalist” mythology has done immeasurable damage to this country over the centuries.

  1. How about they keep it and give their tenants a break? ! Why do they need it? They aren’t reducing our rental prices!

  2. I don’t know what you so-called journalist are attempting to do but, you’re certainly NOT journalist. Veritas does not own the assets, Veritas is the management company. Veritas only receives a management fee for each property. You are nothing more than an agitator with ZERO facts!

      1. You are so so wrong Mr Eskenazi, glad your journalistic credibility is based on Google results. What if Veritas has $3B in assets and $10B in debt? You have no idea what the real story is.

      2. Joe, your facts are wrong and you clearly have an agenda.

        If you actually read the articles from the Google search that you suggested to Rigid, you will see that he/she is correct. Veritas does not own the $3bn of assets. In fact, here’s a direct quote from the Bloomberg article, which is the top result from your search: “Over the past 12 years, Veritas has partnered with investment firms including Baupost Group and Ivanhoe Cambridge to acquire 265 buildings worth more than $3 billion.”

        This means that Baupost Group and Ivanhoe Cambridge provided the capital to acquire 265 building worth over $3 billion. Also, since buildings are purchased with mortgage debt, the actual value invested by the partners is much less than $3bn, and Veritas probably owns only a small fraction of that lesser amount.

        Like other small businesses in SF, it seems Veritas is trying to help their employees by accessing the PPP. This is exactly what PPP is intended for.

        1. Sir or madam — 

          I did read the articles.

          With all due respect, let’s turn to Veritas’ own promotional materials: ” Veritas has assets in excess of $3 billion and in 2016 completed an $815 million financing, the largest portfolio financing of its kind in the history of San Francisco. Vertically integrated, the firm and its affiliates provide property management, leasing, project management, redevelopment, accounting, asset management, financing and investment management services.”

          They applied for a loan from the Small Business Administration and received it. You appear to be wholly satisfied, but I would think some further analysis and explanation is in order.

          Best,

          JE

          1. I don’t get these people defending this company who has never acted in good faith. And, you can bet big $$ that as soon as evictions are allowed Veritas will be cheering at all the rent controlled people they can toss and massively raise rents.

          2. With all due respect, as you say, Vanguard has $6 trillion of assets. is Vanguard worth more than one quarter of the annual output of the entire United States economy?

            I appreciate the work of journalists to police bad behavior, but you have to get your facts straight. it is clear from your response to these comments that you do not understand what is happening and you are not interested in doing the real journalistic work to figure it out. You do a real disservice to your readers.

          3. Sir or madam —

            If Vanguard received a loan from the Small Business Administration, I’d like to see that reported on.

            You and yours keep telling me that it’s no big deal — not even a reportable story — that a real-estate company with around 230 city properties and a self-reported $3B in assets has taken a forgivable loan from the Small Business Administration sold to the American people as an aid for struggling small operations. All of this separate and apart from Veritas’ track record in this city.

            Respectfully, again, I think my readers are doing just fine.

            Best,

            JE

        2. https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/amp/City-officials-want-landlord-to-delay-sale-of-76-15002958.php

          They do own their buildings as well as manage them as well as offer management solutions for other investees.

          This company is the biggest sum Lord in the city, I’ve been fighting with them for years just to get basic needed things fixed. It took 7 months to get a new power outlet replaced and then they installed a new one that shorted out when the guy tested it.

          There’s a bunch of actual small businesses here in the city that are being told there’s no more money because this big companies are getting it. I don’t understand how they are broke when the average rent in my building (all 1 bedroom) is $4200 a month.

          So unless you love in the city as I do or love in one of their buildings as I do, you might want to do some real research on the matter instead of sticking up for a crook of a company.

          1. Joe,

            The point is not that Vanguard did or did not receive a small business loan. The point is that Vanguard is not worth $6 trillion, just like veritas is not worth $3 billion. Veritas is a small business with 200 employees, of which all have received pay cuts and many have been furloughed. That is why they applied for and received a PPP loan.

          2. Peter if you are paying market rent of $4200 for a 1 bedroom yet unable to get working power outlets, you should be able to move to a much better unit and landlord.

            If you are renting at below market rates, you’ve answered your own question as to, “I don’t understand how they are broke.”

      3. This is an accounting dispute and entirely depends on how you tally the assets and operating income of Vertias versus its subsidiaries and affiliates. It’s very likely they operate through an entity which holds no assets in order to protect themselves from lawsuits.

    1. Rigid, according to the 2019 article by Bloomberg that Joe cites, the greedy and unethical management at Veritas do actually own a vast number of buildings:

      “Over the past 12 years, Veritas has partnered with investment firms including Baupost Group and Ivanhoe Cambridge to acquire 265 buildings worth more than $3 billion.”

      You, sir or madam, should check your facts before accusing Joe of not being a journalist.

      1. @Terry Whalen, Veritas worked with Baupost Group and Ivanhoe Cambridge to manage the asset’s, Rigid is correct. Veritas is the asset manager, not the owner. It’s not difficult to do a records search and figure out who the owners are. If Joe had any credibility he would know this and not have to Google up misleading information. You, certainly do not understand “the facts”.

        1. That “misleading information” is from Veritas’ own company profile. Plus a host of articles about the company and its track record here in the city. Plus my decades of institutional memory covering this company and this city.

          Enough, sir. If you don’t think it’s a reportable story that a real-estate company with $3B in assets applied for and received a loan from the Small Business Administration — to pay employees who, by the company’s description, are the sort it is mandated to have in buildings for livability issues — then I don’t know what to tell you.

          Best,

          JE

        2. “Rigid” and “Reason” are the same person.

          It’s not difficult to do an Internet search and figure out who the commenters are. If you had any credibility you would know this.

          JE

          1. HA! If you had any credibility you wouldn’t try to expose someone in the public on your site. Also, if you knew ANYTHING, you would understand that IP’s and computers can be spoofed! You are just simply looking at the IP addresses from the folks who comment. I know how this Worpress Blog works. Also, why did you delete this?:

            “Why do you continue to imply (mislead) that Veritas is valued at $3B? Do you not understand that Veritas is separate from the assets? As for Veritas working with Baupost, Ivanhoe and Cambridge to help acquire the assets, that is what Property Management companies do. Veritas simply put together a structure of management, Veritas manages the assets, Greentree is the Property Manager.You clearly do not understand how the Property Management business works.”

          2. Yes, your IP address has clearly been “spoofed” and it’s not just one person using different names to say the same thing.

            Talk to me more about “credibility.”

            Begone, sir.

            JE

      1. Greentree is the Property Manager, Veritas manages the assets. Do you not understand that?

    2. Too “Rigid” to reconcile your misguided outrage and use your words with a sense of substance and authenticity like a grown up, eh? You’ll accomplish more by berating a brick wall and that’s prob what one should do if one chooses to espouse nonsense.

  3. Vertias has no “history of harassing tenants” beyond the baseline level of complaints you’d expect for the city’s largest landlord, and Peskin must feel extremely proud for standing up to Big Construction for about 3 weeks until the counties succumbed to practical and union pressures.

    1. Veritas surely does have a history of harassing tenants that they want out of their buildings. Many many people can attest to that. Even for a real estate corp. they play pretty dirty.

      ‘Practical and union pressures’ ? Gimme a break, the construction firms weren’t complying anyway.

      1. They don’t have a history of that either. They have a history of improving units during vacancies, and tenants in San Francisco love to complain.

      2. The construction firms were most definitely complying with the order, and any construction you saw continue met the inclusionary zoning requirements. There is absolutely no evidence that large projects operated in violation of the county ordinance.

  4. Veritas does not own the property they manage. The properties real owners are large pension funds and a few other outfits. Varitas has a small stake in these deals (less than 5%). they are not comparable to the Lakers or even the other large landlords in the city who have much larger ownership shares. Also, owning rent controlled property in SF is seen as a safe investment with very small returns. With large amounts of tenants not paying they will have issues covering their Taxes and mortgages. Any large profits from prior years have already been distributed upstream of the funds that actually own the property. The point of the PPE loan is to prevent layoffs. They don’t get the keep the money if they use for payroll.

    1. Bryce — 

      Like I told the other guy, let’s turn to Veritas’ own promotional materials: “Veritas has assets in excess of $3 billion and in 2016 completed an $815 million financing, the largest portfolio financing of its kind in the history of San Francisco. Vertically integrated, the firm and its affiliates provide property management, leasing, project management, redevelopment, accounting, asset management, financing and investment management services.”

      Also, 5 percent of $3 billion is $150 million.

      Best,

      JE

      1. If you actually understood the real estate business and didn’t rely on promotional quotes and Bloomberg articles that don’t show the entire picture, you would know how wrong you are. Try taking some basic accounting classes, you can have $80B in assets and no income at all. Once again, do some real journalism.

        1. Abel — 

          Thanks for the lecture. I’m glad you have no problems with a theoretical company with $80B in assets applying for and receiving a forgivable loan from the *Small Business Administration.*

          I think the situation could use a bit of examination. Now that this article has been written and this transaction is public, we can commence.

          Best,

          JE

          1. By all means, please let us know when you have an educated analysis done. I would be interested in reading that.

          1. Great question! Judging from their negative and aggressive comments, these folks do not seem like great people!

        2. Gee there seem to be a lot of Veritas executives commenting on here. What concerned citizens.

          Abel, unless you own this company, who are you cheering for?

          1. Remember and repeat this word …

            ‘Divest’!!!

            They’re using your own money to buy your home
            and evict you.

            Somehow, that doesn’t seem right.

            If we can promote divesting our funds from
            going to Netanyahu to evict and kill Palestinians?

            We can promote taking away Dick Blum’s power
            to use CALPERS billions to buy the dwellings of
            hard working San Franciscans and evicting them.

            For Profit!!

            Really, anyone suggested that before?

            Newsom appoints the CALPERS Board?

            Divest from Gavin.

            Go Giants!

            h.

      2. “Also, 5 percent of $3 billion is $150 million”. Hahahaha! That isn’t how it works, you are implying $3BN is cash on hand, and in return Veritas has $150MIL in cash. NOT even close. You clearly lack understanding, on a major level.

        1. Rigid — 

          Oh, you’ve exposed me. You said Veritas only had a stake in 5 percent of its $3B in assets, and, clearly, the fact that this is $150 million now means nothing. I’ve fallen for your trap of doing math related to the numbers you posited.

          You’re definitely right. It’s definitely not a story and shouldn’t have been reported on that a real-estate company with a self-reported $3B in assets and 230 city properties applied for and received a Small Business Administration loan. Shouldn’t have been reported on that the people furloughed and now receiving money via this forgivable loan program all appear to be workers of the sort mandated to be in residential buildings.

          Veritas’ track record in this city is also totally irrelevant.

          I clearly lack understanding, on a major level.

          Best,

          JE

          1. Joe, you are being very generous, replying to these buffoons. Maybe even overly generous? 😉

    2. @ Bryce Vree….Nice try. They don’t get to keep it, but they don’t have to pay it either.
      Defending souless real estate magnates…..what do you tell your kids?

    3. PPP, not PPE. And your final line, they do get to keep the money if they use it for payroll. But the money they would have used for payroll anyways will just go into their pockets.

      Let me put it this way. I was going to pay this guy 100$, but you give me 100$ provided I give it to this guy. Ok, so I put my 100$ back in my pocket. Free 100$.

  5. Vertitas is truly one of the most despicable companies around. And it starts from the top.

      1. Rentier,

        Yeah, this sounds like the same genre of
        3 card Monte that the Lembis perfected.

        Scariest thing is that Abel says the actual
        owners are Pension funds.

        Using your own money to screw you.

        Classic.

        Someone gimme contact info for Matt Taibbi and I’ll solicit
        guest comments.

        This is worth it.

        Veritas clearly has constructed a house of cards and mirrors
        and smoke and Abel is rubbing our noses in it.

        “Hey, nah, nah, nah, nah …

        We got your home.

        We bought it with your pension funds.

        Now, we’re gonna evict you.

        Whatcha gonna do about it?

        Nah, nah, nah, nah.

        So, how they get control of our Pension funds?

        How can we shut off their access to those funds?

        Well, biggest fund is CALPERS and Feinstein’s hubby,
        Dick Blum runs their disbursement from the inside.

        Go Giants!

        h.

  6. Joe is normally an exceptional reporter so I am disapointed to see him write an article that is so glaringly untethered from reality. If he did even basic research on how real estate works he would know better than to report a story like this. Going after a property management company is like going after the company that runs the Lakers arena because the Lakers are valuable. Veritas isn’t deserving of empathy, but it’s a sad day in San Francisco when both its press and politicans are so eager to vilify anything real estate related that they’d rather have federal loans go to Alabama and Texas instead of helping middle and working class San Fransicans keep their jobs and pay taxes so that the city has a chance to get back on its’ feet.

    This sort of click bait journalism is better left to Fox News and is beneath San Francisco. Better to think and research than shovel talking points fed by politicans and interest groups no matter if they are Republicans or Democrats.

    1. Bob? One question Bob…why would a property management company call themselves “Veritas Investments”? It’s really puzzling to me.

        1. Maybe people who have worked with finance in their lives instead of learning it from an innumerate website which confuses assets with cash flows, probably didn’t look at the entire balance sheet, and never brings up the fact that PPP loans are only forgivable if almost all the money is paid out to employees.

        2. Kim,

          Joe hit a nerve and he’s a serious threat so they bring
          out their ‘A’ team to insult him.

          In doing so, they inadvertently draw fire from simple retirees like myself.

          Hey, I’m learning here.

          So, Abel and his fellow riders have been getting money from Pension
          Funds?

          How can we put pressure on these Pension Funds to divest from Meritas
          and all of their tentacles?

          Divest from Veritas!!

          Avalos for D-11!

          Gascon for DA in LA!

          Nguyen in D-11!

          Fielder in State Senate!

          Elect our Police Chief!

          Go Giants!

          h.

    2. ”This sort of click bait journalism is better left to Fox News and is beneath San Francisco”. What San Francisco are you referring to? Clearly you’re not referring to SF,Calif and or you reside in a parallel dog eat dog universe where us mere mortals are thankful not to dwell.

    3. Hey Bob,

      Whatcha know?

      Old joke for you.

      Guy comes into an SF Real Estate office (could be anywhere) …

      Says to his partner ..

      “I have good news and bad news.”

      Partner:

      “Gimme the good news first.”

      Guy:

      “They’ve accepted our billion dollar bid for City Hall.”

      Partner:

      “That’s the best news I’ve ever heard.”

      What’s the bad news?”

      Guy:

      They want us to put down ten dollars of our own money as a down payment.”

      Something like that happens every day.

      Go Giants!

      h.

  7. Able and Bryce are correct. Veritas drives and manages an investment vehicle for capital partners. They are likely very profitable but their net worth is not $3B or anything close. (5% is prob close) I personally know employees who were furlowed. Veritas doesn’t deserve excess scrutiny for PPP loans because they are a landlord. Property managers are busier than ever because everyone is home. Tenants continue to enjoy the use of their homes, they should continue to pay rent unless they can prove hardship.

  8. I’m not totally sure, as others have mentioned, that this article has adequate context. It’s unclear how much free cash Veritas actually has.

  9. Were they entitled to the loan under the law? Seems that would be important info to share. I assume they were entitled and the omission of that fact deserves a clarification. Also, rather than “ostensibly”, why not just say it’s a program for less than 500 employees. And finally, why not mention that much of the appropriated money is still available for those who want to apply for the loan?

  10. How did Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse last month give back a $20 million PPP loan? The Cares Act limits PPP loans to $10m…

    1. The 20 million loan was cumulative of multiple restaurant locations that individually filed for a PPP Loan

  11. Rigid – Even if the author has an agenda that you don’t agree with, that doesn’t mean his work is flawed. I don’t know how common it is for real estate property management firms to own investment portfolios in addition to what they manage for others, but neither case determines their philosophy or level of care for their tenants. They made it sound as though they laid off what to them would be essential maintenance people. They also made it sound as though their cash flow is inadequate, and no one will lend to them. If it is a private company, then only their owners know the real scoop.

    Regardless of what ownership may imply they own, or imply their net worth is, the one truth appears to be that they own some of it, and the other is that they “partner” with very large property owners to do acquisitions which are always aimed at increasing value, as opposed to parking funds in a high cost, but stable investment. If they are guilty of tenant neglect, elder abuse, and evictions for profit as some claim them to be, that means everything to any who have suffered those experiences, and it means nothing if courts do not find them responsible, and force equitable resolutions.

    Should the tenants keep paying rent? Absolutely, as that’s the deal (party A provides the home, party B pays to rent the home. However, our elected officials have pulled the emergency brake on the whole economy, clearly having not clue what damages that would do, or how it may be managed. Landlords can’t hold their tenants (residential or business) responsible for COVID-19 anymore than they would an earthquake, fire, or flood. Now is a time for everyone to work together, not to go to war.

    1. But as far as I can tell renters are going to be evicted in huge numbers as soon as possible, small landlords will end up losing their properties. The ONLY winners will be investors who will buy up tons of property at low prices while cities deal with more homeless and and a pandemic. USA,

      1. In case of such an apocalypse, for distressed asset “winner” there will be many losing investors. Every trade has a counter party.

        Tenants paying market rents will likely see relief. Tenants much below market who also can’t keep up with payments will suffer, but that’s the bargain of their historical subsidy.

  12. Wow. Who are these trolls? They are so invested in showing that a company that advertises being a big landlord isn’t really a big landlord. And yet they have no investment for them in the outcome of the story. But they can dispute Joe Eskenazis’s reporting and still say it isn’t important to them.

    1. K hos,

      Joe hit a nerve big time.

      Put out a little bait and Realtors gave up their big secret.

      Which is?

      They’ve figured out how to us our own money against us.

      Then, mock us.

      If we can lobby to ‘encourage’ Pension funds to divest from Big Oil?

      We can, ‘encourage’ them to divest from predatory realtors.

      Divest is the answer.

      Divest is the answer.

      Divest is the answer.

      Go Niners!

      h.

  13. I’m one of the outside independent contractors for veritas/Greentree and find that this company really care about their tenants wether protected or not. They put tenants as the #1 priority for them. How I know about this? Because that’s what they instruct me to do Everytime I get project. Like make sure hallway are cleared of debris every end of the day, no work on week ends, very strict on work schedule to be no earlier than 9am for loud n noisy work n no later than 5pm.
    Also I used to work for city property, skyline, the lembis about 15 years ago.n how they really don’t care about noises or tenants. That’s was the reason for me to quit at that time even tho the money is good.
    Then when I came back with the new management I found out it’s a night and day comparison with the old and new management Company..

    1. LOL…how much are they paying you to write this? I live in a Veritas managed building and I can attest the multitude of times that Veritas has performed unpermitted construction and removal of hazardous material. There is also a lawsuit pending from over 100 tennants regarding these issues and more. This comapny is worse than the Lembi’s ever were! However, I am glad you are being paid because many vendors are not.

      1. I believe Joe loves to point out that criminal cases before conviction are “alleged” so let’s point out that “pending lawsuits” are not evidence of anything.

      2. To D as in D***
        It just show how innaccurate this person is. Not just assuming about a comment but already sure that he was so right on his assumption without any kind of proof.
        From now on. People would know that whatever you write is not believable until u have proof.

        1. wow…no need to be such an angry bird. The proof (photos, signed statements, etc) has been turned over to the lawyers handling the lawsuit. Both you and Jake are really worked up. That should end soon when Veritas puts you back on the payroll.

  14. I hope this helps clear things up a bit . Asnippet from their website:

    “About Veritas

    Veritas Investments, Inc. is an experienced real estate investment manager that specializes in operating mixed-use multifamily and retail properties in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    The company offers institutional and individual investors a vertically-integrated platform and a clearly defined investment strategy that focuses on acquiring classic, often architecturally distinctive properties in the area’s most iconic neighborhoods, and then enhancing their income and value through building and management improvements. The company holds a track record for moving quickly on opportunities, executing efficiently on strategy, and delivering superior financial performance to investors while giving back to the community.”

  15. Bob,

    Ahhhh

    So, Veritas is like the foam rubber deer in a hillbilly’s North 40?

    Takes all the lead but is really just a hollow shell.

    Dear Matt Taibbi,

    Please do SF a favor and review and comment
    on this discussion.

    I’m certain we’re all fans.

    Hell, I’ll go dig out contact info on ‘Useful Idiots’.

    Go Giants!

    h.

    takes all

  16. This isn’t a bug in the PPP program, it is a feature. Up to $10,000,000 loans for companies with 500 employees? And franchises can apply separately? That’s not small business by any means. It was lobbied to be a corporate bailout program and it worked as intended.

  17. I believe any company that has this kind of portfolio should return the money and if they tbe deeply penalized for not.many small companies in my State can’t even get what they need and my company is one of those we are in transportation.thank you

  18. Whatever their boasts are about the value of the portfolio they manage, Veritas is a essentially just a property manager, they likely have a very small percent (probably 1% on average) of the equity in these properties (which is only about a 1/3rd of the value)….so MAYBE $10-11mm of equity across the entire portfolio. And that equity they can’t access or borrow against, so it isn’t like they can just take that $10-11MM and use it to stay afloat….they might never have access to it, since they don’t really “own” the properties and their investors likely make the decision to sell.

    Rent controlled multifamily doesn’t produce any real cash flow given the insanely high costs to operate these old buildings, so the only way that Veritas operates is through fees, which are incredibly slim in the property management business (if you knew how slim they were you surely wouldn’t be attacking property managers in the rent control market).

    Accordingly, I’m sure the PPP loan was used exactly as intended….to help small businesses like Veritas not layoff even more people….they certainly aren’t the Lakers….

  19. Nice work Joe. Thanks for the report, which apparently is not very popular among the financiers and rentiers of the City. Somehow, in our neofeudal society, it is not surprising that big landlords and firms (and BANKS) are getting bailed out while the rest of us sit home distracted by an endless stream of films, videos and games played two or three years ago (though watching the Dubs in 2016 is worth the distraction).

  20. I have had the extreme displeasure of working directly for this company as a contractor. Despite having multiple contracts signed and in place with them for work that I completed they still refused payment for my services. I know the owners of this company personally and can attest that they are vile, selfish, exceedingly wealthy shells of humans. It’s unfortunate they were awarded a “Small Business Loan” when they steal from actual small businesses.

    1. If you are licensed, as you should be, then a Mechanic’s Lien is a great way to resolve issues with accounts payable.

  21. Delicious “mad man” advocacy and junk reporting not based in fact!. Learn the basics of reporting before you go insighting the community into beleiving non truths. #thefurloughsarereal #clickbaitreporting

    1. Still you, “Rigid/Reason.” You continue to sock puppet.

      Come on, dude. This is pathetic. Move along.

      JE

    2. Muunsun,

      It is true.

      Joe’s piece has ‘insighted’ me to ‘beleiving’.

      You believe in Kharma?

      Avalos in D-11!

      Nguyen in D-7

      Gascon for DA in LA!

      Go Niners!

      h.

  22. How about this logic:

    FACT: In 2016, Veritas completed a financing deal for $815M (access to capital)
    FACT: Veritas does not own all those properties, but it is a fact they own *a lot* of properties in SF (access to capital)
    FACT: Their PPP loan was for $3.6M
    FACT: The SBA states that the PPP program is for small companies that DO NOT HAVE READY ACCESS TO CAPITAL

    Veritas quoted as saying “a lack of access to capital”

    Given the facts above, does anyone really believe that Veritas could not easily draw down an existing line of credit or easily get a new line of credit for $3.6M?

    They better carefully consider returning the funds in good faith before the May 14th deadline. If an audit reveals they clearly have access to capital (which should be self evident) they could face penalties and even criminal charges for taking the money.

    1. Let’s start with “Fact” #1: It was a refinancing of $815m in real assets. That is not a line of credit and quite easy to do in 2016 with plenty of liquidity and all time low interest rates. I’m sure lenders are chomping at the bit today to give working capital loans to operators of rent controlled property whose tenants can’t be evicted, whose tenants can stop paying rent with a self-attested letter of hardship and no additional verification at point of stop payment, and back rents can’t be recovered without a lengthy debt collection process.

      With that much shaky logic to start, I’m not going to bother interrogating the rest of your facts.

  23. If they don’t have ready ‘access to capital’; something really screwy is going on behind the scenes….

  24. Campers,

    What I’m getting from this is that we’re looking at the
    defense of a few billionaire real estate ‘tycoons’ who
    are using our own squirreled away savings to evict us
    from our homes.

    Only nerve I’ve touched directly is when I noted that their
    lead is Dick Blum who is the husband of Dianne Feinstein and
    principle of Coldwell-Banker/Richard Ellis.

    He sold 6 billion in Post Office Property alone from which he
    and his Senator wife got a fee of 360 million dollars.

    That fee was guaranteed by Feinstein legisla by the way.

    Divest from all tentacles of Veritas!!

    Divest Dick Blum!!!

    Divest Dianne Feinstein!!!

    Divest Veritas!

    Go Giants!

    h.

  25. I clicked to this article after reading another website with commenters wanting to “execute” individuals at the company based on it. Why bloodlust over a federal program set up to help companies with fewer than 500 employees?

    As much as everyone wants to hate ‘greedy’ landlords who provide housing, management companies are the thinnest of margin companies. A reality check, real estate is actually owned by pension funds (i.e. your money) and similar capital sources and have lots of debt. Management companies don’t make that much money and they employ hardworking people. If fees tied to rents decrease, there is not money to pay for the same staffing. This is easily obtainable information. Yet, the writer doubles down on his misstatement (e.g. this is a three billion dollar company) faced with numerous factual corrections and uses personal attacks to run commenters off.

    For those who have been riled up by it, the writer’s goal has been achieved. He is inciting fear, angry and other emotions that elicits interest in a “story” at the expense of facts. But it is false and misleading and divisive and a disservice to everyone.

    Put this to bed and move onto things that improve people’s lives. If you hate this company because they provide housing services, I have a feeling you’ll hate the next. And where is the anger for every business like grocery stores and restaurants and utilities who still trying to survive while charging for their services and needing help because things have gotten bad?

    1. Simple,

      CALPERS should divest from Veritas as should any pension
      fund whose members are tenants of these predatory beasts.

      Go Giants!

      h.

  26. The amount of toadying here leads me to believe Veritas staff is out in force, trying to convince us of their sheer poverty.

    Even more despicable. Own your wealth, scum. Stop obfuscating.

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