Lockhaven Tenants Union meeting draws large crowd

lockhaven 1Lockhaven Tenant’s Union had a large turnout at their first meeting on Monday, October 14. The Union formed back in September to oppose relocation notices received by residents from Lockhaven Apartments owners. The My Ballard team initially covered the formation of the union last month after receiving an email from Lockhaven resident and My Ballard reader David Stoesz who told us about the difficulties that the residents were facing.

According to the emails from Stoesz, Lockhaven Apartments were sold to Pinnacle Family of Companies this summer and earlier in September tenants of three buildings, some who have lived there since 1968, received “blatantly illegall” 20-day vacate notices. After the notices were rescinded, and after speaking with Pinnacle Property Manager Anissa Olberg, the My Ballard team confirmed that the tenants are set to be vacated from the property over a six month time frame in order for the property to be renovated. Olberg also confirmed that low income tenants will be assisted in their relocation by the City of Seattle’s Tenant Relocation Assistance Ordinance. It was at this point in the proceedings that a group of Lockhaven residents came together to form Lockhaven Tenants Union.

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The first meeting was held last week at the Ballard Senior Center and was attended by over 80 Lockhaven residents and community members. The gathering was designed to be an informational meeting moderated by John Fox from the Seattle Displacement Coalition. A panel of experts and local community advocates were also on hand to answer questions from residents including Dulcie O’Sullivan from the Department of Planning and Development, Nick Licata from Seattle City Council (pictured above speaking to Lockhaven resident Sue Taylor), Eliana Horn from Tenants Union of WA and Ryan Weatherstone from Legal Action Center.

“A lot came out of this meeting. The effects of our actions have already started reverberating throughout the city,” writes David Stoesz on the Lockhaven Tenants Union blog. Reportedly, Horn from Tenants Union of WA stated at the meeting that many low-income tenants that she counsels have heard about and have been inspired by the Union’s efforts.

lockhaven 3The meeting covered important information for both the tenants and the community. During the meeting, O’Sullivan explained that tenants have at least six months before they can legally be asked to relocate. Possible code violations were also discussed regarding the current renovations disturbing asbestos and lead paint. “The mood was defiant and upbeat. The larger community is ready to join the smaller group of us that has gotten things rolling,” writes Stoesz.

From here Lockhaven Tenants Union steering committee are inviting any Lockhaven residents and community members to be involved in the Union. If you are interested in finding out more or getting your hands on a Lockhaven bumper sticker email (pictured above) LockhavenTenants@Outlook.com.

“The Lockhaven fiasco is part of a pattern of cities being remade according to the dictates of developers who don’t care about community, quality of life, or anything else that impedes them from sucking the maximum amount of money of their properties,” writes Stoesz on the Union’s blog.

Photos courtesy of Lockhaven Tenants Union.

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