Low-income housing agency triples rent | February 1, 2019 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - February 1, 2019

Low-income housing agency triples rent

Some tenants who aren't part of Section 8 program fear they are being priced out

by Sue Dremann

Palo Alto Housing, a nonprofit offering low-income residents below-market-rate housing, has notified some tenants that their rent could triple by April.

This story contains 906 words.

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Staff Writer Sue Dremann can be emailed at sdremann@paweekly.com.

Comments

55 people like this
Posted by Member
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 30, 2019 at 6:59 pm

I think people who doesn't qualify for section 8 should pay market rate or a gradual rate to market rate. If not hey should move on to non low income housing so real low income people can move into these low income housing program. No matter how long you rent a place, if you didn't pay mortgage or purchase it, you should not feel entitled to own it. Let the really needy benefit from the program. It's nothing personal. There are other people who need assistance. Don't be selfish.


41 people like this
Posted by Pay More Or Move Out
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 30, 2019 at 8:11 pm

> I think people who doesn't qualify for section 8 should pay market rate or a gradual rate to market rate.

This is true. Life is tough and while dollars don't go very far these days, there are always those who have even less to survive on.

The 41-year tenants at Webster House have benefited from low-income rents for decades & now it is time for someone else to have an opportunity for a reasonably priced living accommodations. [Portion removed.]


28 people like this
Posted by Patricia
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 30, 2019 at 8:22 pm

I am not an authority on section 8, however, since it is a government program, I trust that there are checks and balances regarding the validity of the rent increase. What I do not understand is Mr. Heletsky's complaint that this is unreasonable. I live in a two bedroom apartment in EAST Palo Alto and pay $3200 in rent...this is a over 50% of my income. It is obvious that Mr. Heletsky has had a FANTASTIC opportunity for over 40 years and has grown to feel entitled. Paying 30% of your income toward rent (or mortgage) is a luxury most of us in the bay area do not have and would be grateful for; paying less than 30%, which the article indicates they have been paying for several years, is beyond luxury. [Portion removed.]


13 people like this
Posted by Carolina
a resident of Mayfield
on Jan 30, 2019 at 8:39 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


13 people like this
Posted by Stella
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 30, 2019 at 9:08 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


16 people like this
Posted by Rogue Trader
a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 30, 2019 at 10:53 pm

The government has set it up that if you are receiving tax payer dollars from Section 8 housing, there is absolutely no incentive to work hard, get a promotion or raise, get educated/trained for better job opportunities, etc.


9 people like this
Posted by Hector M. Chavez
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 31, 2019 at 3:55 am

[Portion removed.]

Stop hating on the Haletky’s family for putting our tax payers dollars to work. I rather help them out than build a wall. This article made no reference to the Haletky income, other than the opted out on the recertification process.


22 people like this
Posted by Pay More Or Move Out
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 31, 2019 at 8:50 am

Doing the math...2019-41 years = 1978. That's a long time to have received special rental privileges in Palo Alto.

Their current $1467 monthly rent for a three/BR apartment in Palo Alto was probably considerably less 'back in the day' with minimal/incremental increases too petty to even make note of. Rents in Palo Alto were far less in the late 1970s through 1990s.

Try renting a 3/BR dwelling in PA today for about $1500/month. No wonder these folks don't want to leave...they're still living in the 1980s.

> @ Stop hating on the Haletky’s family for putting our tax payers dollars to work.

It's not about hate or envy but an acknowledgment of modern-day realities. As far as the best use of our tax dollars...the table is open for discussion.


18 people like this
Posted by @Pay More Or Move Out
a resident of another community
on Jan 31, 2019 at 9:20 am

"Doing the math...2019-41 years = 1978. That's a long time to have received special rental privileges in Palo Alto."

And yet you're benefitting heavily from Prop 13, also passed in 1978.


12 people like this
Posted by Out of Towner
a resident of another community
on Jan 31, 2019 at 11:08 am

Perhaps the Haletkys could move into a smaller apt. They are now in a 3-bedroom unit. Perhaps as a couple they could move into a 1-bedroom. It was unclear to me from the article whether their children still lived with them necessitating more bedrooms..


6 people like this
Posted by What Will They Do Next
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 31, 2019 at 11:13 am

I love Prop. 13 !!!


12 people like this
Posted by ChrisC
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 31, 2019 at 11:18 am

ChrisC is a registered user.

Since this change is newly allowed by HUD, and the director of HUD is Ben Carson, I think we know who to directly blame for this turn of events. I’m surprised it took this long, but I’m sure the groundwork started being laid in Jan, 2017.


19 people like this
Posted by Novelera
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 31, 2019 at 11:31 am

Novelera is a registered user.

Having one's rent tripled after living somewhere for over 40 years is really a disastrous life event. I can appreciate the viewpoints of some of the commenters who think a more needy person should have the space. But some of the comments have, in my opinion, seemed harsh and reflective of some political viewpoint that has no concern for others.


7 people like this
Posted by Political?
a resident of Mountain View
on Jan 31, 2019 at 11:53 am

@Novelera, I understand and agree with your statement that
This is a disastrous event and agree that it must be hard for this couple.

I’m a bit confused tho by your statement “reflective of some political viewpoint”, can you elaborate?


6 people like this
Posted by goodluck
a resident of another community
on Jan 31, 2019 at 11:59 am

goodluck is a registered user.

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened. IMO this is the challenge with these subsidies, even when no longer qualifying, they won’t move on and let another move in. And it provides strong incentive to work less to stay below the magic income number or “split up“ to game the system as discussed.


7 people like this
Posted by eileen
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 31, 2019 at 12:04 pm

eileen is a registered user.

while this is difficult for this couple, there are many long term renters who are given little notice of eviction or rent hikes forcing them to move. Remember, there are many deserving people that can use the 3 bedroom for their growing family. I do agree that the housing agency could have given you a little prior notice to help you move on.


12 people like this
Posted by PAH resident
a resident of Professorville
on Jan 31, 2019 at 12:25 pm

It would be helpful to see how the paychecks of the PAH employees, and especially executives, most probably will go up after this rent increase. Can Palo Alto Online request those records for all of us to see?


2 people like this
Posted by HM
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 31, 2019 at 12:45 pm

[Post removed.]


1 person likes this
Posted by Mind blowing
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 31, 2019 at 1:35 pm

Nothing like being run out of town....If they could afford to drive a Tesla and eat steak every night YES, I would be jealous BUT THAT is Not what is happening here......Share the air...(quit putting your noses up in the air)!


17 people like this
Posted by cmarg
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jan 31, 2019 at 1:37 pm

cmarg is a registered user.

Seems like if it is 2 people, a 1-bedroom place would be perfect. Be like other people and downsize as your needs decrease.
I think if you want a 3-bedroom place, move to a more affordable location. Those of us who work live in small homes; those who want large homes, move to remote locations. It is a choice that the renters must make. Using tax money for someone who has more room than those of us paying the taxes just does not make sense.


9 people like this
Posted by Bobby Boucher
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 31, 2019 at 2:09 pm

I now understand what an employee of mine meant when she declined extra hours during the holidays, citing that the extra hours would "mess with my housing"!


15 people like this
Posted by Taxes Are a Part Of Life
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 31, 2019 at 2:09 pm

> And yet you're benefitting heavily from Prop 13, also passed in 1978.

residential Prop 13...good for older retirees on fixed incomes.

commercial Prop 13...bad in that long-time businesses should be paying more in property taxes due to inflation.

> I love Prop. 13 !!!

so do many of my older neighbors...younger neighbors not so much. point being is that the younger neighbors are making far more money than those in 1978. if they have to pay more, so be it OR move to some 3rd world country where property taxes are minimal.

despite their frugalities, my recently-arrived neighbors from overseas are not complaining about PA property taxes. to them, it comes with living in Palo Alto & their designer clothes, expensive jewelry and fancy cars are reflective of the PA lifestyle.


12 people like this
Posted by Joseph Haletky
a resident of Professorville
on Jan 31, 2019 at 2:50 pm

In answer to some of the comments: I am very greatful to have had the opportunity to live in this apartment complex for so many years. It has given me the opportunity to give back to the community in this time in many ways. We are open to moving into a smaller apartment (we would need two bedrooms)at a lower cost, should any become available. One of my old neighbors, now widowed with grown children away was moved by the management some time ago from a 3 to a 2 bedroom apartment. We are considering the recertification process to see if it pencils out. Another option is splitting up and my wife moving to supportive senior housing. The PAHC staff worked with one older woman whose daughter grew up and moved away to get her into Lytton Gardens when she became too frail to be safe alone in a second story walkup apartment.

To the "haters" in these comments: after 40 years in one place, pulling up stakes and starting fresh elsewhere is very difficult for a senior citizen. And you should consider that the new rate structure tends to cut out middle-income people,leaving housing only for the poor and the wealthy. Middle income people are the ones providing the services most people in a community use.I don't consider my staying at Webster Wood taking a spot from a poor person so much as hanging on to a community that I love and care about.


19 people like this
Posted by Taxes Are a Part Of Life
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 31, 2019 at 2:59 pm

> I am very greatful to have had the opportunity to live in this apartment complex for so many years. It has given me the opportunity to give back to the community in this time in many ways.

Please expand upon.

>after 40 years in one place, pulling up stakes and starting fresh elsewhere is very difficult for a senior citizen.

Did you consider this option or possibility 20-30 years ago? Even 10-12 years in the same subsidized dwelling is a long time and might raise some eyebrows.

Is it possible that the 'ease' of having minimal housing expenditures enabled a thought process that simply 'looked the other way' in terms of other alternative housing opportunities?


23 people like this
Posted by Taxes Are a Part Of Life
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 31, 2019 at 3:03 pm

> Middle income people are the ones providing the services most people in a community use.I don't consider my staying at Webster Wood taking a spot from a poor person so much as hanging on to a community that I love and care about.

This comment says it all. No remorse or second thoughts as it is the 'middle income' people who conveniently cover the housing expenditures and preferred lifestyle.

Seriously?


9 people like this
Posted by Anneke
a resident of Professorville
on Jan 31, 2019 at 3:42 pm

Some questions need to be answered in order to get a full picture of what is going on in this situation:

1. For how many years and why did the Palo Alto Housing Corporation not make annual adjustments?
2. What has Mr. Haletky's income been per annum over the past 41 years, and especially over the past 20 years??

If it turns out that Mr. Haletky's income has exceeded the income guidelines for many years, he should count himself extremely lucky, not entitled, and I hope he saved, especially because another benefit he received was that his children may/must have attended the excellent Palo Alto schools.

Paying only $1,467 per month for a three-bedroom apartment in the center of Palo Alto should have gone to a qualifying family with children, but in this case the apartment was rented to (assumed) empty nesters for many years.

I am not blaming Mr. Haletky's completely (although I do a little because the rent he paid was just too good to be true,) I am especially blaming the Palo Alto Housing Corporation.

I believe that there must be some kind of contract in place, signed by both parties, which clearly explains the rules of income engagement, even if the rents were not touched for many years.

If Mr. Haletky wants to continue to live in Palo Alto, then he must make a decision:
1. Can he go to a one-bedroom apartment? Most people over a certain age want to live smaller.
2. If his income shows, he can afford the one-bedroom, then he will have to buy the bullet.
3. If his income shows very low income, then he may quality for a different rental rate.

It all depends.....


8 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 31, 2019 at 4:25 pm

Annette is a registered user.

As we embark on expanding our housing inventory it is likely that the PAHC will be involved in the management of some of the housing. This story points out the importance of PAHC being a reliable partner with fair practices that are well managed and properly audited.

And in the category of "generalizations are never a good idea", I caution against being critical of recipients of Section 8 benefits. No doubt there are individuals who game the system, but I think most do not. I have worked with two people who have lived in Section 8 housing. One's 2nd job was to care for an extremely handicapped individual and the other has a handicapped child with special needs. People with special needs face a lifetime of challenges and extraordinary expenses. It's a good thing if society can give them a little break on the cost of housing - especially around here.


11 people like this
Posted by disgusted
a resident of Stanford
on Jan 31, 2019 at 5:36 pm

As usual, I am shocked at the lack of empathy shown in most comments whenever a story about eviction and rentals comes out.. To try to find housing by April is a really tough enterprise in this market.. Whether or not 40 years was too long is not really the issue.. Management has changed ,and in this town that spells trouble for a senior couple who now has a very short time to try to find a place for both of them. It does not sound like they are going to be able to do that easily or in time. It is not their fault if rents stayed somewhat stable over 40 years.. Now they are thrown out with just a few months into one of the most expensive housing markets in the world. Where is the compassion for seniors, and why such self - righteousness? This transition has clearly been mismanaged and the needs of real people ignored. For younger people who make a choice about where to live and work these kinds of changes are more manageable, but when seniors with health issues are involved , this community needs to step up and stop acting like seniors are parasites on the community. Lytton Gardens has 4 year wait list and there are no plans to add another Lytton Gardens.. With the wealth in this community, a little help for seniors on fixed income would certainly be welcome!


6 people like this
Posted by Eileen Wright
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 31, 2019 at 6:06 pm

"And yet you're benefitting heavily from Prop 13, also passed in 1978.

Prop 13 is a good thing. My grandparents worked hard to buy the house I live in and my parents and me deserve some breaks for keeping it in the family all this time.


11 people like this
Posted by Stop Blaming Residential Prop 13
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 31, 2019 at 6:41 pm

> residential Prop 13...good for older retirees on fixed incomes.

> commercial Prop 13...bad in that long-time businesses should be paying more in property taxes due to inflation.

> Prop 13 is a good thing. My grandparents worked hard to buy the house I live in and my parents and me deserve some breaks for keeping it in the family all this time.

^^^^^comments above pretty much sums it up. BTW, we are not on Prop 13...we pay $55K in property taxes compared to our older neighbors at $15K.

Are we jealous or spiteful of them? No...but others seem to be.


15 people like this
Posted by Stop Blaming Residential Prop 13
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 31, 2019 at 6:46 pm

typo/oversight > $1.5K...big difference compared to $15K.

We were just born too late but then again, take-home salaries were far less 'back in the day'.

Prop 13 protects older residents from exhorbitant/rising property taxes + curtails wasteful government spending (although politicians always manage to find a way).

On the other hand, Prop 13 should be repealed for commercial businesses.


17 people like this
Posted by Political?
a resident of Mountain View
on Jan 31, 2019 at 7:10 pm

@disgusted, most of the comments I'm reading aren't lacking in empathy, rather they are pointing out several glaring facts.

This couple benefited tremendously from extremely low rents for many many years.
Rents have not "been stable for 40 years", they have always been increasing albeit somewhat more in the last few years than typical. I remember I received 30 days notice from my landlord at the heighth of the .com, rental availability was less than .5% and I was super stressed trying to find something affordable in this area so that I could stay close to my job. I ended up doubling my rent but I didn't expect anyone to subsidize it, if I hadn't been able to afford it I would have looked further away in a more affordable area. I get that Mr Haletky would like to stay in the area he's lived and loved but sometimes life throws you curves and you have to make choices. I can guarantee you as much as I LOVE living here I will be moving when I can no longer afford it, there are MANY other places to live.

I also question why a couple "needs" 2-bedrooms. Certainly there are much more affordable options with one bedroom and that should be more than sufficient. There are whole families living in 1-bed apartments!

So again, it's not a lack of empathy rather a feeling that there are better choices to be made here and frankly many people are tired of financing other peoples poor choices.


9 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 31, 2019 at 9:34 pm

"... frankly many people are tired of financing other peoples poor choices."

Understatement of the year!


21 people like this
Posted by Radar121
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 1, 2019 at 12:05 am

The comments on this site are heartless. The couple are elderly give them a break. I went to war three times for this country, and I believe in helping others. This couple have been part of the community long before most of the overpaid and pampered Tesla driving tech weenies took over. I am also in Tech, but because of my life experiences, I know how important a stable home and community is for folks. Most of the people posting here should be ashamed of themselves. Low income in the Palo Alto area is 75K. I grew up in a well to do area on Long Island NY, and I have traveled for the military all over the world, and trust me, Palo Alto is not that special. However, to an old couple living here for over 40 years, it is their home, and they have paid into their community, and they have earned the right to have stability in their senior years.


2 people like this
Posted by @Eileen
a resident of another community
on Feb 1, 2019 at 2:02 am

"Prop 13 is a good thing. My grandparents worked hard to buy the house I live in and my parents and me deserve some breaks for keeping it in the family all this time."

No you don't, and especially not as some reward for keeping your house in the family. The cost of maintaining city services continually goes up as the cost of living rises and you're paying a fraction of what you should be while new buyers end up subsidizing you.


2 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 1, 2019 at 5:23 am

Annette is a registered user.

@Radar121 - your comment is one of the best posted in this forum on any topic ever. Thank you - for your comment and your service.


12 people like this
Posted by Political?
a resident of Mountain View
on Feb 1, 2019 at 8:20 am

@radar121 I do not mean to be heartless. In writing my post I imagined how I would feel if these were my grandparents. And with all due respect I would feel the same way. I would say that they should downsize to the more affordable 1-bed or, more unfortunately, move somewhere more affordable. Throughout history people have had to make really tough choices, life most certainly isn’t fair!


3 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 1, 2019 at 10:51 am

Posted by @Pay More Or Move Out

>> And yet you're benefitting heavily from Prop 13, also passed in 1978.

I will vote against Prop 13 any time I get the chance.


2 people like this
Posted by Jerry99
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 1, 2019 at 10:55 am

Before Lyndon Johnson and his "Great Society" and its endless welfare programs like Food Stamps, Section 8 housing, Social Security Disability income, people used to work.
My uncle was uneducated but worked the Dodge assembly line during the day, loaded trucks during the evenings, then worked as a house painter on weekends to pay for food and a home for his wife and two children. He would have starved rather than have the US government take money from taxpayers and give it to him.
With a 21 TRILLION dollar US deficit we have to cut back these tax and spend progrms at some point.80% of illegal alien headed families receive money from at least one welfare program and their numbers are exploding- Where is that money going to come from?

In the previous generation parents would move in with their children when they got old. This story is about someone that wanted a 3 bedroom place for his wife and children for 41 years. Why not move in with the children if possible.


3 people like this
Posted by Carolina
a resident of Menlo Park
on Feb 1, 2019 at 11:00 am

I think everyone is missing some very important details here. I work closely with the Housing Authority & have some knowledge of the section 8 program. After reading the articles in the Post and PA Weekly, my understanding of the situation is that nobody is asking this couple to move out. The property is a 100% section 8 property, if Mr. Heletsky provides income information, the most he would have to pay in rent would be 30% of his income. This is not unreasonable. Yes, the section 8 program does require that households occupy appropriate size apartments, however, if an appropriate size unit is not available, they simply remain in their apartment until one becomes available. Up or downsizing units makes no difference because 30% of a household's income is still 30% of the same income.


3 people like this
Posted by Hector M. Chavez
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 1, 2019 at 11:07 am

To the Haletky,
I’m praying for your family and the millions others .
To begin with this article only touch the surface level.
The author fail to get specific and answer questions that can help people better understand how the Haleky arrived at this situation.


It’s pathetic how the majority of the comments criticize this family, without the full story. Imagine if these people are rasing children, o what a sad place this world will be as most of us can see.
Palo Alto is going down faster than a snowball to hell. All the NIMBY commenters!

@ Annette, Radar 121 & Disgusted
Thanks for having a heart. We need people like all of you in high power in order to restore this country. Folks who are compassionate and have empathy for others.

@ the Haters
Who’s going to serve you your food, take care of your kids and landscape your yards?

I guess you all rather deal with a Robots.


7 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 1, 2019 at 11:48 am

Posted by Jerry99, a resident of Barron Park

>> Before Lyndon Johnson and his "Great Society" and its endless welfare programs like Food Stamps, Section 8 housing, Social Security Disability income, people used to work.

Except people who couldn't work, like a relative of mine back then who had health problems around age 60, which depleted his retirement assets. Fortunately, he had relatives who were well-enough off to help him. It was ugly being old and having health problems back in the good old days before the New Deal and the War on Poverty and the Great Society.

>> My uncle was uneducated but worked the Dodge assembly line during the day, loaded trucks during the evenings, then worked as a house painter on weekends to pay for food and a home for his wife and two children.

Unfortunately, there is far less work needed for unskilled labor, due to all the labor-saving and now AI-driven machines and processes we have. People like your uncle are not worth much in today's labor market.

>> He would have starved rather than have the US government take money from taxpayers and give it to him.

Why? The self-sufficient farm is passe', nobody is a hunter-gatherer now. We all live in a highly-technological society, and, it makes perfect sense to tax the output of that society in order to provide for those who are not able to add value to it.

In any case, labor-intensive manufacturing like your uncle did is not done much in the U.S. any more. Instead, that work is done in other countries that have partially/mostly socialized medicine/socialized medicine for the poor/universal health care. Oh well.



10 people like this
Posted by Anneke
a resident of Professorville
on Feb 1, 2019 at 5:17 pm

I believe we have two main issues here:

1. Palo Alto Housing Corporation is responsible for "managing" low income housing for tenants who truly qualify for its "contract" rent program. I am completely for that. Let me assure you that my husband and I could have qualified for this program forty-one years ago, when we were young and very, very poor. We literally married with $10 to our names, had eight people at our "wedding dinner," including us, and depended on my husband's dad to pay the $64 dinner bill at a low cost Italian but delightful Italian restaurant.

Fortunately, over the years we studied for our undergraduate and MBA degrees which allowed us to earn more money. As a result we would no longer have qualified for this kind of a program. We would have expected that and would have moved. End of story.

2. Second issue: If Mr. and Mrs. Haletky have always been below the income limit these past 41 years, then there should not be a problem because the highest they would pay now, would be 30% of their income.

However, if Mr. and Mrs. Haletky earned above the income limit, say for the past 30 years, then they really should not have qualified. It would have then taken away this tremendous housing benefit from other qualifying people.

I very much believe in housing that helps people with low incomes find a good living place in Palo Alto. However, just because one qualified 41 years ago does not mean automatic entitlement to stay there for such an extended time, if one's income had improved such that the low income limit guidelines would have no longer applied.

So, it all depends. We just do not have enough information to make a good judgement.


18 people like this
Posted by Entitlement Programs Are OK But...
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Feb 1, 2019 at 6:06 pm

> Before Lyndon Johnson and his "Great Society" and its endless welfare programs like Food Stamps, Section 8 housing, Social Security Disability income, people used to work.

Lyndon Johnson was inspired by FDR's 'New Deal' which helped those in need survive The Great Depression + SSI to assist seniors once their working days were over.

The related entitlement programs are still a worhtwhile concept providing they don't cater to deadbeats & illegal aliens who never paid a cent into the system.

This story of 40+ years of reduced rent is such an example of milking the system.


14 people like this
Posted by Long Time Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 2, 2019 at 11:20 am

I agree with Member, Patricia, Politcal and others that the Haletky Family has probably unfairly benefited for years, and now the loophole that allowed them to pay far below market rent has been closed. So, what does Mr. Haletky do, he goes to a City Council meeting and stands up and complains. Talk about entitlement.

Here are some questions for the Haletky family and others like them at Webster Wood who for years have paid far less than they should have:
1. Are you living in much larger unit than needed for two people. For example, if your kids are out of the house, are you still occupying a 3 bedroom unit?
a) If so, is that because you are not having to pay market rent?
b) If so, aren’t you denying a young family a place to raise their children?
2. Have you provided financial documentation to PAH showing what your income is? My understanding is that others at Webster Wood are required to do this, so have you?
3. How much money have you “saved” over all these years by not paying a fair market rent?

Anyway, there are a lot of questions that should be answered before we condemn the landlord. My understanding that the landlord is a non-profit because it plows all of its money back into subsidized housing for NEEDY families. It seems like the Daily News went for the story and sensationalized it, and did not ask the tough questions. I bet if we all knew the facts, we would be pretty upset that these families have been milking a loophole that is finally closing on them.


1 person likes this
Posted by Rebecca White
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2019 at 12:44 pm

Rebecca White is a registered user.

Urban Ministries and the downtown food closet are among the most meaningful contributions made to this city over the past thirty years. Surely there's a solution that doesn't involve the eviction of a couple who have given much to this community.


6 people like this
Posted by Friend
a resident of Ventura
on Feb 5, 2019 at 3:15 pm

When I was looking for assistance and I was Single working part-time, I was told that there was no housing available for me and my Son who was 3 at the time. A 3 bedroom is huge for a couple. What about young families that need a 3 bedroom.


11 people like this
Posted by Squatterville
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 5, 2019 at 6:01 pm

Heletky had the opportunity to benefit from reduced rental rates for 40+ years.

What his contribution to the Palo Alto community amounts to is unclear.

Either pay the rent increase or move out.

No more freeloading off the middle-class or as quoted by Mr. Heletky..."Middle income people are the ones providing the services most people in a community use.I don't consider my staying at Webster Wood taking a spot from a poor person so much as hanging on to a community that I love and care about."

Seriously?



7 people like this
Posted by Old Timer
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Apr 4, 2019 at 4:48 am

What?
This resident has been in super low income housing for 47 years, and sent his two kids through our schools?
He could have gone back to college over these 4 decades (nearly 5 decades), and earned several degrees leading to better employment and promotions.
Maybe I am misunderstanding, but shouldn't he take care of his wife / partner, instead of looking for low income assisted living for her?
Perhaps both of them could move in with one of their adult children, and stop looking for handouts from others simply because he likes living here and feels entitled to keep living here.

How many other people in these 700 other "low income" units are playing this game?
Who has been in charge of doing regular checks of income?

I grew up poor here in a single parent home with a bedridden grandparent.
We could have qualified for assistance but my mother would never have asked anyone for a handout. Never.
We cleaned homes, did typing jobs all night long - barely able to afford the $25 rent on a typewriter from Kennedy office supplies here in Palo Alto.
I worked my way all through college (Foothill-onwards).
I was several years behind my friends when I transferred to a 4 year college, and paid back all my loans within 10 years.
Sadly, I now have to leave my hometown after residing here for more than 60 years.
I don't know anyone else in any other city besides Palo Alto, since I've spent my entire life here – working in my community and church.

I can't wait or qualify for assistance, and I am old and tired too.
I could lie, and just claim some disability. Most people over age 60 have some kind of ailment, but that would be dishonest.
I would not be able to live with the moral guilt of that.
Being a single older woman, it is scary driving more than 4 hours away from my city to look for a more affordable place to live, but I am doing it.
I have no other person to call if I need help. I just place my trust in God.

Reading this story helps me understand how the welfare system can create a mindset of entitlement and contentment of status quo (or laziness) in people (although not all).
Sorry to sound callous, but I think 47 years of living in section 8 housing is utterly ridiculous!


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