NATIONAL CITY, Calif. — Rents have soared over the past year in San Diego County and only recently showed signs of cooling — now, residents in a local retirement community are worried they will be priced-out of their homes.
Murrieta resident Yvonne Collins says her mother and stepfather were thrilled to move into the Paradise Village retirement community in National City about a year ago.
“When they took a tour, they fell in love,” Collins told FOX 5 in a Zoom interview.
But now, they’re not so sure, after receiving a newsletter last week telling residents their monthly fees are going up — way up.
“They couldn’t believe it. My mom was like, ‘The rent’s going to go up $1,000’ – and I’m like, ‘That has to be a mistake.’ Nobody does that. Then I took a look at the newsletter – and sure enough, it was true,” Collins said.
Until now, Paradise Village residents say there was no extra charge for double-occupancy units.
But those people sharing a unit with a spouse or companion in the independent living area will soon have their monthly fee increase $1,000 a month. It’s set to start in October.
Collins says her mother and other residents attended a meeting with management earlier this week. She says that management described the change as an increase in fees for double-occupancy, not rent, and that the increase was justified under that legal framework.
Management also notified residents about a monthly surcharge, going up $100 per unit, starting next month.
“I’m livid. I cannot believe someone would do this. My mom and her husband are 85 years old, on a fixed income. Most of the people in there are between 80 — I’ve meet people who are 95. They’re not going to go get a second job. There’s no way for them to increase their income when they’ve governed themselves on a certain budget,” Collins said.
In the newsletter, Paradise Village management says the fee hikes are necessary to offset the rising cost of labor, food, fuel and supplies.
“That is asinine. Even the people who have been there two months are now going to have an increase of $1,000? What is their choice? To move, to go through the expense of moving? I’m very upset and appalled that anybody could do this to the elderly – or anyone,” Collins said.
FOX 5 reached out to Paradise Village management about the fee hikes, but did not get a response.