PORTLAND, Ore. — On Monday, Anna Lendya spoke in front of a crowd of people with help of a translator. She has lived at the Holgate Manor apartment complex in Southeast Portland for about 25 years.
“I don’t have children, my husband just passed away recently within two weeks ago. I have no place to go,” said Lendya.
Seven different languages are spoken in the 82-unit complex.
Many people who live there are low income or are elderly and have a fixed income. About a month ago they received letters, written in English, saying they had to move out by this past weekend because of renovations.
People who decided to leave by the deadline were told they would be given up to $5,000 to move. But one tenant said the issue is that the money would have been given after people moved, which would make it difficult to use the money to try and move into a new place.
Tenants said Fred Kleinbub, a developer out of California bought the property.
“I don’t receive a lot of money and I can’t afford to leave and this is my home and I want to stay here,” said Rakhelya Levitskaya, a tenant who has lived at the complex for the last 18 years.
Some people have already left. With the short notice, they couldn’t take much with them.
But people who stayed say they’re worried.
“There’s no option for us to leave at all. It’s impossible for us to leave,” said Lyubov Mirinichenko. She said she’s lived in her unit for about 18 years.
Even though their future is uncertain, tenants at Holgate Manor aren’t going down without a fight.
A community letter was read aloud. People voiced their concerns. Many of them are worried that if they leave they may not be able to come back.
“We would face huge rent increases and undergo rescreening. Those of us who didn’t leave faced unknown alternatives, possibly no cause evictions or rent hikes of nearly 10 percent like the ones many of us got this weekend,” the letter stated.
Tenants are proposing the Portland Housing Bureau buy the complex using money from the recent housing bond.
“We would like to see Holgate Manor converted into permanently affordable housing,” said the letter.
The community living at Holgate Manor is diverse, but still closely connected.
“This is my family,” said Lendya.
On Tuesday, tenants plan to drop in on the Portland Housing Advisory Commission’s meeting to talk about the possibility of using bond money to buy their complex.
They also have a change.org petition online.
KGW reached out to the developer’s representatives. We have not received a response.