Public Comment

Redwood Gardens residents threatened by management action

Eleanor Walden
Friday February 17, 2017 - 03:12:00 PM

The residents at HUD multifamily Redwood Gardens have been issued a potentially life threatening decision by the Corporate owners and management of Redwood Gardens, 2951 Derby St. Berkeley, a HUD 197 apartment building. 

We were informed by Alex Kakavas, overseer for CSI out of Monrovia, CA that the management as of March 1 would no longer accept packages for residents, due to “the abuse of the courtesy by residents.” The seniors were instructed that they would have to pick up packages at the post office or rent a post box. 

At a general meeting on Wed. Feb. 15 no details of the so-called abuses were cited. The residents were unanimous in their opposition to this edict. Many people cited the fact that they received their prescriptions by mail; other people cited disability to walk or stand in line at the post office, others would have a financial hardship to take transportation to the post office. 

The facilities has been in operation for 28 years and has a precedent for accepting packages. Does that not imply a right of continued use? Is there not a principle of RFD that accords delivery of mail to people out of the metropolis? 

The residents of Redwood Gardens need advice and support on this issue. Initially it is mean spirited. Alex Kakavas, the CSI executive for the last 3 years, has a pattern of demoralizing threats to residents. He seems to operated on a mean spirited basis of issuing threats of eviction based on anonymous reports. This is only the last of a litany of abusive behavior, but it is the most egregious and potentially dangerous. 

While Redwood Gardens is designated as “independent living” those of us living here are still aged or disabled, that does not mean that we do not or cannot take care of ourselves given the proper support and accommodation. The withdrawal of this necessary accommodation would be impossible to comply with and would drive many people into dangerous circumstances. 

I would appreciate your response and any advice that will help resolve these circumstances to the benefit of the residents of Redwood Gardens. 

Eleanor Walden is the former Co-chair of the Residents’ Counci, Housing Chair of the Gray Panthers and Board member of the National Alliance of HUD Tenants