City of Tacoma tries to help dozens of residents being forced out of apartments

TACOMA, Wash. -- Dozens of people forced out of their homes in the Tiki Apartments in Tacoma pleaded with City Council members for help to find new places to live.

On April 5, people living within 58 different units at the Tiki Apartments complex in Tacoma found out they would have to leave their homes. The reason is the complex needs substantial rehabilitation. Residents were given until either the end of April, or May to leave.

“I thought it was going to be a good place for us now, but it just turned out being a disaster,” said Amber Fisher.

Fisher is a single mother who moved into the Tiki Apartments with her nearly 2-year-old son, Kyle, at the end of March.

Fisher says eight days after moving in, she found out she’d have to move right back out.

“I don’t have any idea where I’m going to move to,” she said.

Fisher is just one of dozens of people facing the same fate. On Thursday, the Tiki Apartments community packed into the Tacoma City Council chamber. Their goal was to get some relief from the council.

The council listened to public input from Tiki Apartments residents as well as supporters for more than two hours. After the public hearing, the council unanimously voted to approve a new law that would require landlords to give 90 days’ notice in similar situations. The new regulation is only temporary fix, but the council says that is to give them time to create a better-developed permanent fix.

However, this new law is not retroactive, meaning it will not help the residents of the Tiki Apartments.

Instead, city officials say they are working with the new owner of the Tiki Apartments. The council says residents will now have until the end of June to get out of their apartments.

Tacoma City Deputy Mayor Anders Ibsen says the council will meet again next Tuesday to discuss further assistance they plan to offer to Tiki Apartments residents.

Ibsen says he hopes they are able to provide help finding legal services, case workers, and even find funding for displaced tenants.