Residents of a Puyallup mobile home park that was scheduled to close in October say they will get more time and money to move after coming to an agreement with the developer Sept. 13.
“This is life-changing for the families who live here,” resident Saraim Nieto said in a news release. “Yesterday, many families were facing homelessness. Today, we are talking about down payments on new homes. The relief and joy that I see on my neighbors’ faces is incredible.”
Home in Tacoma for All, a grassroots coalition that advocates for sustainable and affordable housing in Tacoma and Pierce county, issued the news release on Sept. 14.
Timberlane Partners bought the property for $6.5 million last year with plans to build about 230 apartments there, The News Tribune reported. Timberlane was not immediately reachable for comment about the agreement.
Meridian Mobile Estates residents met with Timberlane Partners on Tuesday.
The release from Home in Tacoma for All, which circulated on social media and was sent to reporters, said the settlement is valued at over $600,000 and would give each household up to $21,500 in addition to $5,000 the developer had already promised.
The Home in Tacoma for All release said that as part of the agreement residents would now have until the end of January 2023 to move out of the mobile home park at 202 27th Ave. SE. Before, they were told they had to move by next month.
“Tenants were successful at the negotiating table yesterday because of their history of direct action and protests,” Zev Cook, Home in Tacoma for All organizer, said in the Sept. 14 news release. “We were able to leverage the power of organizing communities and to use the threat of further protests to achieve this result.”
There are roughly 24 families who will be affected by the agreement, Cook said.
Residents expected to sign the contract Thursday night, but Home in Tacoma for All said Thursday that was being postponed.
They planned to protest the developer in Seattle last week but canceled the protest when Timberlane Partners agreed to meet the residents at the negotiating table, according to Home in Tacoma for All.
Many residents gathered at Pioneer Park and attended the Puyallup City Council meeting on Aug. 23 to voice their concerns to the council.
The city and state also offered some financial assistance to residents previously, including $5,000 grants from the city. Some said it wasn’t enough, given what they paid for their homes and renovations.
The news release from Home in Tacoma for All argued residents are still losing “a significant amount of value,” and that the average home at the park is valued at around $80,000.
The settlement residents and the developer reached “will set a precedent for future evictions,” Cook said in the news release. Developers will be expected to pay, and Home in Tacoma for All is “ready and willing to take up those fights,” she said.