• Issaquah low-income renters fight to keep apartments

    By: Essex Porter

    Updated:

    ISSAQUAH, Wash. - Violeta Sialer has lived at Rose Crest for nine years and uses her income from driving school buses to pay the subsidized rent.

    But now she and other residents say a new property manager has been raising rents and using what they say are relatively small violations of the rules to threaten them with eviction.

    “We need to stop this because, if I lose my home, I don't have another place to go,” Sialer said.

    The residents, organized by the Washington Community Action Network, marched to the property manager's office. 

    “The door is locked. They don't want to talk to the tenants,” said Xochitl Maykovich, of Washington CAN.

    So, the residents posted a 10-day notice of their own, demanding a meeting.

    Sialer said her eviction notice came with a picture of her car parked over a parking space line.  

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    When her son didn't move it quickly enough to suit the manager, the manager moved to evict her because her son has turned 18 and therefore is now an adult.

    Sialer kept a voicemail from the manager, in which the woman talks about Sialer's son. “He cannot stay here any longer due to the fact that he's not on the lease…understand that you said he has nowhere else to go but as of right now I'm not sure what to tell you,” the manager said in the message.

    Sialer told us, “He's in high school, so where's he going to be? And they say if he stays here, I'm going to lose my home.”

    The management office was locked when we went there, and have not received a response to the voicemail message we left.

    Washington CAN believes Rose Crest has a special obligation to help low-income residents, because the builders got state and federal subsidies to build low income housing.

    ‘It's been very difficult for me, I've been having many nights that I couldn't sleep when this started,” said Sialer.

    Porter Close/Concerned residents have asked for a meeting with the management company and the property owner. We'll let you know what comes of that. 

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