Residents of Tacoma's affordable housing complex score major victory
TACOMA, Wash. -- A major victory for affordable housing advocates in Tacoma comes with the rededication of a huge apartment complex. The 100 seniors and low income people at Tahoma Vista Village get to stay put. This comes in the wake of legal mass evictions at the Tiki Apartments.
"It's worry-free, it's safe, it's comfortable, it's quiet," said Marlene Southern. She showed off her apartment at Tahoma Vista Village. She doesn't know how close she came to losing this place. Two years ago there was a serious effort to buy the apartment complex.
"We were told there were several investors were interested in looking at the property and we figured we would probably get a pretty awesome offer for the property, said Tahoma Vista Village Board President Roland Bautista. "But the board of directors turned down the offers."
Not only that, they made $10 million in renovations and Wednesday was the rededication ceremony marking the occasion.
The people here have seen the turmoil caused when the Tiki Apartments legally evicted the elderly and low income people living there, and they know how important it is to keep affordable housing available.
In fact, Sarah Howe of Tiki, who is blind and in a wheelchair, is one of the newest people to move into the Tahoma Vista Village.
"I am so happy," Howe said recently. "I can't say it enough, I'm happy. I'm satisfied. I'm relaxed."
"I think it's one of the greatest things we've done as a board," said Bautista of keeping the apartments affordable. "Now that this place has been totally redone they're looking to make sure other places like are kept affordable as the need for this kind of housing keeps getting greater.