Residents in low-income Portland apartments forced to move; say they’re without options

Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 10:17 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - A group of people living in one Portland community said their cries for help have fallen on deaf ears.

They live in a low-income housing apartment complex and said they all received a 90-day eviction notice in December and March 31 is the deadline to move out, but some said they still have no place to go.

Kimberly Haggar said she’s called La Hacienda Apartments in Southeast Portland home for decades.

“I have lived at La Hacienda for 20 years,” Kimberly Haggar, a tenant, said.

And said it means much more to her than just a roof over her head.

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“I raised my son here. My son is now an adult living on his own, and I was able to get him there successfully, living here,” Haggar said.

But in December, people living in this income-restricted community said they received life-changing news.

“Just one day, here’s a notice, you’ve got three months to get out,” Priscilla Clark, spokesperson for the La Hacienda Tenants Union, said.

“it was really hard. It was the worst Christmas of my entire life,” Rebekah Thompson, a tenant, said.

Non-profit Relay Resources said they plan to demolish and redevelop the property into additional affordable housing. And said the 1970 flat-roof, stucco, 38-unit building, has reached the end of its “useful life.”

Residents said they feel not enough has been done to help ensure all tenants will have a place to call home, next.

“I recently had a stroke and I’m recuperating,” Haggar said.

“Everything, the rent is so high,” Clark said.

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Some said they were one of the lucky ones and were placed in another affordable community, but that too, came at a cost.

“I’m in the process of getting another apartment with the company. They did tell us that our rent wouldn’t be raised, but they are raising my rent $200 a month for a smaller apartment with my son,” Thompson said.

Relay Resources said they did provide a one-time relocation payment to residents ranging from $3,300 to $4,500 per unit size. But people said they simply can’t afford another housing option.

“I understand it’s a business, but at the end of the day, this is our home. We want to stay,” Haggar said.

Relay Resources said they’re coordinating with and know of relocation plans for all units, but plans for eight households remain unclear.