When Maureen Howard saw the protests and the people forced to pack up at the Tiki Apartments in Tacoma, she knew she had to respond.
"I just thought it was egregious," said Howard.
In recent months, residents, many of whom live on a fixed income, stood before city leaders saying they could not afford to go anywhere else. The tenants left at the 58-unit apartment complex have to be out by the end of June.
Maureen was in the crowd during a city meeting when someone from the Rental Housing Association of Washington spoke up.
"She said we are here to help. And I'm a longtime advocate, so somebody says we'll help, the next sentence is how," said Howard.
RHAWA represents 5,300 independent landlords, and Howard decided to contact them. She found out she wasn't the only one.
"One of the councilmen was reaching out, specifically around Sarah Howe," said Howard.
Sarah Howe is a Tiki Apartment tenant who is wheelchair bound and blind. Councilmember Conor McCarthy wanted to help.
"I had a chance to talk with her after one of the meetings and said I am going to see what I can do," McCarthy said.
He told Sarah's story, and it reached Sean Martin, RHAWA's Executive Director.
"Obviously, she's had difficulty finding housing and he wanted to see if we had someone who would volunteer a rental unit for her," explained Martin.
Martin was able to find a place. The problem was Howe had been paying about $570 a month for her apartment, but rent at the new unit in Lakewood is closer to $1,100 a month.
"So we put a call out to membership and said, 'Hey, can we count on your support' and through our foundation we were able to raise the money for her," said Martin.
Nearly $7,000 was raised; enough to subsidize Howe's rent for a year.
"We want to be apart of the solution, not seen as a part of the problem," said Martin.
"It's one person who needed housing, but it represents coming together of groups that don't normally come together," said Howard.
Howard views landlords working with tenants to find affordable housing solutions as a promising partnership that could help a city that is struggling with housing.
"This was a community effort and RHAWA hopes that the public and private sectors will continue to work together to figure out not only how to make sure Sarah receives resources necessary to house her long-term but to utilize this opportunity as a model that can be scaled for sustainable solutions to our regional housing crisis," said Heather Pierce with RHAWA.
Howe's application for housing is still being processed. Once it is finalized, RHAWA plans to reach out to vendors to put in an exterior ramp for Howe.