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December 10, 2012 Published in Non-Profits

Tenant Groups Plan Vigil Opposing Demolition Of Affordable Housing In Beauregard Corridor

The Beauregard Tenants Association and Tenants and Workers United have organized a candle light vigil tonight to draw attention to escalating rents and utility costs in apartments owned by JBG and the proposed demolition of 2475 affordable rental apartments in the Beauregard Corridor. The vigil will be held at 7:00 p.m. at the William Ramsay Recreation Center.

December 10, is observed worldwide as Human Rights Day in recognition of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 25 states in part: “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family, including food, clothing, housing, and medical care…” Hector Pineda, President of the Beauregard Tenants Association, explained: “JBG has been squeezing out families by raising rents and utility costs. Any families that manage to hang on will have to face displacement when these units are demolished as part of the Beauregard Plan.”

Wesley Aten, TWU Interim Executive Director, called on the City of Alexandria and JBG to restore these units to affordability by reducing rents to 2010 levels. “JBG should guarantee affordable homes for all current residents in the new development.  Alexandria lost more than12,000 units of affordable housing in the last 12 years. Thousands of working-class families are being forced out of Alexandria, especially black, Latino, and Asian residents.  It’s time for the City to act. Tenants are calling on City Council members to go ahead with the rezoning only if the 2,475 affordable units are preserved,” he said.

Veronica Calzada, a leader in the Beauregard Tenants Association, said: “During this Christmas season, our family and our neighbors are worried about the future. We don’t know how much longer we can hang on, and we have no idea where we will go when JBG demolishes our home to make way for the new development.”

Tenant families and their supporters will stand vigil from 7:00 to 7:45 p.m., carrying the message that displacing so many families from their homes is a violation of basic human rights.

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