Battle Between Vulnerable Tenants and Goodman Real Estate Gets To the Heart of What Kind of City Seattle Wants To Be

Comments

1
One wonders where State Representatives Tarleton and Carlyle are on this issue. If they haven't already, they need to speak up in support of their constituents, the low income residents of Lock Haven.
2
Land property in this country is messed up. We need a reset of some sort. Giving credit perhaps to companies which have actually invested in building/rebuilding, but not to companies that just purchase properties and flip them.
3
Then maybe the city needs to get to work buying up abandoned/unused property on major transit routes like Aurora and MLK and start putting up apartments to drive up inventory and reduce rents. Apparently 15,000 new units a year is not solving that problem.
4
Putting the responsibility on land developers to care about low income renters is a joke. If you want an affordable housing solution, you have to look towards the government public. It's simply not profitable to build a low income / affordable building. So why would they do it? Like #3 said, if the city really wanted to fix this they'd get in the game and start developing the transit corridors with non-luxury, non-parking, non-amenity buildings. OH, and "I would have been on the waiting lists for housing months ago..." - GIRL, you should have been on that waiting list the day you got the first notice. That's on you.
5
Thanks for the well-written and thorough account.

Future prospective tenants of the Lockhaven, or any Goodman properties, should be aware that they are serial liars, and the renovations they do to make buildings into "luxury" apartments are shoddy and cosmetic. They are also cavalier when it comes to environmental poisons they expose their tenants to.

Read about the poison here:

http://lockhaventenantsunion.blogspot.co…

Read about the crapass renovations here:

http://lockhaventenantsunion.blogspot.co…
6
Yet another case where I feel that most painted themselves into their own corners.

You asked for density.

You wanted everyone in the same few square miles.

You now suffer.

My Seattle was destroyed long ago.

Now it's Your Turn.
8
@5,

Welcome to "luxury" housing in Seattle.
9
So they were doing substantial renovation to the apartments ?

http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/codesrules/co…
Tenant Relocation Assistance Ordinance
See also: Tenant Relocation
What Is It?

Our Tenant Relocation Assistance Ordinance requires developers to pay relocation assistance to low-income tenants that must move because their rental will:

Be torn down or undergo substantial renovation
Have its use changed (for example, from apartment to a commercial use or a nursing home)
Have certain use restrictions removed (for example a property is no longer required to rent only to low-income tenants under a federal program)

As a property or developer, you must get a Tenant Relocation License if your project meets the criteria listed above. The license covers all tenants in your building. Only your low-income tenants receive relocation assistance of $3,002.00. (Ask us for the income thresholds for relocation assistance eligibility.) You pay half of that amount and the City of Seattle pays the other half.

We will not issue a master use, construction, or change of use permit for a property where tenants will be required to move until a Tenant Relocation License is issued.
10
I'm so sick of this attitude " Well, maybe if you're poor you should move." Where? Even outside the city rents are way up and then, you factor in transportation. Many buses don't run reliably. How are we working class people supposed to get to work if we live outside of the city?
11
What kind of city will Seattle be? Those people should move into micro-housing and suck it up.

'cause that's the kind of city apparently The Stranger wants...
12
Density is created by a bunch of people, near and far, eager (and financially able) to move into the city and its adjacent neighborhoods. The government(s) should do a whole lot more to incentivize/subsidize modest income housing opportunities, but we are cramming ourselves into this urban box, and it's not, as other suggest, some sort of government-through-policy conspiracy. Growth will happen until Seattle becomes an undesirable city, so deal.
13
I've begun actively discouraging people in other parts of the country to not consider relocating to Seattle under any circumstances and am already plotting my own escape.

Seattle has rapidly become one of the mot unpleasant cities to live in in the US, and it has crummy weather most of the time to boot (no California sunshine or NYC cultural riches justifications for it being so overpriced).

Really, any out-of-towners reading The Stranger and thinking about moving here. Think twice. Then think three times. Then consider going somewhere else. Unless your dreams at night consist solely of working in IT at Amazon, moving here is pointless and you'll be mighty sorry if you do.
14
I lived at Lockhaven for eleven years, between 2003 and last December. A few thoughts:

1. Earl Ecklund, the previous owner, made a strong personal effort to be good to his tenants, in addition to a firm conviction that people should not be forced into poverty and then be driven out for that same condition. And was able to make it part of his living.

Main difference between former and present owner is that one is a person- and to a permanent residence in Hell with a Supreme court that doesn't see any difference. Seattle needs an ordinance that except for member-owned cooperatives, only humans can own residential property.

2. During the worst Depression in eighty years- largely caused by treating houses as sources of extremely fast means for already rich corporations to feed their wallets with the speed of a hog dealing with a trough- thing most needed by the general population is decently-paid work.

Too bad the President and congress of the Great Depression can't be re-elected to deal with the current Miserable Stinking one. Maybe then there would be Federal money to build the homes people need at a price they can afford. And offer work so people can afford them. And put some sharp, poisonous teeth into laws against hiring discrimination against applicants over 50.

3. "Affordability" means more than cheaper everything at similar- quality price. It also means that most people earn enough money by their own efforts to buy generally good-quality things. This part of the country has a history of strong labor organization. Would be good if corporations had the old choice of dealing with labor willing to negotiate- or face the Industrial Workers of the World.

4. "Density" doesn't mean "tenements"- and this something the Seattle City Council can decide without help or interference from my current place of residence near a dome. Suggest council and everybody else visit the "Cottage" complexes on Whidbey Island and across Greenwood from the community college.

Lovelier and more beautiful places to live than anything in Medina. No prejudice, you name the suburb and the development. And on return from the visit, as one five-minute agenda item, remove the ordinances forbidding them. Shame on Seattle for having them.

I was lucky enough to move quickly into an apartment much nicer and more decently managed than the one I left at 3038 NW Market. But part of my own "plan" is either to return to Seattle when I can do something to fix it- or help make Seattle part of a region that can help provide Seattle with everything positive above.

Not least a regional transit system that can connect the two cities in less than two very slow hours.

Mark Dublin
15
Hark !! "this bad guy Goodman isn't all bad" ---He gives (past and present) $$ I mean $$$$ of dollars to yes (are you ready) to the BALLARD HIGH SCHOOL FOUNDATION ! Just another example of how your "bad guy" has and does help the students at BHS. HE LEARNED about giving back years ago! So don't worry about his cars , and don't screw up a good thing for BHS-----!!
16
Let us hear from the business representatives on the Committee to End Homelessness in King County: Dan Brettler from Car Toys, and Blake Nordstrom. The business community is quick to gripe about the mess they've helped to create. We need to hear from the rest of the business community on this topic.
17
The exclamations of the anti-density folks is astounding. It is exactly the lack of density that makes it possible to charge 100% more for modestly renovated apartments.seattlw needs to get to the point where finding a studio for under $1,000 isn't manna from heaven. The only way to bring that about is to build, build, build.
18
@15 - because someone throws a few dollars in order to "look good" at any community organization belies their true motive. This is a person who is making money by displacing people who cannot afford to live anywhere else and still be able to access their jobs, their grocery stores, their communities that they've been a part of for sometimes 20 years. He's in active talks to take over another community in Ravenna where severely disabled people will be displaced. The fact that he gives money to a high school that is more affluent than many others in this city doesn't mean that he walks on water or that he's a particularly "nice guy".

Let's be real. I've already been displaced from Seattle, and I have a high degree of education with low job prospects, but I engage with my community and I contribute in ways that others do not because I care about them. Increasing the cost of rent to drive more individuals with more money into the city not only negatively effects poor people, it affects those of us squeaking by, and effects those who are not just squeaking by. Do you want to live surrounded by young snotty yuppies with more money than God and tall reflective condos? I don't. I want vibrant communities where every member of society is cherished for their contributions and neighbors care about each others' well being just like the tenants at Lockhaven do. This is an excellent example of what a REAL COMMUNITY looks like, and it will be a sad day when Seattle allows capitalism to destroy that. These tenants are rock stars!

19
@17. Unregulated development leads to Detroit. Baltimore. Indianapolis. Pittsburgh. Philadelphia. New York, with millions of vacant buildings that become hazards to the environment and to the remaining inhabitants. Build, build, build and Amazon and other big business goes away? This place will be an ugly ghost town. Lessons to be learned do not include over-development and the hope that people will come. City planners need to be mindful of the life-cycle of an American city and plan not only for expansion but also contraction, because within the next 10 years a new shiny city will call it's siren call, and Seattle will empty faster than you can blink.
20
@19 "New York, with millions of vacant buildings that become hazards to the environment and to the remaining inhabitants."

Have you been to New York in the last 35 years? Yeah, I thought not. Shut the fuck up.
21
"At my income level, there’s not a lot of housing out there," says Michelle Kinnucan, a single, middle-aged veteran reliant on disability insurance for her income, who's lived at the Lockhaven for five years.
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I am a North King county landlord - I call BS on that. I stay abreast of rents north of Seattle: PLENTY of one-bedroom units in the $700-$900 range, similar to what is being charged. Being on disability, that means Michelle doesn't WORK - and thus doesn't have to worry about close proximity to a work location; that and the fact she doesn't mention kids, and thus no school district issues, she's got more flexibility than most. What Ms. Kinnucan really means is this:

"At my income level, there's not a lot of housing out there in the hot, trendy areas close to popular eateries, gift shops with hand made items, and with a cool farmer's market right at my doorstep."

FIFY
22
Looking at history, Americans moved westward then north to Alaska establishing new small towns and communities. With the help of neighbors you built your own housing. An agrarian and natural resource based society (farming, timber, fishing, mining) could do that. When we ran out of "the new west" a rocky transition to urbanization and manufacturing eventually evolved after much struggle toward labor unions and plentiful jobs (after WWII) narrowing the income gap. The middleclass could buy a house spending less than 15% on a low interest mortgage.

The late 1970's stagflation brought an end to mortgage affordability and the 1980's introduced job outsourcing to slave wage countries. Those financing political campaigns allowed rhetoric to obfuscate becoming a substitute for meaningful action by those elected. "You get what you pay for"... so true today.

ONE POSSIBLE ANSWER, (it's not pretty but clinging to socialist urban pipe dreams isn't either) - non-profit's should consider financing land trust purchases in rural areas to establish new communities. Like the farming communities of generations before, members would pool resources contribute labor to build housing and rudimentary infrastructure. With residential solar, wind, aquaculture farming and internet connectivity (supplied by county government) it has become possible to establish small new towns with a decent quality of life within 100 miles of expensive urban cities.

Our pioneer ancestors did not have the luxury of access to big city healthcare 90 minutes drive away, cultural entertainment via coax or satellite. Internet enabled businesses and high value added agriculture create opportunities not possible 20 years ago. Cities could help support the economy of new small towns with longterm purchase agreements for locally grown food, light manufactured goods and telecommute services.

It is naive to insist we can build our way out of a jobless recovery with eco-enlightened urban density, paid for with new taxes on the already economically vulnerable. A vicious circle; more need, more taxes to address the needy.... money flowing thru a system that enriches the politically connected wealthy and their elected servants. The pioneers took themselves out of that eastern equation. It was hard ... darn hard, but at least they became the stewards of their own collective fate. Question is - does this courage exist today in an entitlement focused population. Sustainable living points the way forward if we are able to trust small community values.