'Please put a stop to this:' Tacoma tenants evicted from apartments ask city for help


    Dozens of Tacoma families being forced out of their apartments brought their anger and frustration before the city council on Tuesday night, April 24, 2018. The city is planning an emergency meeting on Thursday to help the residents. It's also looking in to whether any laws were violated. (Photo: KOMO News)

    TACOMA, Wash. - Dozens of Tacoma families being forced out of their apartments brought their anger and frustration before the city council on Tuesday night.

    Tacoma city leaders said they will step in to help nearly 60 families at the Tiki Apartments who have been evicted.

    "Are you going to help us? Are you going to stand up for the citizens of Tacoma?" resident Sarah Howe asked the council. "I'm begging, I'm demanding, please put a stop to this!"

    Tenants from the Tiki Apartments challenged the Tacoma City Council to do something so families are not left scrambling with no where to go.

    The council listened and scheduled an emergency special meeting on Thursday to address the eviction.

    The apartments have been sold and folks were given 26 days leave. By law the new owners are only required to give 20 days.

    "For this to happen with an 20 day notice to move is ridiculous," said resident Bill Fowles told the council.

    Fowles is recovering from back surgery, and says he needs more time to move and find a new place to live.

    One by one, families being forced out of the Tiki apartments fought for their homes through tears and frustration.

    “What I want is for us to be treated as though we matter, we matter,” resident Brooke Charlton told the council.

    Howe, who was told to leave in six days, challenged the council to help families who are days away from homelessness to find affordable housing.

    "I'm considered deaf, blind, I'm in a wheelchair, I don't want to live on the street,” said Howe.

    City leaders said they will look at options to help the neighbors at the emergency meeting on Thursday, and they asked the city manager to check to see if any laws were violated.

    Council also unanimously passed a resolution reviewing the city's affordable housing policies so the city can, “better regulate rental agreements and tenant rights, and to bring possible recommendations to be discussed at an upcoming Community Vitality and Safety Committee meeting.”

    The lawyer for the new owners said the company did their part to warn tenants and help them with relocation costs of up to $900.

    The lawyer said the apartment complex had suffered years of maintenance neglect and needs substantial renovations.

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