Saturday, November 16, 2013

Nervous Gay Couple Living With AIDS Get Letter from the Landlord

My latest medical troubles are of a combined ear, nose and throat nature so I had appointment with Dr. Dale Tipton yesterday. He's my ENT guy and together we're getting my problems resolved.

When I came home and saw a letter on my desk with the distinctive logo of our landlord's management company, a wave of stress washed over me. Thinking it was a dreaded eviction notice, I was ready to call my longtime friend and super fierce housing rights advocate Tommi Avicolli Mecca for advice, if the letter was about attempting to evict Mike and I.

As I read it and learned the management company on behalf of our apartment building's owner wanted to know about tobacco smoking in our unit, Mike gave me a hug to relieve my obvious worry. He too, when seeing the envelope with the company's logo on it, grew concerned wondering why we're receiving a notice from them in mid November.

We usually hear from the managers early in the new year, with a letter explaining the latest increase in rent, so Mike opened the envelope with trepidation.

For gay men and people with AIDS in our age cohort in San Francisco, it used to be we feared every sneeze or sniffle could be the onset of a major opportunistic infection and death. OK, we still have such fears occasionally.

But now, we also live with the stress of receiving a snail-mail notice to vacate our rental units in the midst of housing boom for rich tech folks and gentrification displacing too many folks across the human spectrum of San Francisco residents.

The eviction epidemic hanging over the City is harmful and stressful to all renters, and has reached a crisis stage where local and state hot-air politicians are talking about addressing the problem. Nice to have them looking at the epidemic, I just wish I saw clear and unquestionable urgency from our electeds.

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