On Friday, November 4, representatives of two Renton apartment complexes withdrew their original notices requiring dozens of Housing Choice Voucher (HCV)-holders to vacate their units. Following public outcry and organizing amongst the tenants at the buildings, the Grammercy Apartments and the Renton Woods Apartments have gone on record as withdrawing previous terminations of tenancy until further notice and providing until the end of the school year to relocate, respectively.
In early August, residents of the two buildings as well as a neighboring building were sent short notices informing them that their buildings would no longer accept HCVs. These announcements left around 75 households, including many children, at risk of displacement by the end of the year. Tenants who looked for alternative housing found that concerning numbers of landlords are denying units to HCV-holders.
The tenants will continue to work with attorney Scott Crain of the Northwest Justice Project to finalize negotiations. Further, many tenants will continue to partner with ally organizations, including the Tenants Union of Washington, the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance, the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness, the Church Council of Greater Seattle, All Home, and others, to work to bring source of income discrimination (SOID) protections to the City of Renton as well as the State of Washington. As the housing affordability and homelessness crisis continues to spread throughout the region, protections for low-income renters will become imperative so as to prevent mass displacement.
The City of Renton will begin considering SOID protections on Monday, November 7.