Betty Biggs is 74 and has lived at Las Ventanas, an apartment complex in the 3800 block of Vineyard Avenue, for nearly 30 years -- since the early 1980s.
"I got a note on my door, it told me I had to vacate the premises by March, and I thought, 'My goodness I wouldn't begin to know where to go,'" Biggs said. "I was scared to death. I don't even know where to find another place, I've been here for years."
Eliza Cambra has lived at the complex for nearly 26 years. She's not only worried for herself, but for her neighbors as well, especially those who have lived there for decades.
"It's 24 apartments and some of (the residents) have children, some of them have partners, so it's 24 homes. I would say that there's probably at least 20 of them that are elderly or disabled," Cambra said. "The elderly people, they are scared. Most of them have lived here long-term."
Cambra said she thought the notes, given to residents on subsidized housing just before the holidays, was a calculated move to get rid of them. Many of the residents are hesitant to talk, fearing reprisals. A frantic scrambling led at least one resident to move to Dublin.
The department of Housing and Urban Development, which runs the subsidized housing program known as section 8, has come to an agreement with the operators of the apartment complex, FPI Management, based out of Folsom.
"They ended up coming to an agreement, HUD housing and the owners, so they raised our rent," Cambra said. "Some of them went up $110, one went up $300 and we also have an extra price for water and garbage. For example, my rent was $1,375. On the last note I got it went up to $1,485, plus."
That plus, she said, was about $73 per month for water and garbage service for a two-bedroom apartment.
That will lead any of those on fixed incomes to pay more -- or find a new place to live.
"Section 8 is going to pay part. I won't find out until January what my part will be," Biggs said. She worried that part of the increase will include extra costs for water and garbage.
"I hope not, I can't afford that," she said. "I don't want to move. I'm on a waiting list to get into a nursing home. It would be silly to have to move, then go into a nursing home."
The rent increase and the extra cost for services will mean at least some of those in subsidized housing will have to move, Cambra said, adding that no one is sure yet exactly how much more they'll have to pay to stay.
"Some people will be able to make the payments and some people won't," she said. "If people can't make that amount, they'll have to find someplace else where they'll take the (Section 8) vouchers. A lot of times there's a waiting list."
No one from FPI Management returned calls from the Pleasanton Weekly.
This story contains 547 words.
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