"Oh go through the walls;
if you must, walk on ledges
Of roofs, of oceans;
cover yourself with light;
Use menace, use prayer..."
(Jean Genet)

Welcome to the
Biltmore Tenants' Collective!

Let's get every apartment building in Seattle connected.

Renters Against Greedy Exploitation
(R.A.G.E.) Discussion List

We need a BIG place to meet now. Yeah!

The Biltmore Tenants' Collective
thanks Seattle City Councilmember Judy Nicastro
for putting together the groundbreaking
Seattle Renters' Summit June 10th.

Oh, and getting those nifty
award things was fun, too. Eep.
Thank you, Judy!

Scott Winn and the Tenants Union,
the DCLU, and several independent
(yet cooperative) tenant activists
distributed some great information.

Watch this space for developments
from the Renters' Summit.

Dodging the DCLU
in Loophole City!

Reyn Yates gets around laws requiring
relocation fees by simply driving tenants
out with wild, yeastlike rent increases.
Oh, and shutting down renovation
when DCLU inspectors are due.

But whenever he slips up,
we'll be watching!

DCLU inspectors visited
the Eileen Court Apartments recently.

You know the place--- this is where the
tenants have had their rents doubled, tripled,
whatever it takes, to get them OUT.

So, the slimy entity yclept
"No Boundaries" (gotta love the name!)
can slither out of the legal requirement
for tenant relocation assistance when
tenants are removed for renovation.

Well, it seems some renovation is going ON.

Only, now it's not, now,
because the DCLU caught them.

No Boundaries had managed to evade inspectors
previously, but this documented bust is
key to the main issue: relocation.

Because they're obviously being forced out
so that the landlord can totally remodel,
Eileen Court tenants are entitled to
Tenant Relocation Assistance packets!

And No Boundaries is SO busted.

It doesn't do much for those already forced
out improperly, without compensation, but
it's one small piece of justice
in the corrupt climate of Seattle.

It's progress. Let's continue!

A RAWWK-ous crow cheer for
the Eileen Court tenants!

And to "No Boundaries"--- we suggest
you get some. Boundaries.
And scruples. Right away.

Click here to return to C.R.O.W.

From the Tenants Union:

PEOPLE, Not Profits!

The Seattle housing market is in crisis.
With vacancy rates in the low single digits,
landlords are free to set exorbitant prices,
and so rents continue to skyrocket. This years-long
bonanza of real estate speculation has come at a heavy
cost: as developers' bank accounts swell, diversity is
being squeezed out of the city.

Affordable housing is disappearing. Already too many
communities have been disturbed, too many working
people displaced, and too many lives disrupted.
City government must act against this onslaught
to defend the rights of renters and the principles
of fairness. Housing for all ought to take
precedence over the profiteering of a few.

*Enforce existing laws*
Because housing is hard to find, tenants are
often understandably reluctant to stand up to
their landlords. Even when the law is clearly on
their side, tenants sometimes fear retaliation.
This fear is only magnified by the city's consistent
failure to prosecute all but the best-publicized
cases of landlord abuse.

Establishing a Housing Court to hear these kinds
of cases could do much to bring the landlord-tenant
relationship into legal balance. We need to
consider all options -- landlords must not be
allowed to operate above the law.

*Right of first refusal*
When rental properties change hands, new owners
frequently assess huge rent hikes in order to
fund renovations which eventually displace the very
tenants who pay for them. This kind of short-term
profit maximization can be toxic to neighborhoods,
but residents currently have no recourse.

When a building goes up for sale, the right of
first refusal would grant renters the option to
purchase their buildings at for a fair price.
Tenant-ownership strengthens neighborhoods,
whereas absentee-ownership erodes them.
City law should reflect this principle.

*Local control*
Washington State Law RCW 35.21.830 bars
Seattle and other cities from implementing
rent control measures and many other kinds of
pro-tenant legislation. It tramples on the
rights of renters and all citizens,
and ought to be overturned.

The city council should instruct its
paid lobbyist in Olympia to work for the
repeal of RCW 35.21.830. This should be
among our highest legislative priorities.

The Tenants Union Hotline:
  (206) 723-0500
TDD: (206)723-0523

The Biltmore Tenants' Collective thanks The Seattle Tenants Union,
Scott Winn, Lisa Herbold, Judy Nicastro, Nick Licata, Peter Steinbrueck,
Lee Lumsden, and everyone who spoke at and attended our press conference in the Biltmore courtyard on September 2, 1999!
We made the Top Story of the night on channel 7! Woo hoo!

We would also like to thank RP Management's spokesperson
the fabulous Jeffreyanne,
for inspiring us brilliantly:

{{{ "You just get your
little tenant group together
and see what you can do!"}}}

"Why... yes... I... would... like... a... knuckle... sandwich!"
Gary Larson's alley-monster to a tough guy

Biltmore Tenants' Collective (BTC) Petition

We, the undersigned tenants of the Biltmore Apartments,
are deeply disturbed by RP Management's recent illegal
rent increase. The following demands represent what
action is reasonable and necessary for RP Management to
take toward realizing tenants' satisfaction and resolving
the issues you have created. We urge you:

(1) To rescind in writing to every tenant your retaliatory
rent increase scheduled for October 1, 1999;

(2) To offer every Biltmore tenant a one year lease at the
rate that was in effect prior to the two illegal rent

(3) To comply with all federal, state and local laws, including
Seattle's Municipal Code and Housing and Building
Maintenance Code;

(4) To demonstrate your professed concern for us by including
us in the decision making process regarding the
"improvements" you are planning and by scheduling a meeting
at which we shall discuss the details of your intentions.
We are opposed to gentrification and to avaricious attempts
to price us out of our homes.

We expect written acceptance of the demands above by September 8, 1999.

Biltmore Tenants Fight Back!

\\\\\\ How Other Tenants Fight Back! //////

Send comments to: ivygreen@scn.org