Read our statement of solidarity with the Black community and our commitments to action

About 2021-01-16T07:33:17+00:00

Background

In February 2016, Woodland Park Communities (WPC), an affiliate of Sand Hill Property Company, acquired the Woodland Park Apartments. As a local, family- owned business with a long-term approach, we seek to serve our tenants, invest in the future of East Palo Alto and improve the community’s quality of life.

 

Moving forward, we recognize that small-scale improvements cannot address all the long-term needs of the property. With no displacement, we are proposing the Euclid Improvements, to replace several aging, outdated structures with new mixed-income buildings that will replace all the rent-stabilized units with new rent-stabilized units, increase the housing supply, and provide better parking and mobility options.

Guaranteeing No Displacement and Preserving Housing Affordability + Stability

What we heard:
Because of previous owners, tenants may be wary to trust our promises about relocation and No Displacement.
Additionally, there is a desire to preserve housing affordability and stability, especially for long-time residents.

 

What we’re proposing:

Relocation Commitments

  • Created Relocation Commitments with input from Improvement Area Tenants
  • Will issue all relocation commitments in writing, signed by the ownership
  • Have been and will continue to work with the East Palo Alto Rent Board, City staff, Community Legal Services of East Palo Alto, and other stakeholders
  • Relocation Commitment highlights include
    – The right to a replacement apartment at Woodland Park during construction and a right of return to the new apartments
    – Guarantees to pay the same rent that they otherwise would be paying and to receive an apartment with the same number of bedrooms
    – Moves by a qualified, insured moving company fully paid for by Woodland Park

The complete set of relocation commitments can be viewed at www.nodisplacement.com/commitments/

Deed Restricted Rent Control

  • Rent Control was the foundation of the incorporation of East Palo Alto as a city, and our goal is to preserve it, as discussed in the Westside Area Plan.
  • Despite California state law which says that new buildings can not have rent control, we will voluntarily deed-restrict 26% of the total units to ensure rent control into the future
  • Rent Control (also known as Rent Stabilization) ensures that any tenant that has been in place for more than one year will pay below market rent.
  • Unlike income-restricted affordable housing, there are no qualifications based on income, wealth, immigration status, or household composition.
  • Rent Control is the only form of housing affordability that favors long-term residents with deeper affordability than newcomers.

Improvements to Date

Property Improvements

  • Created a resident-driven Parking Program and added over 120 new parking spaces
  • A new Resident Services Office and two Technology Centers for tenants’ use
  • Improvements in our buildings including Seismic and Electrical Safety Improvements
  • ¡Boom Pop Park!: A temporary pop-up space for community and family enjoyment
  • ¡Bridge Pop Park!: A larger temporary pop-up space for community and family enjoyment
  • Laundry Facility Upgrades: Upgrades to electrical service, paint, vinyl flooring and equipping washer/dryers with smart phones apps to allow residents to pay for laundry without using coins.
  • Installed benches at several bus stops, picnic tables, upgraded BBQ areas and provided book boxes with books to be loaned out

Community Engagement

  • Full-time Community Engagement Staff and other bilingual management staff
  • Community Listening Sessions and monthly Cafecitos to learn more about the community and understand tenants’ hopes for Woodland Park.
  • Regular Community Dinners for property ownership, management, and tenants to get to know each other
  • Tenant Advisory Committee: The Woodland Park Communities Tenant Advisory Committee will serve as a forum for resident leaders and property ownership to discuss ongoing concerns and co-create solutions.
  • Quarterly Newsletters and ongoing communications and updates

Operational Changes

  • Hired a new, more community-oriented security company
  • Installed security camera network throughout property and enhanced exterior lighting to brighten areas surrounding our buildings and along the streets
  • Added more Spanish-speaking Management staff
  • Resident Preference Pilot program to allow existing tenants greater flexibility by moving to a new apartment
  • Coordinating with Recology to improve trash collection and recycling programs

Community Building

  • Woodland Park Communities Foundation provides funding for many local East Palo Alto community organizations and non-profits
  • Regular Community Celebrations and Events
  • Local Partnerships to provide free programs on site including the East Palo Alto Family YMCA, Fresh Approach, Peninsula SPCA, East Palo Alto Library, etc.

To learn more about our relocation commitments, click here.

We are humbled that our efforts were recently recognized by then-Mayor Ruben Abrica, a Woodland Park resident, during the 2018 State of the City Address:

“They have acted differently, and I have seen that they have tried to restore the trust between management and the tenants, they have addressed more directly issues of parking, of maintenance, of security, and they have also done additional activities for the children and for the families… Thank you very much for being a good example to all landlords in how they should treat their tenants and work with the community.”

About Woodland Park Communities

Woodland Park Communities invests in stabilized, multi-family properties in Silicon Valley, with a local focus and a long-term approach.

 

Woodland Park Communities is a local, family-owned company with a long-term focus. Because of this, we seek to serve the community and enhance the quality of life in East Palo Alto.

 

To invest in the local community, its organizations, and its people, we have created the Woodland Park Communities Foundation, which is dedicated to supporting and enriching East Palo Alto by funding local non-profit organizations.

 

Some of the organizations the Woodland Park Communities Foundation has supported include:

  • AbleWorks
  • Aim High for High School – East Palo Alto
  • Bring Me a Book Foundation / Reading Bonanza at the Park
  • Catholic Charities for Youth at St. Francis of Assisi
  • Computers for Everyone
  • EPA Children’s Day Committee
  • East Palo Alto and Belle Haven Chamber of Commerce
  • East Palo Alto Blues Festival
  • East Palo Alto Boxing Club
  • East Palo Alto Junior Golf Program
  • East Palo Alto Police Activities League
  • East Palo Alto Senior Center
  • East Palo Alto Tee-Ball League
  • East Palo Alto Youth Arts & Music Center
  • Ecumenical Hunger Program
  • El Concilio of San Mateo/ Comite Latino
  • EPACENTER Arts
  • Free at Last Community Recovery and Rehabilitation Services
  • Girls to Women
  • Hagar Services Coalition
  • JobTrain
  • Live in Peace
  • Mid-Peninsula Athletic Association / Mid-Peninsula Mastodons Football
  • One East Palo Alto
  • Project WeHOPE
  • Ravenswood Family Health Center
  • Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center Mid-Peninsula, East Palo Alto
  • StreetCode Academy
  • Youth Community Service