NATIONAL CITY, Calif. – After facing the threat of a $1,000 a month rent increase, residents at a National City retirement home say some new changes may actually be worse.
David Karpinski says he and his wife loved moving into the Paradise Village community six months ago.
“Wow – it was wonderful. It was like moving onto a cruise ship,” said Karpinski.
But the “wow factor” has worn off somewhat as residents recently received notices from management about new monthly fees and expenses.
Back in July, Paradise Village management told residents that because of inflation and labor costs, there would be a new monthly surcharge of $100 for every unit, including an additional $1,000 monthly increase for double-occupancy units.
“We objected and they said ‘we’ll go back and consider this some more,'” said Karpinski.
A couple of weeks later, Karpinski says management returned with a different, but even more punitive proposal — eliminating meal plans that were included with rent and offering a paltry credit instead.
“The new plan says ‘oh, we’ll charge you a lot less for the second person – $250 a month instead of $1000, but we’re gonna take the meal plan down from $1,440 to $250 a month.’ That’s about ten meals apiece. That’s not a meal plan — that’s a starvation plan,” said Karpinski.
Karpinski says, between rent going up and food going down, it’s more than $1,500 in added monthly expenses for double-occupancy and nearly $600 for single-occupancy units.
“That’s not a big concern to some people. They say, ‘well OK, I don’t need two meals a day – maybe I can eat one meal a day and instead of paying $1,500 more a month, I’ll only pay $800 more a month. It’s still unconscionable – it’s still a huge raise,” said Karpinski.
He says many residents are worried they won’t be able to afford the added costs and may have to move out.
“I just talked with this new person who said they knew about the increase and so they’re OK with it. Well, that’s fine. New people coming in — as long as they know what they’re getting into — but boy, those of us that came in and had a much lower rent and suddenly see this huge increase — I don’t think it’s fair,” said Karpinski.
The changes are set to take effect in October.
FOX 5 reached out to Paradise Village management for comment but did not get a response.