by Alex Garland
Tenants from the Columbia Gardens and Dakota apartment buildings, located in the Mt. Baker neighborhood, gathered in the small courtyard between the buildings on Oct. 22. Housing rights advocates and community activists joined for a rally in protest of alleged tenant abuse, ignored maintenance issues, lack of internet access, and lack of communication from management around changes made to community spaces. The issues tenants are experiencing caught the attention of the Tenants Union of Washington State (TUWS) and Be:Seattle, organizations that help protect and organize renters, and both helped coordinate the rally.
Both Columbia Gardens — apartments for senior housing — and the Dakota apartments are owned by SouthEast Effective Development (SEED), a nonprofit that owns more than 1,000 apartments in South Seattle with the aim of maintaining affordable housing in the area. These two properties are managed by Coast Property Management.
During the rally, employees from Coast Property Management sequestered themselves in an adjacent building and turned out the lights as the tenants approached the windows of the room where several were eating. As chants of “People Over Profit” echoed in the narrow space, tenants from Columbia Gardens stood on balconies and patios or joined their neighbors as they rallied.Continue reading Residents at SEED Affordable Housing Properties Protest Poor Conditions, Rising Rents