The Lockhaven Tenant’s Union (LTU) scored a victory in our efforts to keep Lockhaven affordable Monday evening when Lockhaven’s new chief owner, John Goodman, Chairman, Goodman Real Estate (GRE) and GRE President and CEO, George Petrie, both Seattle residents, sat down at the table with our negotiations team of current and former Lockhaven tenants.
Having the meeting in itself was an accomplishment as the LTU had been working hard for months to get the owners to the table to discuss ways to ameliorate the many hardships we have encountered since Goodman Real Estate executives purchased the building in August 2013. Goodman himself echoed the uniqueness of the gathering, “we don’t usually do this sort of thing,” he said.
Many factors contributed to the planning and realization of the informative face-to-face dialogue, including an information campaign, reaching out to all tenants, including those who have already departed, help from the Tenant’s Union of Washington State, facilitation by the office of Seattle City Council member Nick Licata, and the interest of GRE Lockhaven partners in reaching out to the community.
Viewpoints of both owners and the LTU were discussed openly, with the former evoking a willingness to be flexible and to consider extending some monetary assistance to tenants facing particular difficulty in relocation, more transparency regarding renovations to the complex and its effect on remaining residents, and further dialogue on the multi-faceted topic of “affordability”.
No decisions were made on either side but good progress was made and we are hopeful we can continue to move in a positive direction through continued work with management and ownership. GRE Lockhaven indicated they would consider a more detailed proposal based on the understandings put forth at the meeting and to meet again once it is time to make decisions and to commit to solutions. For those who have been wondering what is going on at Lockhaven, please be informed: your union is at work for you and invites your participation in the process of constructive change!