Rebuilding Heritage Village with union help

Heritage Village resident Diane Bareno looks over demand letters she’s received from Cal-Am Properties.
Heritage Village resident Diane Bareno looks over demand letters she’s received from Cal-Am Properties.
Carpenters Local 1503 member Sarah Roberts.
Carpenters Local 1503 member Sarah Roberts.

BEAVERTON, Ore. — Union volunteers spent Saturday Oct. 22 fixing up manufactured homes for residents who fear eviction if the repairs aren’t made. Residents of the Heritage Village manufactured home community in Beaverton mostly own their homes, but pay land rent to a California property management company called Cal-Am Properties. Starting in June, Cal-Am wrote to residents demanding that all kinds of repairs and improvements be done within 30 days.

Applying exterior paint is Machinists Lodge 1005 vice president Mike McLaren, a 22-year Daimler truck employee who’s currently on his seventh layoff at the Portland truck plant.
Applying exterior paint is Machinists Lodge 1005 vice president Mike McLaren, a 22-year Daimler truck employee who’s currently on his seventh layoff at the Portland truck plant.

For low-income senior and disabled residents, it was a frightening letter to receive. Diane Bareno and her husband Elias, both disabled and collecting Social Security, pay $721 a month rent to Cal-Am. They were told in a July 8 letter to remove wooden and chainlink fences, paint their window trim, prune bushes, and remove their stack of firewood — all within 30 days — after having lived 16 years at Heritage Village.

Bareno says she didn’t know what to do, because she and her husband weren’t physically able to do the work and didn’t have the money to pay for it, even if they were able to find someone within such a short time frame. Then she heard about Rebuilding Together, and called for help.

Rebuilding Together is a non-profit group that helps low-income people with home repair. The group’s Washington County affiliate organized a one-day home repair event to help six Heritage Village households. Volunteers were supplied by the union-sponsored charity Labor’s Community Service Agency, St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Beaverton, the Hillsboro nonprofit Community Action, and Pacific University Rotaract. Supplies were paid for by Hillsboro Elks Lodge #1862.

ATU Local 757 member Linda Jauron-Mills, a Trimet bus operator, paints shutters with her son Bob Jauron.
ATU Local 757 member Linda Jauron-Mills, a Trimet bus operator, paints shutters with her son Bob Jauron.

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