Redbank Village in South Portland was built as affordable housing. Not anymore.

 

According to WGME13, the 500 apartments that make up Redbank Village in South Portland were built for working families. WGME13 interviewed Keith Ray, who lives at Redbank. They just found out that rents are going up $400 a month. Making it even harder for tenants, they have only five days to sign the lease with the new owner.

Who are these new owners?

Redbank Village is now owned by JRK Holdings...out of California. The letter obtained by WGME says that the rent increase is 'our exclusive and amazing renewal offer!' Yikes. Adding insult to injury, if tenants don't renew their lease by Sunday, rent goes up another $90. Wow, that is 'amazing'.

WGME tried to get a comment from the leasing office at Redbank, but not surprisingly they had no comment.

Can anything be done to stop the rent increase?

In a word no. But the South Portland Housing Authority did try to stop it. JKR Holding is obviously not in the business of making friends. The Better Business Bureau has received numerous complaints about JRK Holdings. They have a class-action lawsuit against them in California saying they have illegal, excessive rent increases, late fees, and fines. The South Portland Housing Authority says the news is even worse for 60 Redbank families with housing vouchers. The rent hike is on top of making tenants pay for water and sewer. That makes this apartment complex no longer eligible for the federal housing voucher program.

The South Portland Housing Authority thinks it's to push people out. And it's working. Many people who can no longer afford to stay at Redbank will have to look for another place to live. It's a lose-lose for many because affordable housing is at a premium right now. It's simply not affordable.

 

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