Thursday, February 27, 2014

YELP against gentrification!

Our friends at the Tenants Union of Washington State have organized this fantastic action you can easily be part of. From their site:
 
The Lockhaven Tenants Union and Theodora Rescue Committee are asking for your solidarity in their fight against displacement by developer Goodman Real Estate. They are asking supporters to post reviews on the Lockhaven and the Viktoria (another building Goodman Real Estate is trying to fill) that may include points about Goodman Real Estate's practices such as these: 
  • Paying rent to Goodman Real Estate is contributing to the gentrification of Seattle. Goodman Real Estate is gentrifying Seattle by issuing massive rent increases and displacing working people and seniors all over the city
  • John Goodman is worth hundreds of millions of dollars.  Why are you paying so much rent from someone who doesn’t need the money?
  • Goodman Real Estate is making this city increasingly unaffordable by making cosmetic renovations to justify rent hikes in what was once affordable housing. Take a closer look at those renovations--how “luxurious” are they really?

Why YELP? You help tenants organizing to win affordability by shining the light on Goodman Real Estate's predatory habits, such as...

Pushing tenants out of Ballard: Goodman Real Estate purchased the Lockhaven Apartments, a 138 unit building in Ballard, in September 2013. The Lockhaven was market-rate affordable housing for working folks, seniors, and tenants with Section 8 vouchers. After Goodman Real Estate attempted to illegally evict tenants without relocation assistance, tenants have been organizing for five months asking Goodman Real Estate to keep rents affordable for the current tenants that live there. As of this writing, Goodman Real Estate has not put a single proposal forward to keep part or all of Lockhaven affordable, and plans to cosmetically renovate the  building, and raise the rent by as much as $700. In April, 6 buildings of tenants will be displaced.

Pushing tenants out of Ravenna: Goodman Real Estate has entered into a purchase and sale agreement with the Volunteers of America to purchase and redevelop one of the few remaining HUD Section 202 buildings left in Seattle. The tenants have formed the Theodora Rescue Committee to save their building. 

Pushed tenants out of the International District: Goodman Real Estate purchased the Downtowner, a 240-unit building that once had a HUD rent supplement contract. The Tenants Union of WA supported tenants in a campaign to get the federal government to fund vouchers for tenants covered by the rent supplement contract. Goodman Real Estate used low-income housing tax credits to rehabilitate the building, dubbed it the “Addison on Fourth”  and then raised the rents beyond the payment standard for tenants with vouchers. Only a handful of the original tenants at the Downtowner remain in their homes.  

“Goodman’s talents lie in carefully identifying and quickly purchasing distressed, underperforming or mismanaged properties. We reposition them…”
 - Goodman Real Estate Informational Video. "Repositioning" "underperforming" apartments is code for raising the rents in affordable housing!

Post a review on Yelp about Goodman Real Estate's gentrifying practices today! Click HERE to post to the Lockhaven Apartments page, and HERE to post to the Viktoria page. 

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