They faced mass eviction from their homes
Home in Tacoma for All and Tacoma Democratic Socialists of America announced an important victory for residents of Meridian Mobile Estates, who faced mass eviction from the mobile home park in Puyallup slated to close October 1st. Following protests, the owners of Timberlane Holdings, a large developer, agreed to negotiate with tenants.
The overall settlement is valued at over $600,000, with each household receiving up to $26,500. Residents also negotiated three additional months to stay at the park, and rejected the developers’ demand for a non-disclosure agreement.
“This is life changing for the families who live here,” tenant leader and park resident Sarai Nieto said. “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 neighbor’s faces is incredible.”
Tenant leaders note that many residents are still losing a significant amount of value, even with this groundbreaking settlement, as the average home in the park is valued at $80,000. However, mobile homes are notoriously difficult to move and resell, and tenants say there are only a few mobile home park spaces open in all of Pierce County.
“Tenants were successful at the negotiating table yesterday because of their history of direct action and protests,” Home in Tacoma for All organizer Zev Cook said. “The laws were written to favor landlords, not tenants, and local politicians did nothing to stop this eviction. But we were able to leverage the power of organizing communities and to use the threat of further protests to achieve this result.”
Tenants and supporters demonstrated at the Puyallup City Council meeting on August 23, and the threat of a following protest on Sept. 8 forced the developers to the negotiating table following months of refusing to even talk with tenants. The protests were co-organized by Tacoma DSA members as part of the wider tenant rights organizing campaign, Home in Tacoma for All.
“This will set a precedent for future evictions and for relocation costs that developers will be expected to pay,” Cook continued. “We are ready and willing to take up those fights.”
Home in Tacoma for All is a grassroots and volunteer-led coalition that seeks sustainable and affordable housing in Tacoma and Pierce County.
More information: Home in Tacoma for All. Tacoma Democratic Socialists of America is the local chapter of the largest socialist organization in the US, and seeks to build progressive movements for social change.