Tenants of Lockhaven Apartments form union to oppose relocation

lockhavenAfter reportedly receiving relocation notices from building owners, tenants from Lockhaven Apartments (3040 NW Market St) formed a union (Lockhaven Tenants Union) earlier this week to oppose their relocation. My Ballard reader and Lockhaven tenant David Stoesz emailed in to inform My Ballard about the situation.

According to Stoesz, Lockhaven Apartments were sold to Pinnacle Family of Companies this summer (Lockhaven Apartments can be found in their current property listings) and within the last few weeks tenants of three buildings, some who have lived there since 1968, received 20-day vacate notices. According to Stoesz, Pinnacle Property Manager Anissa Olberg then confirmed over the phone that all tenants would be vacated from the property in order for extensive renovations to be undertaken. However, according to the Lockhaven Tenants Union blog, “it turns out that those initial 20-day vacate notices were blatantly illegal, and the new owners were compelled to rescind them.”

The My Ballard team spoke to Olberg this morning who confirms that the tenants will be vacated from the property but that “it is not an eviction process”, which Olberg emphasized requires the involvement of the King County Sheriff’s office. Olberg also confirms that tenants will be relocated within a six month time frame due to the renovations. Olberg also mentioned that Pinnacle has applied for a Tenant Relocation License which will assist low income tenants with funds in order to relocate as part of the City of Seattle Department of Planning and Development’s (DPD) Tenant Relocation Assistance Ordinance (Seattle Municipal Code 22.210).

The DPD explains the terms and requirements of the Tenant Relocation Assistance Ordinance on their website:

Our Tenant Relocation Assistance Ordinance requires developers to pay relocation assistance to low-income tenants that must move because their rental will be torn down or undergo substantial renovation, have its use changed or have certain use restrictions removed.

As a property or developer, you must get a Tenant Relocation License if your project meets the criteria listed above. The license covers all tenants in your building. Only your low-income tenants receive relocation assistance of $3,002.00. (Ask us for the income thresholds for relocation assistance eligibility.) You pay half of that amount and the City of Seattle pays the other half.

Within 30 days of applying for a Tenant Relocation License, you must give each rental unit in the affected building a Tenant Information Packet. The packet contains process information, forms, and instructions for the tenants.

A tenant household has 30 days to apply for relocation assistance after receiving the Tenant Information Packet. Tenants can request a deadline extension for a good reason, which is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

flierOlberg confirms that Pinnacle have begun handing out the Tenant Information Packets at their 3040 NW Market St office. Packets are being handed out today and will also continue to be available tomorrow during Pinnacle’s office hours of 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. “Tenants can come and pick up information and we can answer their questions,” says Olberg.

Many locals and tenants are angered by the situation and have expressed their thoughts via email and on the union’s blog:

The Lockhaven is home to many elderly residents who have lived here for decades, cultivating gardens and friendships. This is their home.

The Lockhaven is the last bastion of affordable housing in Ballard for them, and for all of us. What Pinnacle has planned is nothing less than the destruction of a community.

Check out the flyer (pictured above) that Lockhaven Tenants Union will be passing out at this weekend’s Sustainable Ballard Festival.

If you are or know of a tenant from Lockhaven Apartments email us at tips@myballard.com and let us know your thoughts.

We will ensure to update readers with any developments as soon as they are known.

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