Pelosi calls on San Francisco’s largest corporate landlord to return PPP loan

Bay Area

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif. speaks outside her office on Capitol Hill, Monday, March 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released a statement Saturday calling on Veritas Investments, a property management company in San Francisco, to return its $3.6 million Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan.

Pelosi said the loan is made to help small businesses struggling during the coronavirus crisis. Businesses that really need the assistance, particularly minority, women and veteran-owned businesses.

“Neighborhood businesses such as hair salons, restaurants, convenience stores and others that have been hit hardest by social distancing and other necessary steps to stop the spread of the virus are in dire need of financial assistance,” Pelosi said. “Larger companies like Veritas, one of San Francisco’s largest corporate real estate management firms, which has billions in assets and access to liquidity through other sources, were not the intended beneficiaries of PPP loans.  I join San Franciscans in calling on Veritas to return its PPP loan.”

She went on to emphasize the importance of returning the loan, saying Veritas could save some of San Francisco’s most vulnerable small businesses.

“In the spirit of The Heroes Act, which ensures that returned PPP loans will be redistributed to small businesses with 10 or fewer employees, Veritas, by returning its PPP loan, will help save some of our city’s and country’s most vulnerable small businesses,” she said.

Veritas released a statement in response to the program:

“We recognize the challenges that all San Franciscans are facing during this time, and have worked hard to help our residents since before the shelter in place was implemented. As COVID-19 emerged, we were the first manager to halt evictions, worked closely with the city to provide emergency housing for survivors of domestic violence and have worked hard to care for our residents. We will continue to develop additional programs for our residential and retail tenants, and will unveil more in the weeks to come.Like many, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have been significant on our business and forced us to furlough significant portions of our staff.

The $3.6 million PPP loan enables us to continue to employ 123 front line workers, many of whom would’ve lost their jobs without the loan, in addition to bringing back 26 furloughed workers. 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.Many assume we are a $3 billion business based on the value of the buildings we manage, however that is far from the truth. In reality, we have many investors who are the owners of the buildings in the Veritas portfolio. To be clear, we are a management company, committed to maintaining our buildings – many of which are more than 100 years old – and making sure our residents have the best living experience possible, especially during this period of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The entire family of Veritas brands – Veritas, GreenTree and RentNowSF – owns zero real estate.We are committed to repaying the PPP loan back in accordance with the Federal rules. We understand that some recipients of the loan are applying to make it a grant, however that is not our intention. This is merely a bridge to keep people employed and help their families, including making sure they have continued access to healthcare. The PPP loan is currently being used for its intended purpose – to save the jobs of our frontline workers – but we will not keep it.San Francisco is the city we call home. We were born and bred in San Francisco and remain committed to the city, its community and our employees. But we are also a business that needed the loan for its intended purpose, to meet our payroll and employ the people responsible for maintaining the buildings that house more than 8000 San Franciscans. We continue to deliver on our promise to put residents first, always.”

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