National City Retirement Community raises fees by $1,000

NATIONAL CITY, Calif. — Rents have skyrocketed over the past year in San Diego County and only recently showed signs of cooling — now residents of a local retirement community are concerned that the price of their houses is exceeded.

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 toured, 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 that their monthly fees are going up.

“They couldn’t believe it. My mom was like, “The rent is going to go up by $1,000” — and I was like, “That must be a mistake. Nobody does that. Then I took a look at the newsletter – and sure enough, it was true,” Collins said.

Until now, residents of Paradise Village said there was no additional charge for double occupancy units.

But people sharing a unit with a spouse or independent living companion will soon see their monthly fees increase by $1,000 per month. It should start in October.

Collins says her mother and other residents attended a meeting with management earlier this week. She says management described the change as an increase in the charge for double occupancy, not rent, and that the increase was justified under that legal framework.

Management also informed residents of a monthly surcharge, increasing by $100 per unit, starting next month.

“I am livid. I can’t believe someone would do that. My mother and her husband are 85 and on a fixed income. Most people there are in their 80s — I’ve met people who are 95. They don’t go looking for 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 bulletin, Paradise Village management says the fee increases are necessary to offset the rising cost of labor, food, fuel and supplies.

“That’s silly. Even people who have been there for two months are now going to get a $1,000 raise? What’s their choice? seniors — or anyone,” Collins said.

FOX 5 contacted Paradise Village management about the fee increases, but did not receive a response.

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