ALAMEDA (KPIX 5) — Earlier this month, Alameda approved a temporary stop to rent hikes and evictions. But three days after lawmakers passed the bill, a new landlord used a loophole to evict all 31 families in an apartment complex.
Mike Sabo, a Vietnam vet, is among the tenants at Bayview Apartments facing eviction just in time for the holidays.READ MORE: COVID: Muni To Suspend 'Short' Line Service Citing Vaccine Mandate Staffing Issues
“I can feel the stress, I’ll be 71 on Christmas,” Sabo told KPIX 5. “I kept thinking, will I be evicted on my Christmas birthday?”
On Veteran’s Day, he received an eviction notice, 60 days to move out.
Sabo has been in his unit for 11 years. Some of his neighbors have lived at the complex even longer.
“Eighteen years,” said Melanie Garcia, who is also facing eviction. “It’s stressful, especially during the holidays.”
Most families at the Bayview Apartments pay $1,000 to $1,200 a month for a one bedroom.
“I’m very angry. It’s very upsetting, very disappointing,” Garcia said.READ MORE: UPDATE: Investigation Underway Into Apparent Shooting On I-580 In Oakland
After a violent confrontation at City Hall and hours of heated debate, the council approved the moratorium two weeks ago.
But evictions can still be served for the purpose of major renovations, so the real estate management company in San Jose that owns the 33-unit complex used that for the evictions. They bought the property just this month.
“It is a problem,” said Alameda Mayor Trish Spencer. “Council takes it seriously, and we will be responding.”
Some believe the council will vote to close the loopholes at the December meeting, but these tenants worry it will be too late for them. “We’re not going out without a fight,” said tenant Mel Laguardia.
Sabo said, “Kicking people out of their apartments, all in the name of greed.”
The city will use the moratorium to draft a permanent rent control proposal. Fifty-five percent of the population on the island of Alameda are renters, including the mayor.MORE NEWS: San Francisco Bans City-Funded Travel To States Over Voting Restrictions
The new owner of the apartment complex has not responded to KPIX 5’s request for comment Thursday.