House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is calling on Veritas Investments, San Francisco’s largest landlord with more than $3 billion in assets, to return a loan from a federal program designed to help small businesses and their employees survive the coronavirus pandemic.
Veritas accepted a $3.6 million Paycheck Protection Program loan from the federal government. But those loans are intended as a lifeline to help “neighborhood businesses such as hair salons, restaurants, convenience stores,” Pelosi said in a statement released Saturday.
Veritas owns and operates 256 apartment buildings in San Francisco. The company furloughed 26 of its nearly 200 employees, and the loan was intended to bring them back, a company spokesperson 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,” Pelosi said. “I join San Franciscans in calling on Veritas to return its PPP loan.”
Pelosi also condemned Veritas’ “long history of strong-arm tactics that undermine tenants’ rights and well-being.”
A Veritas spokesperson wrote in a statement this week, “With our revenues deeply impacted and lack of access to capital, we furloughed significant portions of our staff and implemented salary cuts across the board,” adding, “the PPP loan enables us to save the jobs of front line employees and is critical to our business operations.”
— Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez (@FitztheReporter)