Emotions ran deep as residents of the De Anza Apartments bestowed upon city hall to plead their case to the city council because the building has new owners and 16 of the 20 tenants were given eviction notices and 60 days to move without the choice of staying. The families who were not given eviction notices have all moved into the apartments within the past three months.
Several of the tenants have lived in the apartment complex for decades. One man has lived there for 40 years and he is being pushed out so the new owners can justify raising the rent on the units.
The property is managed by Landview Properties out of Glendora and it appears that it has been sold to Richard Byrd and Phyllis Liu of the Byrd-Liu Family Trust.
Even though some of the tenants can afford the higher rent, they aren't being given the opportunity to stay and 60 days is such a short time to save enough money to move into a new home. Gentrification is in full effect and the people buying these properties aren't from Pasadena and don't care about the people from the community. It's all about the money and changing the face of the surroundings.
The tenants are fighting an uphill battle, but if the community rallies behind them, they can win or at the least, extend the fight. For them to do that they will need others who are going through the same thing to speak up. They need others who may find themselves in the same position in the future. I live on Garfield and a year and a half ago new owners bought the apartment building down the street and evicted all of the tenants. Some had lived there for decades and some are now homeless because they didn't have time or money to secure a new place to stay.
We are talking about families with children who are being forced out of their homes during the Summer when they had planned vacations and programs on the schedule, now they have to change their plans. Some have canceled the vacations they have already paid for because they have to look for housing instead. These are hard-working people who save all year just to have a little fun while their children are out of school.
The city councilman for that section of Pasadena is John Kennedy, who is a multiple property owner in Pasadena and he is also against rent control. He told me that personally one morning when I saw him walking around the Rose Bowl. We have to start holding these people accountable for their actions because any person against rent control in a city like Pasadena is against poor people. They are against people saving to buy. Just because they look like you doesn't mean they are for you.
If you are worried about your future because you see what's going on, the tenants of 278 E. Washington are meeting again at 6:30 at the apartment building Thursday night on the 13th. Don't overlook what's going on, because it could be you next.
We will have more on this situation in the coming days and we will rally behind the 16 families of 278 E. Washington before some of them go into homelessness.