BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Hundreds of seniors across Buffalo have been notified their monthly rents are going up by hundreds of dollars a month, which many can’t afford.
Most of those silver-haired tenants live in senior housing managed by a Maryland-based company.. and got their rent notices this week. Many of them — especially at one of the apartment complexes on the East Side — banded together to fight an injustice.
On Tuesday, all the tenants at the Walden Heights apartments got their papers, tacked to their doors–their rent is going up.
“It went from 17.1% [rent increase] as the lowest, to 50% as the highest,” said tenant president Ada Hopson-Clemons.
Many of tenant’s rents are going up as of August 1, even though their leases don’t expire until December.
“I was upset that the rent would go up extremely high like that,” resident Audrey McClure said. “Especially for us seniors — and I am a senior.”
Delores Casey, who is fighting leukemia, has been living at Walden Park for 21 years, and was shocked when she got her rent notice.
“I don’t want to move, I love it here,” she said. “I love everybody, my neighbors are great, they are great.”
Casey’s niece, Elaine Missenden-Love, said it’s hard to find a place to live, even outside of Walden Park.
“The problem is, there are not any openings anywhere because we already did that, too. We started looking around for other senior places, and there is a nine-months wait.”
Many of the tenants called their councilmen.
“We are in difficult times where everything is more expensive — food, gas prices — a $200 increase on an 87-year-old senior is too much,” said Councilmember Bryan Bollman. “They deserve a higher standard of living and I’m going to fight for my seniors.”
The management company, Corvus Property Intelligence, based in Maryland sent News 4 a statement.
“On June 1, residents were notified of a rent increase allowed by the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program, scheduled to start on August 1,” the statement said. Residents have voiced their concerns regarding the amount of the increases and the impact they would have on their financial well-being. We have heard them and are addressing them.”
And they are reducing the rent increases, as of Wednesday.
Many of those tenants have also accused the management company of charging late fees for tenants who get their benefits in the middle of the month. They have been referred to HOME — Housing Opportunities Made Equal — which is building a case.