STOCKTON (CBS13) — Hundreds of residents may lose their homes if they don’t come up with thousands of dollars and quick, and it all started with a shooting.
The homeowners association says the issues came to light after a shooting down the street. Code enforcement was called out and five days ago, residents at the more than 200 condominiums here at Louis Park Estates, all received the same letter.
It all boils down now to the high cost of fixing repairs.
“We sacrificed…and now I got a find a way to keep a roof over my families head,” said Scott Valesky, who lives with his girlfriend and their two children.
Balconies need to be reinforced.
“Here’s some of the dry rot that they found,” he said, pointing to one of more than 30 balconies needing repairs.
Those repairs come with a hefty $2,600 bill homeowners have less than two months to pay.
“That is due October 10th I believe,” he read from the letter.
Families like Scott and Lee Selmi can’t afford the huge payment.
“I’m really scared because this is the first time I had a house. We’ve been living with a roommate, house to house,” Selmi said.
The homeowners association says it looked into a long-term loan, but it wasn’t feasible for the cost of repairs.
“We are looking at $520,000 in interest fees in 15 years,” said Sarah Van Daele, association manager for Louis Park Estates co-owned by Katzakian Property Management.
The HOA says it’s the only solution.
“The city is requiring it and we have no choice,” Van Daele said.
But homeowners feel slighted.
“All I know is we had no time to discuss anything to do,” Valesky said.
Instead, neighbors say they were told: “Either you pay the money or your property will be foreclosed and it’s like, whoa!” said Veronica Felix, also a homeowner living there for 20 years.
The $2,600 is due in seven weeks — many residents are on fixed incomes or struggling families.
“This was the first time we felt secure, we’re home and this is a big blowout, you know. It’s just sad,” Selmi said.
The owners will be offered a payment plan, but that would cost them an additional $250.
Homeowners make up only a small portion of the 200 units; the rest are owned for investments.
The individual homeowners say investors can just increase the rent while they may end up not being able to pay the fee and end up on the streets.