Declaration of Jesse Plascak Indicates Closing Of the Theodora would drastically impact people with disabilities in Seattle

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As part of the Theodora Rescue Committee’s lawsuit, Jesse Plascak a post-doctoral fellow at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center of Seattle has provided an analysis of what the impact of losing the Theodora will be on people with disabilities in Ravenna and in Seattle. What he found: housing for people with disabilities is geographically clustered in North Seattle, i.e. tenants with disabilities are segregated to the edges of our city. However, the Theodora is a unique building that is not part of this cluster, and provides housing to people with disabilities in a central area of the city. According to Jesse’s declaration, “the availability of such housing in this region would be greatly diminished if the Theodora stopped housing individuals with disabilities”.

Check out some of Jesse’s maps below:

#35 Dec of Jesse Plascak-page-015

 

#35 Dec of Jesse Plascak-page-017

#35 Dec of Jesse Plascak-page-016

Come out on August 14th & 20th to help Save the Theodora!

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Can you make it out to help Save the Theodora on August 14th or 20th?

Over 1,800 tenants and supporters fought for a hearing on the Theodora, and we won! Now that we’ve got the hearing, will you RSVP to make it out to hearings  on August 14th and August 20th to raise your voice and help save the Theodora?

In the last few months, tenants have succeeded in raising the the threat that tenants will lose 112 units of housing for low income people across the city if we lose the Theodora. We have picketed, we have marched, we filed a groundbreaking lawsuit, and we have petitioned the city. In the meantime, Goodman Real Estate has submitted its plans to convert the building to for-profit housing for the wealthy and submitted an application to the city to landmark the property.

Now why would Goodman Real Estate submit an application to landmark the property? Is it because Goodman cares about preserving the history of the city? Unlikely, given that Goodman did not include the social and economic history of a piece of land that’s served the city for over 100 years in their application. More likely, Goodman is looking to capitalize on tax breaks and try to salvage the company’s public image.We can’t let them get away with it!

The Theodora tenants ask you to show up in person to the importance of the Theodora to our city at two important hearings.

Rally and Hearing to Save the Theodora

When: August 14th, 7PM, gather at 6PM
Where: Meet at the Theodora at 6PM, 6559 35th Ave NE. We’ll prep and march over to the hearing at the Ravenna Eckstein Community Center at 6535 Ravenna Ave NE, 98115.
Why: The city has the ability to make it very hard for Goodman Real Estate to get what they want out of purchasing the Theodora. Let’s make sure they do.
Accessibility: The Theodora is located near bus routes 64, 65, 71, 76. The Ravenna Eckstein Community Center is located near bus routes71, 76, 83.

Click Here to let us know you can make it today! Landmarks Hearing

When: August 20th, 3:30 PM. Meet at 2:00 PM.
Where: Hearing will take place in the Seattle Municipal Building at 700 5th Avenue, 40th Floor, Room 4060. We will gather at 2:00PM in the lobby.
Why: Goodman Real Estate has completely ignored the social and economic importance of the Theodora in their application to have the city landmarked, most likely because they don’t want to remind anybody that the building they plan to rent out to the wealthy has been home to low-income people for nearly 100 years. We need to make sure that history is told.
Accessibility: The Seattle Municipal Building is located near most major downtown bus routes. If you need assistance, please call Eliana at 206-722-6848 ext. 114.

Click Here to let us know you can make it today! 

If you have any questions, please call Eliana at 206-722-6848 extension 114 or email Eliana at elianah@tenantsunion.org

Copyright © 2014 Tenants Union of Washington State, All rights reserved.
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Land Use Hearing

The Theodora Apartments are at risk. Unless we stop it, Goodman Real Estate will  convert the building from low income housing for seniors and folks with disabilities to luxury housing for the wealthy. But we can stop this and preserve some of Seattle’s last public housing. One tool at our disposal is public comment to the city on Goodman’s permit applications.  The Theodora  Rescue Committee asks you to take action and send apersonalized Public Comment to the City about your concerns related to Goodman Real Estate’s plans to  redevelop the Theodora Apartments. Please personalize the  email below  to the City. We have included talking points and a sample email are in the grey box at the bottom of this email.

 

With your help, destroying affordable housing won’t come easy. 
In order for Goodman to get the necessary permits, they will need to change the use of the Theodora from a “congregate retirement facility” to market rate apartments. Goodman Real Estate must go through a SEPA process–an analysis of the environmental and social impact of the planned development. This is an important chance to weigh in and impact their plans!  We must compel the city to scrutinize this application from every angle.

We have one month to show the City that we, the public, do not endorse a conversion that will cause irreparable damage to the Ravenna neighborhood and the larger community. If more than fifty people write to the city requesting a public hearing about the Theodora, the city will be compelled to grant one.

 Please take a few minutes to send a personalized comment letter into the Department of Planning and Development and demand our city pay close attention when our affordable housing is at stake.

Below, we have included some some points you may want to include in your letter as well as a sample letter for you to submit to the city. The more personal, the better. If you have any questions please contact Eliana at elianah@tenantsunion.org or at 206-722-6848 extension 114. Please visit http://www.savethetheodora.wordpress.com for more information on the tenants’ struggle.

Instructions, Talking Points and Sample Email

Please include your name and address in your letter, as well as a request for a public hearing. You may email your letter in to prc@seattle.gov. Please cc: Elianah@tenantsunion.org You may also mail a letter to: DPD 700 5th Ave Suite 2000 PO BOX 34019 Seattle, WA 98124

Housing, Parking, Traffic, Trees and other problems to cite in your comment (this list continues to grow) 

Housing:

  • Active Displacement: The change of use will result in the displacement of thirty residents that currently live at the Theodora.
  • Incentivized Displacement: The Volunteers of America’s actions leading up to the sale and redevelopment of the building has forced 70 tenants to be displaced from the Theodora without access to relocation assistance or Section 8 vouchers.
  • Long term segregation: In the long term, the loss of 112 units of housing affordable for seniors and people with disabilities will result in deep housing segregation in Ravenna and across Seattle. Tenants who have been displaced have been moved to the edges of the city, or out of the city altogether. This building was built with public money through HUD and is a community asset. We cannot afford to lose it.
  • Relocation Assistance: The Volunteers of America was negligently late in applying for a Relocation license from the city resulting in many tenants leaving the building without any assistance to rely on. Though tenants have asked them to provide relocation assistance to tenants who have been forced to leave the building in the last year, they have refused to do so.
  • Misinformation: The information provided on the SEPA checklist indicates Goodman Real Estate plans to provide housing to tenants at 60%-80% AMI. However, there are at least two instances in which Goodman Real Estate has given different numbers. In an interview with KUOW on March 12, 2014 George Petrie, CEO of Goodman Real Estate, indicated housing would be affordable to 60%-99% AMI. Most recently, the Volunteers of America handed out a document to members of the Ravenna community that indicated the building would be affordable to 70%-90% AMI. Moreover, the information provided in the SEPA checklist does not indicate for how long housing will be affordable at the rates listed, and what enforceability the city, residents, or any other entity has.

NonConformity: Under LR2 zoning, the maximum width for a structure is 90’. The existing building already exceeds this on all sides, and an addition to building would further increase non-compliance. Parking and Traffic: Though the current plans provide 56 parking spots at the property, 22 of the spaces are for compact cars. The proposed plans rely on the presence of frequent transportation, but the current budget crisis may result in public transportation near the Theodora being cut. Furthermore, the proposed use of the building will bring additional traffic to Ravenna neighborhood that previously was not a problem, given the mobility challenges many of the Theodora residents have had. The mechanism to build the additional parking will result from a structure that contributes to the nonconforming use of the current structure. Impact on Trees:  The proposed landscape design will result in the destruction of 35 trees on the site. The trees located on the Theodora are beautiful assets to the neighborhood that build its value.

Weeping Cherry 1
Japanese Maples 10
Maple 1
Red Oak 1
Douglas Fir 3
Sweet Gum 2
Mazzard Cherry 1
White Birch 9
Vine Maple 3
Thurder Plum 1

Dust: The construction at the Theodora, alongside the construction occurring at the Children’s Home Society across the street will created an unmanageable amount of dust, hazardous to the health of the neighborhood’s residents.

Sample Email To: prc@seattle.gov, carly.guillory@seattle.gov, elianah@tenantsunion.org Subject: Public Comment Letter, MUP #3017233 Body: To the Department of Planning and Development: I am writing to submit my comment on MUP #3017233, an application to change the use of the Theodora Apartments located at 6559 35th Ave NE from a congregate residential facility to market-rate apartments, and to request a public hearing on the property. Furthermore, I request that the public hearing occur on a weekday evening at the Theodora Apartments. As you may be aware, the plot of land located at 6559 35th Ave NE has been dedicated to serve people in need for over 100 years. The current building, built with public money through the Department of Planning and Urban Development, has served hundreds of seniors and people with disabilities. After losing contracts with the Veterans Administration and the Department of Social and Health Services, the Volunteers of America compelled many tenants to leave the Theodora–without relocation assistance and without access to Section 8 vouchers in order to facilitate the sale and development of this building by Goodman Real Estate.  Goodman Real Estate plans to convert the affordable housing at the Theodora to luxury apartments at rents far beyond what any tenant who has ever lived at the Theodora can afford. The impact this change of use will have on our city is irreparable. There are many problems with Goodman Real Estate’s application to the city: from the proposed impact on traffic and parking to the proposed impact on 35 trees located on the site to the very fact that Goodman Real Estate is proposing building an addition that is nonconforming with the current zoning of the property. Facilitating the destruction of affordable housing should not be the purview of the city. I ask you to highly consider these impact as you evaluate Goodman Real Estate’s application. Sincerely, [INSERT NAME AND ANY OTHER CONTACT INFORMATION HERE]

March and Rally with the Theodora tenants this Sunday, April 27th

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March and rally with the Theodora Rescue Commitee and Lockhaven Tenants Union to call on their landlord, developer John Goodman to Be a Better Man for Ballard, Ravenna and Seattle!

SUNDAYAPRIL 27, 2014

11:30 AM March — Meet at Ballard Commons, corner of 22nd and 57th to march to join the rally

12:30 PM Rally — Golden Tides, Goodman’s personal marina & residence, 6017 Seaview Ave NW

RSVP on Facebook event #GoodmanBeABetterman
or email elianah@tenantsunion.org or call 206-722-6848 ext. 114

Bring boxes, suitcases, bags & bindles representing what you’d take if John Goodman displaced YOU out of your community!

More information on the Tenants Union’s website.

Tenants & allies march to demand that their landlord, Goodman Real Estate…

  1. Stop retaliating against tenants and keep its commitments
  2. Preserve 8 buildings of Lockhaven Apartments as affordable and provide relocation assistance to all involuntarily displaced tenants
  3. Withdraw from purchasing the Theodora Apartments and allow the nonprofit community to keep our low income housing affordable

As tenants across Seattle are displaced by Goodman Real Estate, please join the Lockhaven Tenants Union and the Theodora Rescue Committee as we march to call on John Goodman to be a Better Man for Ballard, Ravenna and for Seattle. We ask John Goodman to come to the negotiating table in good faith to preserve our affordable housing.

John Goodman was born and raised in Ballard, and even attended Ballard High School. But he seems to be forgetting his roots, making his community and city unaffordable for the neighbors he grew up alongside and retaliating against his tenants.

This past winter, Goodman, along with seven other shareholders including George Petrie, purchased the Lockhaven Apartments, an affordable 22-building complex in Ballard, and began the process to purchase the Theodora Apartments, a affordable HUD senior housing in Ravenna. Goodman and Petrie intend to convert both properties into housing that would be unaffordable for current residents. In many cases, Goodman plans to raise the rent by as much as double.

Though Goodman committed to transparent, honest communication, he went back on his word and retaliated against tenants organizing by accelerated their evictions 4-6 months earlier than promised. Though Lockhaven tenants have organized community support and urged Goodman to do the right thing, Goodman has rejected every one of tenants’ proposals.

We know “Goodman” could be a better man than this.
Come out and march with us to remind him!

#GoodmanBeABetterman

 

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