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EBALDC deprives renters of their heat at Effie’s House in Oakland
by Lynda Carson (newzland2 [at] gmail.com)
Monday Dec 31st, 2018 5:02 AM
EBALDC stooped to a new low recently by blaming a poor fellow in a wheelchair in apartment #1 for the lack of heat at Effie's House!
EBALDC deprives renters of their heat at Effie’s House in Oakland

By Lynda Carson - December 31, 2018

Oakland - The East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC), one of Oakland’s largest nonprofit housing developers have totally cut off the heat to the tenants at Effie’s House for the last few days while the temperatures in Oakland have been dropping down into the 40s lately. Temperatures in Oakland are expected to drop into the 30s during the New Year holiday.

According to the San Francisco Tenants Union, “Landlords must provide heat capable of maintaining a room temperature of 68 degrees (at a point three feet above the floor). This is based on an outside temperature of 35 degrees, so there is no excuse for heat less than 68 degrees when its 40 or 45 degrees out. This level of heat must be provided for at least thirteen hours, specifically from 5:00 AM to 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM to 10:00 PM.”

For weeks tenants have been struggling to get EBALDC to provide enough heat to keep the tenant's apartments warm, but have been getting the run around instead. Often the elderly, disabled, and low-income tenants go for days without any heat in their apartments lately.

Effie’s House has a steam heating system that works well when in operation, but it gets cold in the building when EBALDC cuts off the heat for days at a time, while ignoring the requests of the tenants to turn the heat on.

It’s not that EBALDC is poor as a nonprofit housing developer. The latest 990 tax filing from EBALDC to the IRS in 2016 revealed that EBALDC had assets of $80,451,759. After subtracting their liabilities from their assets EBALDC still had $28,784,699 in net assets or fund balances. EBALDC’s leadership team controls the management of EBALDC’s properties and are responsible for not providing enough heat to the tenants at Effie’s House lately.

The Unlawful Situation At Effie’s House

During the last 2 to 3 months, Effie’s House a 21 unit residential building, has not had a resident manager for the building even though state law requires residential buildings with 16 units and more, to have a resident manager.

Instead there has been around 3 different property managers during the past few months at Effie’s House that stop by during the week days for a few hours a day, and hang out in the building office.

One of the former property managers was Christy Cofer, who is the EBALDC property manager for Oakland Point. A few months back, Christy Cofer disappeared and suddenly there was an interim property manager from EBALDC’s Giant Road Apartments, claiming to be the new property manager at Effie’s House.

Oddly, whether it was because of incompetence or just another shady move on EBALDC’s part, the tenants at Effie’s House never received a notice from EBALDC that Christy Cofer was moving on after being the property manager at Effie’s House for the past 2 years.

Additionally, EBALDC did not serve the tenants a notice stating that another property manager was taking over at Effie’s House, and oddly the tenants did not know the name of the woman taking charge of the building, who turned out to be the property manager at EBALDC’s Giant Road Apartments.

Now around a week or 2 weeks ago, comes the 3rd mysterious property manager at Effie’s House. A woman who calls herself “B” or Bea, who claims that she is from Stockton. Oddly, “B” does not want the tenants to know what her last name is. Making matters worse, EBALDC never bothered to serve the tenants a notice stating that the last property manager from Giant Roads Apartment was leaving, or that someone who calls herself “B” is the new property manager. The tenants don’t really know what the hell is going on because most of them have not met her yet, and EBALDC is so incompetent that it did not serve a notice to the tenants telling them that a new property manager is in charge of Effie’s House.

With all the confusion, and with everyone gone at EBALDC because of the Christmas and New Year holidays occurring, there has been no one around at Effie’s House from management to take care of things.

Lately, if the tenants want to make a complaint for needed repairs or lack of heat, they dial 208-5056, and get a recording telling them to dial #2 in case of needed repairs, etc. Then the tenants get an answering service that refuses to reveal the name of the company that the tenants are talking to, and the tenants are told that someone will get back to them.

Then the mysterious woman who calls herself “B” calls the tenants, and gives them the run around.

Two Different Thermostats At Effie’s House

After the tenants started complaining about the lack of heat, a few days back while on the phone, “B” stated that the heating system was not coming on in the building because the disabled man in a wheelchair who resides in apartment #1 did not open up his windows to allow his apartment to get cold enough, that the heat would turn on.

That’s right. EBALDC has a ridiculous system set up at Effie’s House for the heating system, that includes a thermostat located in apartment #1. If the tenant in apartment #1 does not allow the temperature in his apartment to get cold enough, by keeping his windows open, the heat does not turn on in the building. The disabled man in a wheelchair, also has his daughter in law living with him, and a new born baby. With the temperature only reaching the 50s lately in Oakland, why in the world would this man want to freeze out his daughter in-law and her new born baby, by leaving the windows open? From what I have been told, the fellow in apartment #1 has his own heater to keep his apartment warm.

Under the circumstances, it was ridiculous for “B” to blame the poor man in the wheelchair for the situation, because all that “B” had to do was to have a different thermostat turned up, that is located in the managers office downstairs in the basement.

But EBALDC would rather leave the tenants in the cold at Effie’s House and deprive them of their heat because it saves them a lot of money during the wintertime. This time EBALDC stooped to a new low by blaming the fellow in a wheelchair in apartment #1 for the situation.

Lynda Carson is a longtime tenant at Effie’s House, and is a tenant activist trying to get EBALDC to turn the heat back on at Effie’s House.

Lynda Carson may be reached at newzland2 [at] gmail.com. My yahoo email address for tenantsrule [at] yahoo.com is temporarily out of order at the moment.

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