Tenants are afraid to report excessive rents as they fear retaliation

Katheryn Álvarez knows what it is like to live on public roads because she has been left homeless three times and last time she lived a year without a roof. That is why she is terrified that the excessive increase to the rent that she and her neighbors in Downey gave her, will go to shore again to helplessness.

"High rent increases are a problem throughout California, but now we are living in the city of Downey in Los Angeles County”Says Katheryn.

"Around 100 families of the Eden Roc housing complex in the city of Downey are at risk of ending up on the street," he says.

Dissatisfied neighbors for the excessive increase in rent to their homes in Downey. (Aurelia Ventura / The Opinion)

In the last month, Winstar Properties, the company that owns the property, applied rent increases of between 30 and 40% to its tenants.

"I paid $ 1,200 a month and they raised me $ 1,550," says Katheryn.

“My fear is that the rent will continue to rise; and unable to pay, they throw us out. I don't want to be again homeless"He exclaims.

Katheryn recently won a lawsuit against vacating his apartment where he has lived for the past five years, because his 18-year-old son threw himself into the pool from the roof of the palapa.

"He manager I already knew that my son suffers a series of disorders such as acute depression, attention deficit and post-traumatic disorder, ”he says.

And he argues that she is also a person with a disability. "I have a broken foot and I have gone through 16 surgeries, I can't just leave it that way just because," he says. The lawsuit she won helped her not only avoid her eviction but also forced the owners to give her a parking lot closer to her apartment. “For a long time I asked the manager because of my problem with walking, but he ignored me. Just demanding, they left me alone, ”he says.

Inés Feijo shows the mold that has been made in his apartment. (Aurelia Ventura / The Opinion)

But beyond its history, most of the neighbors are dissatisfied with the bulky increase in income.

Inés Feijo, who has been living in the apartment complex for ten years, and shares one of two bedrooms with her husband and son-in-law, says she paid $ 1,140 and raised $ 1,550.

"The owners want to stabilize Downey's income with the rest of the market, but these apartments are not worth the increase they gave us", it states.

And stresses that they are not painted or maintained.

“My daughter has lupus and the moisture that has come out of the water that drips in the bathroom affects her a lot. I reported a lot, but they fix it above and do not solve the problem, ”he says.

He also says that the carpets are in terrible condition and the apartments are full of cockroaches.

“I feel they want to run us. They want us to go to remodel without people and rent more expensive apartments, ”he says.

María Vega called for a stop to the increase in income in Downey. (Aurelia Ventura / The Opinion)

The neighbors received a letter in which the owner company sent them a proposal for those who leave on October 1, receive a stimulus for $ 4,100 plus full payment of their deposit. Those who leave their apartments on October 12, would be given $ 3,350 plus the security deposit.

‘That offer was given to us two weeks before the deadlines to go and receive the money, but nobody was going to get an affordable apartment in that period of time. It's illogical, ”external Katheryn.

Blanca Ortiz says she can't move because she has a daughter with severe autism who is paid by the Downey School District for a private school in the city of Cypress.

"The rent increased to me from $ 1,150 to $ 1,550," he says.

And she laments that she cannot work to attend to her daughter with special needs. “My husband works as a parking clerk. After paying the rent, sometimes we don't have much left to eat and we have to use food stamps; or go to the food banks”, He observes.

The tenants of the complete Eden Roc apartments suffered increases in the rent of their home between 30 and 40%. (Aurelia Ventura / The Opinion)

María Vega, who has been living in a one-bedroom apartment in the Eden Roc complex with her three children and her husband for 21 years, was raised from $ 840 to $ 1,167.57 per month. Verónica, 15 years old in her one-bedroom apartment, was raised from $ 875 to $ 1,250.

“I don't know where we are going to stop. If Trump does not run from this country, the tenants will take us out with such large increases”, Precise.

The neighbors went yesterday to the City Council of Downey to ask the city councilors for their support to stop the exhorbitant increases in income.

“Many neighbors who are dissatisfied do not dare to report because they are afraid of reprisals,” says María Villagómez who lives with her five children in a two-bedroom apartment, whose income was increased from $ 1,255 to $ 1,525.

The opinion He tried to contact the company that owns the apartments, but there was no response.


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