At 12 p.m. today tenants from across Seattle picketed the offices of Goodman Real Estate at Pier 70 downtown. The picket was organized by Ballard organization Lockhaven Tenants Union and Ravenna organization Theodora Rescue Committee.
Since hosting a press conference last month, Lockhaven Tenants Union has been continuing their ongoing battle against owners Goodman Real Estate to stay in their homes after being served with eviction notices last September.
Picketers held signs and banners (including the image pictured below) and demanded for John Goodman to comply with tenants’ demands for dignity or to take his business out of Seattle.
Check out the press release circulated today by the Tenants Union of Washington State:
From the International District to Ballard to Ravenna, Goodman Real Estate has engaged a model of predatory development across Seattle that has cost hundreds of tenants their homes. At the Lockhaven Apartments, tenants have been organizing for months demanding that Goodman Real Estate maintain these market-rate, affordable homes at their current affordability.
Tenants have also demanded across-the-board relocation assistance of $2500 for tenants who have been and will be involuntarily displaced. To date, Goodman Real Estate has rejected a nonprofit’s offer to purchase or lease some of the Lockhaven’s 22 buildings, and has failed to offer a proposal for keeping Lockhaven affordable.
Tenants at the Theodora Apartments formed the Theodora Rescue Committee this winter to protect their homes from Goodman Real Estate. The Theodora, a 112 unit building in Ravenna, has been home to people in need–veterans, seniors, and people with disabilities–for over 100 years. Goodman Real Estate has just signed a purchase and sale agreement with the building’s owners, the Volunteers of America, and plans to renovate the building to cater to higher income tenants. The Theodora Rescue Committee is asking Goodman Real Estate to withdraw from the purchase–to stop preying on Seattle’s remaining affordable housing.
This trend is not new for Goodman Real Estate. In 2011, Goodman Real Estate purchased the Downtowner in the International District and used low-income housing tax credits to rehabilitate the building, claiming the project to be an example of affordable housing. The building was once filled with 240 low-income tenants, most of whom had Section 8 vouchers, but Goodman Real Estate raised the rents beyond the voucher subsidy. Only a handful of the original tenants remain in their homes.
Tenants from these buildings are calling attention to the ways Goodman Real Estate’s developments practices are gentrifying Seattle and demanding that Goodman honor tenants’ requests to keep them in their homes.
The My Ballard team are in contact with the Lockhaven Tenant’s Union and will update readers with further information about the picket in the coming days.