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Rent increases hit East Palo Alto tenants hard

Original post made on Dec 13, 2007

More than 200 people, many clutching notices of 18- to 25-percent rent increases, packed an East Palo Alto Rent Stabilization Board meeting Wednesday night to protest that they can't afford the hikes. The board took no action.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, December 13, 2007, 12:19 PM

Comments (12)

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Posted by Always-Look-For-The-Story-Beneath-the-Story
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 13, 2007 at 5:12 pm

There is a deeper story here, as this summer-time article from the San Jose Business Journal brings known to the public:

Web Link

Friday, June 22, 2007
East Palo Alto plan hits bump
Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal - by Sharon Simonson
Dennis Hendricks

Strips of property fronting U.S. 101 in East Palo Alto are being bought up by real estate developer David Taran. The properties, mostly modest residential communities, flank University Circle, a development fea
turing a four-star hotel and three Class A office towers.
According to public record, including hundreds of documents on file in San Mateo County court, Taran has spent well in excess of $100 million since September 2006 to acquire 70 parcels, mostly contiguous, in a thin ribbon of land fronting U.S. 101 and a stone's throw from what is arguably the most status-laden community in the South Bay. Yet, all of the properties lie in East Palo Alto, among the region's most humble communities, and they range from modest and aging apartments to some that can only be described as blighted.

It was only a matter of time before some developer(s) realized that East Palo Alto was waiting to be redeveloped. Seems that this process is underway. As this process proceeds, it will have certain implications for Palo Alto and the PAUSD.

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Posted by Citizen
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 13, 2007 at 5:19 pm

How does this have potential impact on the PAUSD - is the amount of EPA students in PA schools fixed or can it increase?

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Posted by Always-Look-For-The-Story-Beneath-the-Story
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 13, 2007 at 5:41 pm

> How does this have potential impact on the PAUSD

The whole purpose of the original Tinsley suit was based on the lack of funding for EPA, which was linked to low property tax generation in that part of unincorporated San Mateo County at the time. Other issues determining the outcome of the suit involved issues of race (at that time EPA was heavily African American) and the PAUSD was virtually all Caucasian.

With "gentrification" and higher tax bases, it's possible that EPA could, in time, qualify as a Basic Aid District, itself.

At any rate, the so called VTP (Voluntary Transfer Program) will not last forever, based on financial disparities in PA and EPA. Homes are already going for over $1M in EPA, and many of the properties housing people involved in the Tinsley suit have been torn down.

While the number of children allowed access to the PAUSD via Tinsely will not increase because of "gentrification", there is reason to believe that the number will diminish over time.

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Posted by Shallow Alto
a resident of another community
on Dec 14, 2007 at 1:20 pm

Wonderful how PA posters want to shift focus from a current EPA problem into a potential future PA problem. So provincial, self-involved and of course, typical.

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Posted by Doris
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Dec 14, 2007 at 3:49 pm

This is a insult to EPA I have been residing here for 20+ years and you should see the apartment. Not to mention during my occupancy I have had a oven to blow up on me resulting a very serious burn to my hands & wrist. I was told that the stove was a least 60 years old, but no I did not sue, I just requested for a new oven. I have the carpet that was originally there when I moved and still is, request not granted? Painting just the out-side of the building does not account for "Apartment maintance" if that is the case then why is the torn & rippled fence not been replaced? I sweep out in front best as I can, but now the driveway leading from the street is breaking apart? This is just to mention a few of the violations to start with. So please jump in anytime If it's me that is not doing something right. Complain, I'm doing that too. 20

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Posted by EPA Occupant
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Dec 14, 2007 at 3:54 pm

You think that is something, I have had my rent increased 3 times since June 2007? It looks like someone is being down right greedy. Just like it was stated earlier, "Outside Paint is just a cover up".

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Posted by Always-Look-For-The-Story-Beneath-the-Story
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 14, 2007 at 7:22 pm

> Wonderful how PA posters want to shift focus from a
> current EPA problem into a potential future PA problem

Perhaps. But then again, there is always a story under the story, and a big picture that every story eventually has to fit into. There is some linkage between East Palo Alto, and Palo Alto, even though the Weekly's story about rent increases may not provide much evidence. Take for instance the future of Edgewood Plaza. A goodly number of East Palo Alto residents shop at Edgewood, because it is the only store close to their homes. Sooner or later, EPA will get a supermarket of its own, and the viability of a small supermarket at Edgewood becomes a real issue to the owners of property/store. Given the location of Edgewood, people from South Palo Alto are not likely to drive (or bicycle or take the shuttle or walk) to Edgewood for their shopping. So, it's possible that when EPA gets their supermarket, Edgewood Plaza's retail purpose will cease to exist--the land will most likely used for housing.

There is every reason to believe that within ten years EPA will be radically transformed by redevelopment. Palo Alto will be impacted, for better or worse. Ultimately, the down-scale housing will be replaced with up-scale housing, or businesses. There is nothing parochial about this view, it's just being pragmatic.

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Posted by CostofLiving
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Dec 15, 2007 at 9:54 am

Developers see the potential of EPA and are acting on it. It has been my prediction for years that run down businesses and apartments in EPA would eventually be bought out by developers and owners of apartment complexes would raise rents so high forcing many people out. You can see the changes made over the past few years near the 101 freeway. This is just the beginning and it is just a matter of time before EPA will be unaffordable for many of the current residents.

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Posted by CeeMi
a resident of another community
on Dec 16, 2007 at 8:13 am

This is a way to move the low-income class out of East Palo
Alto to make more room for Silicon Valley. I remember when I was living and working in San Mateo. I was in my late 20's, a single parent with two children. Rents when up and I decided to move to East Palo Alto. The unit I move in was under the East Palo Alto Rent Stabilization Program. In 2001 I moved to Northern California because my rent in East Palo Alto went from $900.00 for a two-bed room to $1000.00 and then I got another notice that my rent was going to be $1400.00. I went to the East Palo Alto Rent Stabilization Board office. That trip was a waste of my time and energy! I'm very happy that I was able to move out of East Palo. I really enjoy where I'm living now. My daughter misses Plug-in that was her second home.

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Posted by Abused Tennant
a resident of Mountain View
on Dec 17, 2007 at 10:14 am

Redevelope, and push the average US citizen out of their home towns!
It appears that Palo Alto STILL has that additude (not much has changed over the past 30 years).
I grew up in PA, and this has always been the issue. MONEY!
Where do we draw the line. When do we say enough is enough!
So you want upscale, so who do you propose will spend the dollars?
I am an engineer with a teenager, and I cannot even think about living in the town that I grew up in.
People of Palo Alto, all you care about is having your own private country club!
I hope you are happy!

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Posted by Shallow Alto is Right!
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Dec 18, 2007 at 12:15 pm

Yes, the story underneath the story - redeveloping EPA will affect a lot of cities, mainly, EPA. It's about us, & will mainly be about us, for a long time. Oh, and of course, it'll also be about Menlo & East Menlo, as well as other local cities.

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Posted by Updated Rent Notice
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Dec 19, 2007 at 12:13 pm

Lat night, I came home to some Spanish language Page Mill Props newsletter & an updated rent notice addressed to the wrong person. They can't even get their tenants right. Rent increases have been delayed til 2/1.

I hope they get in the huge trouble they deserve over the electrocution incident.

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