Ballard residents forced to relocate after renovations could nearly double rent

SEATTLE -- Forced to move out because of a sudden increase in rent. Residents at one Ballard apartment complex are stressed with nowhere to go.

Lockhaven Apartments, at 30th and Market, was recently bought out by a new company and with new ownership comes renovations. One resident says she was told the renovations would almost double her rent.

Lockhaven Apartments is more than just a home for Sue Taylor.

“Our first grandchild is almost two,” said Taylor.

It’s an affordable place in Ballard, close to loved ones, something the 67-year-old is about to lose.

“It makes me more than sad; it makes me furious,” said Taylor.

It all started with letter in early September.

Sue and many of her neighbors were given 20 days to relocate because renovations like granite countertops drove up the rent.

The city stepped in, calling the deadline illegal and buying tenants six more months -- but the extra time is no relief for Sue who says her rent will increase to $1,500 a month after the renovations.

“If someone is running a business I know you have to make hard decisions but it is insane to double the rents,” said Taylor.

She’s not alone.

“I know one of my neighbors who has been here for 40 years and is on a fixed income,” said Taylor.

Many including a number of senior citizens fear they will be forced out of the city.

“It’s just really stressful,” said resident Charles Groeger.

A lot of my stuff will go to storage and be buried.

Some of her favorite pieces will go into boxes last.

“A lot of my paintings have a sense of place,” said Taylor.

Where that new sense of place will be is unknown.

“The reality is I have no idea where I am going to live,” said Taylor

The residents are so upset they have formed a group called the Lockhaven Tenant’s Union.

Goodman Real Estate is the new owner and they have hired Pinnacle to manage the apartment. On Wednesday Pinnacle said they were helping residents find the least expensive housing options in Ballard. Low income residents could also qualify for a $3,002 relocation fee.