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Redwood Gardens senior housing in Berkeley is being sold to Foundation Housing
by Lynda Carson (tenantsrule [at] yahoo.com)
Tuesday Aug 25th, 2020 11:17 PM
Redwood Gardens Senior Housing In Berkeley. Photo by Lydia Gans.
sm_redwood_gardens.jpg
Redwood Gardens senior housing in Berkeley is being sold to Foundation Housing

By Lynda Carson - August 25, 2020

The residents of Redwood Gardens senior housing in Berkeley were shocked yesterday when they received a notice posted on their doors on August 24, 2020, stating that the residential building they reside in is in the process of being sold to Foundation Housing, of North Bethesda, Maryland, a non profit housing developer.

During an interview earlier today with 73 year old Stefen, an artist who has resided at Redwood Gardens for 5 years, he stated, “We received the notice yesterday informing us that Redwood Gardens is in the process of being sold, and the completion of the sale of Redwood Gardens is expected to take place sometime this fall. We will have to sign new contracts when the building is sold. This was a big surprise to the tenants, and we did not know the building was up for sale until yesterday. The notice mentions the names of Todd Travis of Foundation Housing, and Andrew Agetstein of the Pennant Housing Group as being involved in the sale and takeover of Redwood Gardens. I suspect that the current owner of Redwood Gardens called CSI, was not pleased about owning Redwood Gardens in Berkeley, and Northern California, because CSI believed that the tenants were too radical for them, and would fight for their housing rights as tenants in the building. The Gray Panthers of Berkeley were instrumental in the creation and construction of Redwood Gardens years ago for seniors in Berkeley, and I hope that we will not be displaced by the new owner when they take over.”

Stefen is an artist and painter who specializes in murals, and some of his art work may be found by clicking here.

Eleanor Walden, a long time tenant of Redwood Gardens senior housing, and Board Member of the National Alliance of HUD Tenants (NAHT), stated, “We were shocked to receive notice yesterday that our building is being sold. We have been told that things will stay the same for the tenants, but we will have to sign new contracts. Things will remain the same? That remains to be seen, and we will know more about our fate in the near future. We did not have any advance notice that our building was up for sale, and it was a big surprise.”

Eleanor Walden and other residents at Redwood Gardens have gone face to face and toe to toe in battle with the management at Redwood Gardens in the past, and the tenants have had sit-ins at times in protest of management’s policies at Redwood Gardens.

Redwood Gardens, 169 units of subsidized affordable housing for seniors and the disabled, located at 2951 Derby St., Berkeley, is currently owned by Cooperative Services Inc. (CSI), and it’s affiliate CSI Derby Street Nonprofit Housing Corporation. It was built around 34 years years ago. Management at Redwood Gardens was not available when I wanted to get a quote from them about the process of Redwood Gardens being up for sale.

Foundation Housing Is In The Process Of Purchasing Redwood Gardens Senior Housing:

Foundation Housing, a 501(c)(3) non profit organization, is also known as the National Foundation For Affordable Housing Solutions INC., according to the latest 990 tax filing from 2018 for the organization.

Foundation Housing, EIN 52-1665967, had gross receipts of $19,640,053 in 2018, and after subtracting their assets from their liabilities, the organization had net assets or fund balances of $19,328,248.

In 2018, Jason Goldblatt is listed as the CEO/Chairman of the organization with a reportable compensation of $360,000 in 2018, with Todd Travis listed as the President and COO of the organization, raking in $300,000 in compensation in 2018. Janet Charlton was listed as the Vice President of the organization, and was compensated $264,000 in 2018.

Unfortunately for the older radical leftist tenants at Redwood Gardens in Berkeley, Jason Goldplatt is a staunch Republican, who resides in Bethesda, Maryland. Goldplatt made a $3,000 campaign contribution to the Maryland Republican State Central Committee during May of 2018.

Todd Travis who’s name is listed on yesterdays shocking notice to the tenants at Redwood Gardens, is also a staunch Republican who resides in Maryland, and made a $3,000 campaign contribution to the Maryland Republican State Central Committee during May of 2018.

The crazy Republicans and the loony tunes Trump regime have been trying to keep people from voting by sabotaging the Postal Service, and are falsely claiming that mail-in voting used by many elderly senior citizens will result in fraud without offering any evidence to back their paranoid false assertions.

Pennant Housing Group:

Pennant Housing Group is directly connected to Foundation Housing a.k.a. National Foundation For Affordable Housing Solutions INC., and before Richard Charlton formed the Pennant Housing Group (PHG), Charlton was a Senior Development manager for the National Foundation For Affordable Housing Solutions INC.

According to the website for the Pennant Housing Group, before joining the Pennant Housing Group, Andrew Agetstein used to be with the notorious landlord known as AIMCO from 2002 through 2012. The notorious AIMCO has been sued many times for screwing over it’s tenants in affordable housing projects throughout the nation.

The tenants at Redwood Gardens are concerned that their building is being sold. The new landlord (staunch Republicans), may want to displace the older tenants and the disabled to bring in higher income renters, or force them out by doing a major rehabilitation project at the building when they take over in the near future.

Redwood Gardens went through a major rehab project around 5 years ago that forced many tenants to put their possessions into storage while the construction work in their apartments was being done.

Lynda Carson may be reach at tenantsrule [at] yahoo.com


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Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Posted by Lynda Carson
Wednesday Aug 26th, 2020 3:21 PM
redwood_gardens.jpg

Photo of Redwood Gardens:


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Reply from Michael Kane of National Alliance of HUD Tenants (NAHT)

(LC)

From: Michael Kane

To: Lynda Carson, Eleanore Walden, Gary Hicks, Stefen Stefen, Betsy Morris

Wed, Aug 26 at 6:57 AM

Hi Lynda and Berkeley friends, thanks for sending this article.

I just looked up Redwood Gardens in the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s Preservation Database. Although the building has been sold, the new owner will be bound by the existing HUD contracts that keep it affordable to low income seniors, through at least 2034. It has a Section 202/Section 8 New Construction contract for all 169 units, through 11/30/34. In addition, there is Section 207/223(f) HUD mortgage insurance, which lasts through 7/1/2049. The Section 8 contract ensures that all new tenants are below 50% of the Area Median Income.

These contracts stay with the building through any sale; an owner cannot just cancel them. So there is no risk that the new owner will try to throw people out or gentrify the building. There might be additional “use restrictions” locally, when the place was built, attached to the deed; that would require local research to find out. Section 202 owners, who are typically nonprofit organizations (as is the buyer, even if the principals are R’s), can opt to renew the Section 8 contract when it expires, which the HUD insurance helps to encourage.

Even if the owner tried to “opt out” (not renew) Section 8 in 2034, there is a mandatory one year Notice period from the feds, and I believe two year Notice under a California state law, so people would know in advance and be able to mobilize at the time.

Hope this is helpful. There is no cause for alarm, about people being thrown out of their homes. The new management could be a different story. Has anyone called CSI, to see why they sold?

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