The deadline for Section 8 renters at two Renton apartment complexes has been extended from Nov. 30 to next summer.
The low-income or disabled tenants at two Renton apartment complexes who were facing an order to move out as of last week received a reprieve Friday when an agreement was reached to extend a Nov. 30 deadline to relocate.
“After further consideration, we have rescinded the notices that were delivered to our residents,” said Vikki Sherman, a spokeswoman at Fairfield Residential, the California-based real-estate investment firm that owns the complex.
The 65 affected tenants at Gramercy and nearby Renton Woods complex are all participants in the federal Section 8 housing voucher program. They now have until June 30 to move out of their current apartments, said Scott Crain, the Northwest Justice Project attorney representing several of the residents.
The program provides financial assistance for qualifying low-income families and other renters.
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“We are working on relocation assistance for tenants who agree to vacate by then,” he said.
The agreement is the latest development in a clash that began in August, when the respective companies that operate the Gramercy Apartments and the Renton Woods complex began sending notices to Section 8 renters that their leases would not be renewed.
There are 42 Section 8 clients at the Gramercy Apartments and 23 at Renton Woods.
Tenants at the complexes have complained that the notices provided them just 60 days to find another landlord willing to rent to Section 8 voucher holders, a task they said has been made more difficult as rents have increased in Renton and across King County.
“That’s just not enough time,” said Renton Woods resident Toya Thomas.
Last week, Thomas and several other residents of the Gramercy and Renton Woods apartments approached Renton city officials for assistance, urging City Council members to adopt legislation to prevent what they say is discrimination against renters in the Section 8 program.
Several municipalities in King County have already passed ordinances barring landlords from discriminating against renters who rely on sources of income besides their wages to pay rent. The Seattle City Council adopted a similar ordinance in August.
Renton city officials are now working on an ordinance that would address the renters’ predicament, city spokesman Dave Neubert said. He declined to comment on the exact nature of the ordinance.
The council’s next meeting is scheduled for Monday.