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Wed Dec 2 2009 (Updated 12/03/09)Tenants Confront East Palo Alto City Council Members
Wed Dec 2 2009 (Updated 12/03/09)Protesters Demand East Palo Alto City Council Intervene in Landlord Dispute
East Palo Alto residents surrounded city council members as they entered City Hall on December 1st. Residents of Page Mill Properties and their supporters rallied in front of the building to attempt to secure the support of council members in the tenants' long battle against mega-landlord Page Mill. As per their action plan, they surrounded the council members one by one in groups of three or four protesters. The demonstrators made their demands clear in conversations with individual council members. They asked that the city force Page Mill Properties to pay fees owed for violating the city's rent stabilization ordinance. They also politely but firmly requested that each and every council member attend an upcoming tenants meeting.
Page Mill Properties, East Palo Alto's largest landlord, has been in dispute for years with tenants whose rents they raised in violation of city laws that dictate the amount rents may be increased. In September, Page Mill failed to make a $50 million payment to Wells Fargo and a judge appointed Ward Realty Advisors to take control of Page Mill's 1,800 rental units in the city. Despite the court appointment, maintenance is still a problem in the rental units. Residents report roach infestations and broken appliances are common.