Rent increases, unanswered repair requests prompt North Austin residents to protest

A group of tenants at an affordable housing complex in North Austin said they're fed up with management.

The Palms on Lamar is subsidized with low-income housing tax credits and city financing.

About two dozen people showed up to the leasing office on Thursday with two major complaints: repair requests and rent increases.

"We're hoping for them to finally hear our plea and do something about it because we've been like this for a long time," said Dalia Lomelin Martinez, a resident.

The Residents at Palms on Lamar wrote a letter to management addressing concerns about living conditions, like repair requests left unanswered.

They also describe cockroach infestations, broken air conditioning, and hot water issues.

"For the longest time we didn't have any running hot water, the AC doesn't, or they leak," said Martinez. "We have some pest problems."

Residents said they're also frustrated with rent increases.

"They charge too much for the rent, and they don't fix anything on time," said Marilu Jaimes, a resident.

It's not the first time tenants and management have had a conversation about rent.

Tenants said a meeting with both groups happened just a few months ago.

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"In that meeting, management said not only would they rescind the unnoticed rent increases, which they had to, and refund illegally charged late fees but that they would also limit rent increases for the year to one hundred dollars," said Shoshana Krieger, the project director for BASTA.

Now some residents said they've received notices of $300 to $500 rent increases for this upcoming November.

"I understand because everything is very expensive, and they have to raise the price on rent everywhere, especially right now you know, but $500?" said Jaimes. "I don't think it's correct."

But this is home and residents here said they're going to try to fight for it. 

"I want to stay here," said Jaimes. "I don't want to leave. This has been my home for too many years. My daughter goes to school close in this area and I don't have the place to go right now."

FOX 7 reached out to management for a comment but has yet to hear back.