Battle Over Rent Control in East Palo Alto Continues
*Tenants march against Page Mill Properties*
Battle over rent control in East Palo Alto continues as tenants march against most recent round of rent increases!
East Palo Alto, California – On Wednesday, March 11, at 3:00 PM, Youth United for Community Action (YUCA), a group of young community organizers between the ages of 13 and 19, will be marching to protest Page Mill Properties predatory business practices in East Palo Alto. Page Mill, with substantial funding from CalPERS, began purchasing rental units in this area in late 2006. Page Mill Properties now owns 1818 rental units in East Palo Alto, roughly 50% of the City’s rental housing stock. The march will begin in East Palo Alto at the Westpark Apartments (5 Newell Court), proceed to Page Mill Properties’ downtown Palo Alto headquarters (480 Cowper Street), and finish at the office of Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (698 Emerson Street). We will march with tenants to demand a meeting with Page Mill’s CEO David Taran, as well as oppose the recent February rent increases. We will hold an open mic session for tenants to share their stories about their experiences living in units owned by Page Mill Properties.
While the legal battles continue, tenants have been struggling to afford multiple rounds of rent increases imposed by Page Mill Properties over the course of the past year. In February 2009, Page Mill imposed yet another round of rent increases, in some cases by as much as 75%. Tenants are once again forced to make a decision to either pay the increases, face eviction proceedings, or “voluntarily” leave their homes. Over the past 18 months, over 1500 residents have been displaced from these units, some of whom are now homeless.
For many tenants, rent has increased significantly above the maximum legal increase as established in the East Palo Alto Rent Stabilization Ordinance by the annual general adjustment (ie AGA). The AGA was set at 3.2% for 2007 and 2.9% for 2008. Page Mill claims to be working on behalf of East Palo Alto tenants. They have instead put its citizens and a significant portion of East Palo Alto’s affordable housing stock at risk.
For more information, please call (650) 322-9165.