Friday, August 25, 2006

The Golden Years

Does anyone have any first-hand knowledge of the turmoil at the Golden Oaks Senior Apartments? The following is from an August 24th article in the Star-News:

Residents living in South Pasadena's only senior housing complex are demanding the city put a stop to a new owner's plans to turn their modest units into luxury apartments.

Eviction papers have already been sent out to a handful of occupants at the Golden Oaks Apartments at 1000 El Centro St. — including all who receive federal Section 8 housing assistance — explaining they will have to leave their homes by Oct. 1.

Those remaining, such as 86-year-old Peggy O'Neil, have received notice of rental increases of up to 33 percent.

O'Neil's rent would climb to $1,250 a month. On a Social Security budget, “It means I can't do anything foolish — like take a vacation,” she said.

But while residents have said the new prices could force them from their units, the rents are expected to hit $2,200 per month when the building is renovated and a gym, library, movie theater and beauty salon are added.

Residents said the new amenities prove the building is no longer for them. “Some of the people here are 90 years old,” said resident Jean Ackerman. “What do we need with a gym?” As for books, she noted that the city library is right across the street.

I like the fact that I live in a neighborhood with a sizeable number of older people. In all honesty, I don't have any close relationships with senior citizens in South Pasadena. Thena and I have played music for residents at Prospect Manor on a couple of occasions. Perhaps I should try a little harder to strike up a conversation with the older people around me. I can definitely tell you that the people at Prospect Manor seemed delighted that younger people were spending time with them.

I'll leave you with another exerpt from the article:

The owners, who did not return calls by press time, have until Oct. 4 to respond to the requests.

But not everyone has that long. Jesus Arellano's 90-year-old mother, Maria, must be out by Oct. 1. She receives less than $800 per month in Social Security, and Section 8 funding pays two-thirds of her housing costs.

The new owners will not accept her vouchers, and Arellano said trying to find a new place for his mother has been heartbreaking.

He said she was hit by a moving bus last year and is now unable to prepare meals for herself.

Arellano, his brother and daughter visit Maria three times a day in shifts and she must be relocated to somewhere near his Alhambra home. So far, he's found nothing in surrounding cities.

I sure hope the owners treated their kids well...


Anonymous Jill said...

That sounds like such an awful thing to do!

1:00 PM  
Blogger South Pas Blogs said...

Well, the news is making its way outside of South Pas.

7:25 AM  
Blogger Jason B. said...

I don't know either.

11:50 AM  
Blogger Jason B. said...

I just got off the phone with a woman who called herself a manager. She said that it's not new owners, but same owners with new management. She also said when I asked if folks were staying that," Most of the people still stay here." Her poor grammar aside, it sounds rotten to me. She told me that there will be a community meeting at the Golden Oaks on Saturday, September 2 from 4:30 pm to 5 pm. I think I'm going...

5:08 PM  
Blogger South Pas Blogs said...

Thanks for the head's up, Jason. I think I may be free at 4:30 on Saturday. Maybe I'll see you there.

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am conflicted. golden oaks was a great place for my dad ..until he passed in 01. his wife is now the asst manager and they are even raising her rent. still. i come down on the side of property rights for the owner. lets see how mr. maregrave handles this one. he will want stiff rents for his new senior development.

5:56 PM  

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