How Bay Space landlord Neill Sullivan modified West Oakland neighborhood
The corner of 10th and Wood streets is leafy and quiet, apart from a few barking dogs and passing cars. Rows of stately, faded Victorians line pothole-dotted streets, interrupted by a handful of starkly modern homes and a sandwich shop.
This corner is in one of Oakland’s oldest, most historic neighborhoods. Now called the Prescott or Lower Bottoms, it was sometimes referred to as a “Harlem of the West” due to the jazz clubs and bars that lined its streets in the 1940s and ’50s. But jobs dried up after the World War II boom, and the government neglected what had become a largely Black community. The construction of a freeway split the neighborhood in two, while “urban renewal” programs demolished homes and displaced families.
By the mid-2000s, many Prescott homes stood vacant and crumbling. Men in pickup trucks cruised the streets looking for fixer-uppers and foreclosures to flip.
Now the neighborhood is changing once again. Blocky, colorful new condos and giant climbing gyms stand blocks from sprawling homeless encampments. From the late aughts to the late 2010s, the Prescott’s white population tripled, and its typical household income more than doubled. At the same time, about 120 fewer Black families owned homes there, and the neighborhood’s largest public elementary school, Prescott Elementary, nearly shut down last year due to financial troubles caused by declining enrollment.
Michael Short/The Chronicle
Paul Kuroda/Special to The Chronicle
Amid all this change, debates are swirling around the role of one man who bought a big chunk of the neighborhood more than a decade ago. Neill Sullivan manages a group of LLCs that collectively own nearly 300 rental properties in and around West Oakland, according to 2021 property data. He is also the head of Sullivan Management Company, or SMC East Bay, the company that rents them out.
As one of Oakland’s largest private rental property owners, Sullivan is part of an emerging class of corporate landlords across the United States who have bought up and rented out homes in disproportionately Black, lower-income areas like West Oakland, spinning undervalued properties into millions of dollars of profit.
Take the area around 10th and Wood: Within the two blocks bounded north-south by 10th and 11th streets and east-west by Pine and Willow streets, Sullivan’s companies owned 13 of the 68 buildings.
Landlords like Sullivan are fueling a nationwide surge in corporate ownership of rental homes — the national percentage of homes purchased by investors ballooned from 6% in 2000 to 19% in 2022 — that has spurred questions about how industry consolidation affects the quality of rental housing.
To understand the consequences of the increase in corporate ownership, and Sullivan’s role in West Oakland’s transformation, The Chronicle spent several months reporting in the area, analyzing data on his companies and speaking to residents, SMC tenants and Sullivan himself.
Some West Oaklanders were harshly critical of Sullivan’s company and its conduct toward tenants. In interviews and lawsuits, tenants have complained of unsafe living conditions and of maintenance requests going unanswered for months or years.
Some tenants and tenant advocates assert Sullivan is both absentee landlord and gentrifier, acquiring and renting substandard properties while contributing to housing prices in West Oakland growing beyond reach for many longtime locals.
But other residents say he has done good for the area by spending millions to fix up hundreds of West Oakland rentals that might otherwise be empty, and attracting new businesses to a long neglected side of town. Several SMC tenants also told The Chronicle they enjoy living in SMC properties and haven’t had major issues.
In an interview with The Chronicle, Sullivan argued that he has been unfairly maligned as an “evil gentrifier” by activists and journalists. “It just doesn’t feel at all reflective of what’s really happening,” he said. Sullivan said his efforts to fix up blighted properties have been “very well received” by West Oaklanders. And, he said, most complaints are coming from the SMC Tenants Council, a tenant union formed in early 2020 whose members organized a pandemic rent strike.
“We are part of the community, we care about the community and we care about Oakland,” Sullivan wrote in an email, later adding: “We have done more for Oakland than any of the critics of our work.”
As of early 2021, companies tied to Neill Sullivan owned about 1 in every 5 buildings in a two-block area near this intersection in West Oakland, according to a Chronicle analysis of county assessor data.
Salgu Wissmath/The Chronicle
On a sunny afternoon in late November, Gomez Octaviano sat on a chair outside his fading yellow two-story home on Wood Street, drinking beer with his brother and friends on the street where he’s lived for 20-plus years.
One of those friends, Reynaldo Corral, used to work with Octaviano for the Oakland A’s. Both men remember watching the Great Recession play out in West Oakland, as their neighbors lost homes to foreclosure and moved away. Corral said he saw more change after the homes were sold and fixed up. The neighborhood got safer, quieter.
“There’s been a lot of white people moving in,” Corral added.
While incoming families have benefited from this transformation, some Black families have been pushed out.
In 2013, in a building a few blocks north of where Corral and Octaviano live, SMC evicted a family for falling behind on rent. The family’s full rent plus utilities was $2,100, but because they held a Section 8 rental-assistance voucher, they had only been paying $5 a month. Before getting evicted, the family lost access to their voucher and started getting charged the full rent.
The primary tenant fought the eviction, arguing that defective plumbing, electrical problems and a shaky staircase amounted to a violation of the state “warranty of habitability” law requiring landlords to keep units safe. Eventually, the tenants settled with SMC and agreed to move out in exchange for past-due-rent forgiveness.
“One day … I was driving, and the whole family was just like, (standing) with a shopping cart on the corner of the street,” said a neighbor and fellow SMC tenant who asked to be identified only as Linda because she fears adverse consequences from speaking out about her landlord. (The Chronicle agreed to use the alias under its confidential sources policy.) “It made me really scared of who I was dealing with, if they would do that to somebody in such need.”
Sullivan said the family lost their housing voucher because the tenant was leaving so much trash around that the unit had become uninhabitable, and that SMC had done everything it could to make the unit comply with Section 8 standards.
“We continue to be a huge provider of Section 8 housing because we believe in the program,” he said.
One year later, Sullivan’s company filed an eviction notice at the same address after the new tenant missed one rent payment.
Linda — The Chronicle agreed not to reveal her true identity — lives in a West Oakland property managed by a company in Neill Sullivan’s ownership network.
Salgu Wissmath/The Chronicle
Linda, who’s been in the neighborhood since 2009, said it’s transformed since then: Houses were bought and flipped, then rented for much more. In the homes that weren’t flipped or sold, Linda said, people are crowding together, sometimes with three generations in one duplex.
SMC renovated Linda’s home after buying it. Still, Linda said her place has problems. She showed a reporter how her outside porch and stairway is flimsy and not securely anchored to the ground, and how the stairs shake when she descends them.
In 2017, a large hole formed in the wall of her bedroom. SMC patched the hole within about a week, but the same wall has had at least two other holes open up in the same room, plus a hole under a different window. In addition, Linda said her electrical wiring is faulty. If she runs more than two small appliances in her kitchen at the same time, the circuit breaker trips and the power goes out.
Dark mold dots the walls and window frames in Linda’s poorly ventilated kitchen and bathroom. Linda said the mold has been there since she moved in, and returns no matter how often she scrubs it away.
Residue from the stove’s exhaust fan has stained the ceiling in Linda’s kitchen.
Salgu Wissmath/The Chronicle
Salgu Wissmath/The Chronicle
SMC has not responded to many of the requests Linda has made through the company’s tenant portal, she said.
She considered reporting the issues in her unit to the city, but said she worries the renovations would be so extensive that the company would evict her to complete them.
“I don’t know that there’s anything they could do without kicking me out,” she said.
Other SMC tenants have reported problems in properties to the Oakland Planning & Building Department, which handles safety and health hazards like leaks and rampant mold, along with issues related to potentially illegal construction.
From 2013 through early January 2023, at least 85 complaints related to habitability issues or potentially illegal construction were filed at addresses of properties controlled by Sullivan-linked companies as of 2021 property data, including more than 30 since the pandemic began. While not all of the complaints were verified by inspectors, inspectors did confirm violations concerning issues like rampant mold, shoddy electrical wiring, rodent infestations and raw sewage leaks. In one complaint from June verified by a city inspector, plumbing leaks had apparently caused a ceiling to cave in.
Buildings owned by companies in Sullivan’s network had higher numbers of illegal construction and habitability-related complaints than those of fellow Oakland-focused foreclosure investor Michael Marr. Like Sullivan’s, Marr’s network owns mostly single-family homes and smaller multi-family buildings, and has previously been criticized by tenants and tenant advocates for substandard living conditions, from pests to missing windows.
The data is imperfect — it may include complaints from properties before Sullivan and Marr purchased them, or exclude complaints at properties both owners have since sold.
In 2013, about eight months after a Sullivan-managed company purchased this building in West Oakland, it was the subject of multiple complaints filed with the city alleging it was being remodeled without permits. City inspectors determined code violations had occurred in at least two cases.
Salgu Wissmath/The Chronicle
Asked about tenants’ claims that SMC is slow to respond to repairs — including one tenant’s assertions that her heater went unfixed for years — Sullivan said, “I absolutely refute that.”
“There’s no scenario where someone has a heater that doesn’t work and we’re not going to fix it,” he said. “There are issues, these are older houses, but we take a lot of pride in trying to be really good property managers.”
He suggested that criticisms of his properties were overblown.
“There are a handful of tenants that are unhappy, and I think there’s some people, part of this SMC Council, that are really upset, and I think some of them … haven’t paid rent in two or three years,” he said. Several members of the tenants union confirmed that they have been on a rent strike since April 2020.
Some SMC tenants had positive things to say about the company. Stepa Moody, who lives in an SMC apartment with his family, said that he hasn’t had any substantial issues with his unit — maintenance is reasonably timely, rent is “standard,” the apartment is nice.
“I grew up in the community. To be able to stay in the area where I grew up in, that’s great,” he said.
But tenant complaints about SMC aren’t limited to the Tenants Council. In June 2018, three SMC tenants sued Sullivan, SMC and several other associated companies, arguing they had to leave their rental units due to “substantial habitability defects” and “harassment” from SMC.
Mold and mildew grew on the cracked walls of the rodent-infested units, according to the amended complaint. Raw sewage seeped into the building, making rooms reek of urine and feces. Mushrooms popped up indoors.
The tenants made multiple repair requests, but said the company “refused to remedy” the defects. They also filed a complaint with the Planning & Building Department, which cited SMC.
Instead of making repairs, the tenants said, SMC “consistently levied large rent increases on the Plaintiffs, demanded they move, asked them to move, offered money for them to move, and/or continued to harass Plaintiffs by showing up for inspections late or not showing up.”
SMC admitted that habitability issues existed in one of the units in a court document, calling them “ ‘run of the mill’ habitability claims.” The parties settled the case in February 2021; the plaintiffs received less than $10,000.
Sullivan called the tenants’ allegations false.
Another current SMC tenant, who asked not to be named, said she has experienced more than a dozen maintenance issues in the two years she’s lived in her SMC unit, including a cockroach infestation, a broken freezer and faulty electrical wiring. She is not a member of the Tenants Council, and said she pays her rent “on time, every month.”
A message to management is affixed to a gate on a West Oakland residential building run by Neill Sullivan’s ownership network.
Salgu Wissmath/The Chronicle
A 2022 report from real estate data provider Yardi Matrix forecast that institutional investors will own or control 7.6 million houses across the country by 2030, more than 40% of the single-family home rental stock.
These investors frequently buy homes in disproportionately Black neighborhoods like the Prescott, assessing that the properties are undervalued when factoring in how much rent they can charge and how much the properties will appreciate.
In 2012, around the time Sullivan was purchasing properties, West Oakland was 40% Black with a typical household income of $33,000 a year. By comparison, 27% of Oakland’s total population was Black at that time, and the city’s median household income was $52,000.
In the Bay Area, investors made about 15% of all home purchases in 2021 — lower than the 18% they purchased across the U.S., according to Redfin. Their purchases were concentrated in areas like West Oakland.
“Mom-and-pop” landlords, meaning owners with fewer than 10 buildings, still control most single-family homes and smaller rentals, said Dean Wehrli, an analyst at John Burns Real Estate Consulting. But corporate landlords are steadily gaining market share, he said, and it’s “inevitable” they will keep growing due to the profit potential and benefits of scale.
Tenant advocates are concerned about two key differences researchers have identified between corporate landlords and the so-called “mom-and-pops.”
First, corporate landlords across the U.S. appear to file evictions at higher rates than smaller owners.
In Boston, Princeton University researcher Henry Gomory found that large landlords filed notices at two to three times the rate of non-corporate ones. In Atlanta, researchers at the city’s Federal Reserve Bank found corporate owners of single-family rentals were 8% more likely to file eviction notices than small owners, and some firms had “uniquely high” eviction rates. At the height of the pandemic between March 2020 and July 2021, when the federal government made it illegal to evict tenants, four large corporate landlords collectively filed nearly 15,000 eviction notices, according to a recent congressional report.
The second difference involves the way in which corporate landlords structure their holdings. Many place properties into multiple LLCs to keep groups of investments separate, but also because it can offer tax benefits, help obscure the full scale of their ownership and protect their assets from lawsuits. One 2019 study of rental properties in Milwaukee found that when properties changed hands from individuals to LLCs, “signs of housing disinvestment” increased, including increases in code violations.
But Gomory emphasized that smaller landlords aren’t always kinder or more supportive than bigger ones. For instance, while they are less likely to evict lower-income tenants or raise rents, they are more likely to exhibit direct racism toward Black people.
Overall, larger landlords have better learned how to maximize the market’s profit potential.
“As long as housing is organized on a for-profit basis,” Gomory said, “the tendency will inevitably be to move toward the logics that are employed by the large-scale guys.”
City records show that a complaint was filed at this Oakland home, owned by a company in Neill Sullivan’s network, in December 2017 regarding raw sewage, faulty electrical wiring and leaks causing mold in the bathroom. Inspectors determined at least one code violation had occurred.
Salgu Wissmath/The Chronicle
On Instagram, it’s easy to forget Neill Sullivan is one of Oakland’s largest, most controversial landlords. Sullivan’s social media posts often capture the 49-year-old man surfing or enjoying the beach in Southern California, where he lives part time. Sullivan said he splits his time between Los Angeles and West Oakland, where his husband and two small children live.
He’s a proud Democrat who has posed his toddler in a Biden-Harris onesie and donated to national Democratic figures like Raphael Warnock and Chuck Schumer. But within his own industry, he’s no progressive, at least not by Bay Area standards. Sullivan has donated to real estate industry lobbying groups and causes, including the California Association of Realtors and a campaign opposing a 2020 ballot measure that would have repealed much of California’s Costa-Hawkins law, which restricts rent control on single-family homes.
The son of an Orange County property developer and one of seven siblings, Sullivan grew up in Southern California, where his father, Neill Sullivan Sr., was active in community service work. His father founded a center for under-resourced pregnant women, Casa Teresa, that the younger Sullivan lists as a partner of a community center in West Oakland he founded.
Sullivan appears to have shifted his focus from selling mortgages to buying homes around late 2007.
“Many homes were sitting in ruin, boarded up and decaying. With very little lending and a market in fear, REO Homes began investing in West Oakland,” according to Sullivan’s website.
Sullivan raised millions of dollars from investors, including former presidential candidate Tom Steyer, and he began buying dozens of properties in the area, then hundreds, through three primary LLCs — REO Homes 1, 2 and 3. Sullivan bought his homes in cash from banks and other lenders at foreclosure auctions for an average of $154,000 — less than half of what their previous owners had paid for them, according to the East Bay Express.
Sullivan’s investment decisions have drawn criticism from local anti-gentrification activists, but he did not displace the families whose houses he bought. Most had already lost their homes during the late-2000s financial crisis, when the Troubled Asset Relief Program poured hundreds of billions of dollars into relief for faltering banks while allotting less than $50 billion for struggling homeowners. Millions of families defaulted on their mortgages, many of which had been offered by predatory lenders. Over 9 million homeowners lost their properties between 2006 and 2014, according to the National Association of Realtors.
This home in the Prescott neighborhood of West Oakland was foreclosed upon.
Salgu Wissmath/The Chronicle
The financial crisis was an especially difficult time for Oakland. Between 2007 and 2012, more than 10,500 homes across the city were foreclosed upon and repossessed, according to a report by the Urban Strategies Council. Investors, the report said, purchased roughly 4 in 10 of those homes, mostly in West Oakland and other lower-income, disproportionately Black areas.
In the census tracts making up the Prescott, an SMC property hub, Black families owned an estimated 200 homes in 2009, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. As of 2020, about 80 Black families own homes.
Marilyn Williams was part of this shift. The 69-year-old retiree, who has lived in West Oakland since the 1980s, vividly recalls the Great Recession’s mass displacement of Black homeowners — and her own experience, as she defaulted on a loan she took out on a townhome she owned.
“I was just in a panic. As were all of us who were losing something precious,” she said. “If we lost this place, and then there was a shortage of housing everywhere in Oakland, where were you gonna go?”
Williams lost the townhome, but was able to find housing in another part of the neighborhood. But many of Williams’ neighbors left, she said, and people from outside Oakland arrived, renting homes owned by companies like SMC.
Marilyn Williams lost her Prescott townhome during the Great Recession. She still lives in the neighborhood, but many of her old neighbors have left.
Juliana Yamada/The Chronicle
“Everybody that I’ve met … are all San Franciscans,” she said. “I will say, that was disappointing to me. (It) told me that if Oakland doesn’t secure its stock of housing for Oaklanders, our people will be homeless or have to move to areas outside of Oakland.”
As millions of American families lost their homes, cash-rich corporate investors like Sullivan flooded into the market. Many (though not Sullivan’s companies) were aided by a government program that enabled investors to easily purchase hundreds of recently foreclosed homes from government agency Fannie Mae. Between 2011 and 2013, private equity firms alone purchased 350,000 homes, according to the watchdog group Private Equity Stakeholder.
Not all West Oakland residents were so troubled by outside buyers. Marcus Johnson, who chairs the Prescott Neighborhood Council and whose family has lived in West Oakland since the 1940s, remembers when he first spoke with Sullivan about his investment idea.
“My conversation actually with Neill Sullivan was, if he’s going to buy housing and invest in housing, that he should do it here, in the Prescott,” Johnson said.
Johnson is particularly fond of the historic neighborhood’s Victorian homes, many of which had fallen into disrepair by the time Sullivan entered the picture.
Marcus Johnson, whose family has lived in West Oakland since the 1940s, chairs the Prescott Neighborhood Council. Johnson, an adherent of the historic neighborhood’s Victorians, estimates Neill Sullivan’s company has spent millions to renovate the aging homes.
Salgu Wissmath/The Chronicle
Sullivan “didn’t invest in the neighborhood as a losing venture,” Johnson said. His interest may have been “transactional,” but what matters, Johnson added, is that Sullivan restored many of the neighborhoods’ aging homes.
Sullivan told The Chronicle he estimated the company had spent $65 million on renovations, and provided The Chronicle with before-and-after photos.
At first, Sullivan’s team indicated it desired a different kind of tenant than the people who used to live in the properties. In 2012, an SMC leasing agent, Jeremiah Brennen, told the Bay Citizen that the company was hoping to attract renters who could afford San Francisco prices but would rather have more space.
“We want to bring in good, productive people and really change the area,” Brennen said.
Sullivan said that Brennen’s comments were “his personal belief,” and that Sullivan had “no knowledge of the call or quote and was bothered because it does not reflect my view.”
Since then, SMC has sought to exchange its image of disruption with one of stewardship. “We’re based here. We’re in Oakland. I went to school at Berkeley… We care about this community, and we want to keep the fabric of the community together,” Sullivan said in a video posted to YouTube in January 2022.
The issue, Sullivan said, is personal: He said he cares immensely about the community. He argues that his renovations have raised the quality of life for many residents and that he has given back to the neighborhood by planting trees in his properties’ yards and supporting efforts to stop plans for a coal-shipping corridor through West Oakland, which has high air pollution thanks to its proximity to the Port of Oakland and busy freeways.
Sullivan turned one of his buildings into the Sullivan Community Space, a community center with warm overhead lighting, shiny wooden floors and a big echoey room that hosted martial arts classes before the pandemic shut everything down.
This residential building on 10th Street in West Oakland is managed by a company in Neill Sullivan’s ownership network.
The Sullivan Community Space, which hosted martial arts classes before the COVID-19 pandemic, now occasionally distributes free food and toys to people in the neighborhood.
Salgu Wissmath/The Chronicle
Now the company occasionally gives out free food and has begun holding events, like a holiday toy drive in late December. Property managers Kourtney Davis and Michelle Tran said they’re planning to reopen the space for classes this spring.
SMC tenants and other neighborhood residents told The Chronicle they’ve rarely seen the center open. “I thought it was closed until today,” SMC tenant Stepa Moody said at the toy drive.
While his impact on the Prescott is a matter of debate, Sullivan’s success isn’t.
He purchased the bulk of his properties, 270 buildings, for about $41 million, according to the East Bay Express. These homes skyrocketed in value during the economic recovery and are now likely worth well over $200 million, The Chronicle found by analyzing data from Zillow and Redfin.
Like millions of Americans, Linda lost her job soon after the pandemic began. Unable to afford her monthly rent, she said she told SMC about her situation early in the pandemic, later sending a letter from her employer corroborating her loss of income.
Through a state program for rent relief, Linda received a year and a half’s worth of rent that she paid to SMC. She also joined the SMC Tenants Council, which delivered a letter to SMC soon after its formation in April 2020 demanding rent forgiveness “for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis.”
Members of the council say SMC declined repeated requests for a meeting.
Asked about this, Sullivan called the SMC Tenants Council a “hostile activist organization.”
“We always communicate directly with all of our tenants. The SMC Council are not our tenants,” he said.
In a single week in September 2020, while local and federal eviction moratoria were still in effect, Linda received several eviction notices from SMC. A notice is typically the first step in an eviction, and landlords usually must file one with the local government before initiating the second step, known as an “unlawful detainer” lawsuit.
At least one of the eviction notices Linda received included a form called a “Declaration of COVID-19-related financial distress” that directed tenants to sign it “under penalty of perjury,” even though tenants were not required to prove they had been impacted by COVID to be protected by Oakland’s moratorium. At least 99 other SMC tenants received eviction notices around the same time, Buzzfeed News reported. (The Chronicle was unable to verify every eviction notice had been sent to tenants.)
SMC Tenant Council members held a rally and posted about the eviction notices on Instagram.
Two days later, SMC began rescinding the notices in what the company called “the spirit of compromise.”
Sullivan said any eviction notices “were served in error,” meant to inform tenants of past-due rent.
“We had no intention of evicting,” he said.
Last fall, several tenants said they got new notices in the mail, including Linda, Loa Niumeitolu and another tenant. The letters looked similar to the “notice to pay or quit” that is often the first step in an eviction proceeding, but the words “or quit” were missing.
“It’s almost like they just changed a couple of words in the headline so that they could technically get away with submitting it,” Linda said.
This residential building on 14th Street in West Oakland is managed by a company in Neill Sullivan’s ownership network.
Salgu Wissmath/The Chronicle
Under Oakland’s eviction moratorium, local landlords are required to inform tenants that they have a “right to refuse to … engage in repayment negotiations” without fear of retaliation before they begin “repayment negotiations for Delayed Rent,” which includes “Notice to Pay” letters.
SMC did not provide that information to the tenants The Chronicle interviewed, they said. Several said they believed SMC was trying to intimidate them into paying past-due rent.
Sullivan told The Chronicle that the company did not intend for tenants to interpret these notices as eviction notices, and if they were, “we would like to clarify that with tenants.”
“We’ve been very clear that we’re not starting any sort of eviction proceedings or anything like that,” he continued, adding that the company has not enacted rent increases during the pandemic.
Although it’s illegal to evict tenants in Oakland even now, Sullivan’s companies have been filing eviction notices — possibly to help build eviction cases for after the moratorium ends, said Victor Ramirez, an assistant program manager with Oakland’s Rent Adjustment Program, the agency tasked with managing the city’s rent control and eviction policies and handling landlord-tenant disputes.
SMC and its affiliated companies filed eviction notices at nearly 30 unique addresses with RAP from June 2020 to mid-August 2022, according to Oakland RAP data obtained and analyzed by The Chronicle. Most of these were notices for nonpayment of rent filed in the fall of 2020.
Ramirez said filing eviction notices, while technically legal, could lead to tenants thinking they have to leave if they don’t know about the moratorium.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if we find out there are tenants who move out because they got an eviction notice, right? And they didn’t know they didn’t have to move,” Ramirez said.
Carroll Fife, the City Council member for Oakland’s District Three, which encompasses West Oakland, said the tensions in West Oakland are playing out in a city with some “of the strongest rental protections in the country.” She said she hopes that Oakland’s first-ever rental housing registry, which will take effect in July and require most rental property owners to register their information with the city, will help promote accountability for all owners, including Sullivan.
The city of Oakland is also scheduled to roll out a program this year called the Proactive Rental Inspection Program, which would enable “proactive” inspections of housing units deemed to be at risk of habitability concerns, building inspectors told The Chronicle.
But in Fife’s view, these measures are just “Band-Aids” on a housing system that needs a fundamental overhaul.
Chronicle staff writer Joshua Sharpe contributed to this report.
Reach Susie Neilson: email@example.com