Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
It was with great amusement that I read for the second time this year your front page article on the price of apartments rentals in Manteca particularly in Paseo Villas where I currently reside. However many of your facts are incorrect since I live here in one of those one bedroom apartments and I can tell that you Paseo Villas is squeezing all the money they can out of the tenants residing here. A year ago the rent for this apartment was $1080 in May 2014. By the time I moved here in August the price had jumped up to $1135, since I had moved clear across the country I had little option to look around so I accepted the apartment and moved in.
The apartment is well maintained and the amenities are decent. My renewal lease however clearly shows an increase of not 10% as you indicated in your article, but a whopping 23.5% which equals $265 a month increase making my new rate for this same apartment the $1,400 you put in your front page headline. Obviously I like many other tenants here are disgusted with these enormous increases and the only excuse we are given is that the cost of living has increased and its the fair market value. I wrote a letter to management and asked them to consider people who live here like myself that have fixed incomes and whose cost of living increase from social security etc. was significantly less than 23.5%. That letter was sent on July 7, thus far they have not seen fit to respond to my letter, only to send me an addendum to the new lease and show that my new rate will be $1,400 per month.
This is a small rural farm town, not the Bay Area and it is appalling to me that this city council has so little consideration for residents like myself that do not need or want a house and do not qualify for subsidized housing like the Juniper Apartments down the street. Your article has some good points but your information on the actual increase they are charging is way off. They do not tell you in clear terms that you will also have to pay for water, sewer and trash along with PG&E which adds another $125+ average to the monthly cost of their gold standard apartments which in actuality are just a decent apartment with in-unit washer and dryers, a community room with a fitness center and swimming pool. People here in Manteca seem to be impressed by living in a decent apartment and driving an expensive car. Where I come from a big city in the Midwest people have more flexibility in choosing their living residences and it’s not something that the newspaper makes a front page headline twice in less than one year. If you wanted to alert all of the criminals that the people living in these complexes may have something worth stealing or worse harming us to get it — congratulations you’ve succeeded. Your appeal to the city fathers to provide reasonable housing for the residents who don’t want homes will go a long way in helping this unfair situation be corrected.
Vivian A. House