Protesters stood outside the Glenbrook Apartments Saturday, criticizing the new owners who recently notified 80 percent of their tenants that they had 30 days to find a new home.
Many of the renters living in the 112-unit complex on the Boise Bench are refugees with low income. The approximately 400 renters out of their month-to-month leases are now competing for new low-income housing.
The new owners, Mark and Caran Daly, are using the property management company Verity and plan to renovate the complex to raise rent on one-bedroom apartments from $575 to $900 and two-bedroom apartments from $650 to $1,000.
“I’m here because there’s no real housing alternatives for these people,” said protester Debbi Holmes.
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With a tight vacancy rate — only 3 percent in the first quarter of 2015 according to the property manager association — protesters said this would flood an already flooded market.
“My roommate spent three months finding an apartment and she’s not low-income,” said protester Jill Gill. “There’s got to be a balance between compassion and capitalism.”
Belle Holsinger, who organized the protest, said her children go to school at Borah High School where about 20 refugee children who rent at the Glenbrook Apartments attend school.
Holsinger said that Boise should continue to welcome refugees and exercise compassion for low-income people.
“A lot of people really think Boise is going in the right direction. It’s still welcoming because look at how man people are here, helping (the refugee tenants),” she said about the protest.
Abdi Khaire shares an apartment at Glenbrook with three other roommates and said he still hasn’t found a new home.
“It’s very said,” he said.