The number of low-income families being forced out of their homes in Renton just keeps climbing.
There are now close to 70 names on the eviction list, at several different apartments. Many of those being evicted are single moms, and all of them rely on government assistance to help pay their rent.
Apartment communities, like Renton Woods, have said the tenants that depend on Section Eight Housing Vouchers were asked to move out, because the housing program is elective, and the property management simply chose to opt out of the program.
Renton Housing Authority responded to the evictions for the first time Thursday.
"The rental rates are skyrocketing, and it’s becoming more and more difficult for the voucher payment standards to keep up with the current rental environment," said Stephen Gray, Renton Housing Authority program coordinator. "It's a time right now where landlords are in a position where it's a good time for them right now, and it's just the nature of the beast."
But community leaders who came together for a news conference said it's a growing problem that's not isolated to Renton. The Washington Low Income Housing Alliance said it's happening all over the state.
Renton city leaders are still trying to do what they can to help the low-income families being impacted right now. A city spokesperson said he's hopeful they'll have proposed legislation ready by next Monday's council meeting. If approved, it would protect against source of income discrimination like this.
Families with a quickly approaching deadline to move out say that help can't arrive soon enough.
"This is our community," said LaVette Bryant. "This is where we chose to live, and where we want to live, and to be forced out of this community is unfair and discriminatory against us as Section Eight participants. We are not bad people."
Copyright 2016 KING