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Sit-in at Berkeley Redwood Gardens

When: Mon. Oct.13, 1pm

Where: Redwood Gardens 2951 Derby St

3rd floor lounge next to elevator

Contact info: Eleanor Walden

Redwood Gardens Residents’ Committee

Phone: Cell 510-847-2579

Home 510-848-6397


Berkeley -- Seniors and disabled residents of Redwood Gardens in Berkeley are staging a sit-in on Mon. Oct. 13th at 1pm at 2951 Derby St. 3rd floor south side next to elevator. The senior and disabled residents at Redwood Gardens in Berkeley are being treated in a manner that borders on abuse but certainly falls into the category of violation of quality of life, disruption of the peace and quiet of living quarters, invasion of privacy, as well as intimidation and disrespect. This HUD housing facility is owned and managed by CSI Cooperative Corporation and their affiliate Redwood Gardens. Since the corporation assumed management of this facility they have set about making changes to completely remodel the facility, not only with negligible benefits to the residents, but with adverse effects upon us. We are mobilizing to protect ourselves against the continued assault against our persons, homes, peace of mind, and safety. There are several issues that effect most people in Redwood Gardens: Garden area was dug up and residents were commanded to move their plants or lose them; both of which already happened. Many plants and heritage roses were lost or damaged in the process. See coverage in Berkeleyside:

A much disputed laundry room is planned for the 3rd floor of the building. The residents object to this on the grounds that a laundry with heavy equipment is a danger in the event of an earthquake; located on a 3rd floor of residential building is inappropriate when washing machines are predictably subject to flooding and consequently inundation of apartments beneath causing mold (one of the most potent forms of pollution); and the disturbance of noise and vibration, and chemical pollution in the living areas. We were told that complete kitchen and bath remodeling will be made but no time frame for rebuilding has been given. We are being forced to move everything out of our kitchens and bathrooms. The apartments are very small, there is no space to store possessions out of the way and all residents are of advanced age or disability with limited income. To ask residents to do this work without pay amounts to slave labor practices. Access to the door of the north parking lot has been blocked with the distinct possibility that first responders: fire trucks, para-transit vans, cars picking up or dropping off seniors will block the entrance. Safety is at risk in any of these possible situations. Recycling area was rebuilt with a surrounding redwood fence which would be lovely except for the fact that it is so designed that fewer recycle bins than previously are situated in the space and cannot accommodate the material. The trash was spilling out the second day after it was installed. Rats do not respect "keep out" signs. In addition to these practical objections underneath all of the so-called "improvements" is that the residents have not been consulted on any of the changes. Notice of changes came down as fiat and the residents used as slave labor to accomplish the corporate purpose of CSI. Additionally, we are then insulted with patronizing letters telling us that "it is all for our good" and any deviation from the plan must be supported by a letter from the doctor. Bottom line is that our quality of life has been completely disrupted and their demands unreasonable. Our sit-in is an effort to bring about a dialogue with the corporation in which we know our voices are being heard and our integrity respected. We invite the media to come to listen to our story on Mon. Oct. 13th, 1pm, 3rd floor Redwood Gardens 2951 Derby St. Berkeley.


  1. Eleanor Walden October 15, 2014

    Seniors are the next Civil Rights cause. We are the fastest growing section of the population. The non-profit housing corporations make money on us, pay their executives enormous saleries, and treat the residents as cash cows. Unless we follow the lead of the Civil Rights Movement and demand our rights, expose the violations to health, safety, and respect, they will continue to treat us with disrespect, or even worse, money faucets for our last pennies. Non-profit housing is a very lucreative business!

  2. Elizabeth July 10, 2015

    there is no concern for those with asthma or environmental illness who will become very ill with all the fumes out gassing from a remodel.

    mold will grow in a new laundry area thusly making people even MORE sick

    this is unbelievable but I am not surprised

    they once told me they had to wear perfume for appnts that I must attend and were very unkind and rude regarding my allergies / asthma which is why I moved out

    they are not good or kind people, please hire an Attorney to protect yourselves and your health

    sadly, there probably needs to be legal action taken

    how they could expect elderly and disabled people to pack up their apartments and tear up their beloved gardens is beyond me, just horrible treatment but I know the tenants will step up and stand up for themselves. I know strong people live there so I do hope they take legal action against these horrible things that are happening over there.

    I wish them all the luck in the world!

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