The conflict between Malden/Medford Tenants United and Alpha Management is far from over.
After purchasing four apartment complexes in those towns in late April, Allston-Brighton real estate company Alpha Management and its CEO, Anwar Faisal, have refused to negotiate with tenants over proposed rent increases. These increases range from $200 to as high as $600.
Many of the tenants have chosen to pay their old rent until the matter is settled. As a result, beginning in early July Alpha Management moved to evict dozens of the tenants from their homes.
In response to Alpha’s continued refusal to negotiate with the group as a bargaining unit, 13 members of M/MTU picketed the front of Strictly Apartment Rentals, a spin-off of Alpha Management at 1110 Commonwealth Avenue in Allston, just down the street from Alpha’s main office on Linden Street. The building currently provides dormitories to students studying at the New England Institute of ART (NEIA).
Over the course of an hour, many waved and honked their support for the picketers, who were joined by several former tenants of Alpha-owned buildings that happened to pass by the demonstration. After a half hour, the group had grown to over 20 people.
Tenants decried the intimidation tactics used by Alpha in recent weeks. One participant – who has chosen to remain unnamed for fear of retribution – had, the night before the picket, came home to find her belongings wrapped up in trash bags and anti-Alpha signs torn down from her windows. Others complained of having their locks changed without being notified, and having had their cars towed from the apartment complex’s parking lot.
City Life/Vida Urbana also showed support for the tenants. Steve, an organizer with City Life, led a number of chants at the start of the picket.
(Photos: Dan Schneider)