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Dear Hamilton-Zanze... Please don't make us homeless.

Updated: Jun 18, 2021

We wrote a letter to owners of Woodspring Apartments, Hamilton-Zanze, the private equity

investment firm based out of San Francisco. We passed out a copy of

the letter and went door to door collecting signatures. If people were home, they were eager to sign!

Over one hundred residents signed onto the letter which we sent mid-April, by registered certified mail.

Read our letter:

April 20, 2021

Woodspring Tenants Association

16200 SW Pacific Hwy Suite #H

Mail Box 186,

Tigard, Or 97224

Hamilton Zanze

37 Graham Street

Suite 200B

San Francisco, CA 94129

Dear Hamilton-Zanze,

On January 1st of this year Hamilton Zanze distributed to us, the tenants at Woodspring Apartment Community, a notice that our long time affordable senior community is transitioning to a market rent status after a 3-year grace period. We understand that ending the affordability status was a decision made after your San Francisco area private equity real estate investment firm purchased our apartment community in 2017, despite the urging from local and state officials to keep the property affordable in perpetuity with renewed tax credits.

We, the residents of Woodspring, want to set out for you just how seriously damaging these actions are to us and ask you to please reconsider, if even just for those of us who were already living here.

We understand that what you are doing is legal and even part of the design of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program under which Woodspring was first built. We further understand that even though the affordability covenant expired, it was possible to be renewed with continuing tax credits and despite multiple conversations with officials in Tigard and at the state urging you preserve the status of the building, you opted to convert the building to market rents. As corporate citizens of this community, we are writing to implore you to change your mind and preserve this important Tigard community! As Ghandi once said, “The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.”

The residents here are very vulnerable. We are widows and widowers, we have disabilities and health issues, our average age is 72, and to live here we could only have income up to 60% of the area median; many of us on fixed incomes are already paying more than half of it toward our rent and have been on Section 8 waiting lists for years. Many others are low income but earn just too much to qualify for Section 8. When the Woodspring residents are priced out of their homes, we will have nowhere to go and no resources to get there.

Moreover, we have built community here and are devastated to be forced to move away from from the support it provides. Many of us have made a family with our neighbors. We go on outings and errands together, keep up with each other, and take care of each other when in need. Moving to a new complex or area would destroy the tight knit communities we have developed at Woodspring and leave us without the supports we desperately need. These communities are of untold value for seniors who may not have family nearby to meet these basic social needs.

When we moved in we were not notified that it was possible the Affordable Housing status could be terminated. Many of us thought we had moved for the last time, to our last home. Many residents, if not most, indicate they will not be able to pay the increase and will have to move. Moving will require funding, organization, and a place to move to. These things are very difficult if not not impossible for the people living here. The logistics and financial impacts of moving will be devastating on this community, if not deadly as is often the case when seniors are uprooted from their communities.

Moving costs would be anticipated to be high. We would have to pay various deposits and fees, probably upwards of thousands of dollars. Again, we don’t have any money which is why we qualified to live at Woodspring in the first place. If we were to use a professional moving service the total cost can easily surpass $5,000 and we don’t have that kind of money. If we have neighbors, family, and friends to help, the cost can be less but still substantial and at our stage in life it is important to us, indeed a matter constantly on our minds, that we don’t want to be a burden. Having to ask our support team for such a huge effort is upsetting.

Many of us no longer have the mental or physical ability to organize and complete a move. Even the prospect of having to pack and unpack everything we own is daunting. We are settled here and intend to stay until we no longer can care for ourselves. For those who can manage it, the effort and stress involved are horrific and can be expected to have serious consequences to our health. We’re just not as nimble as we used to be either physically or mentally. This is why the notice you distributed to us on January 1st has been so distressing.

Further, there is no place to move to. Many of us live here because it is close to our families and it is close to shopping and public transportation. This migration to market rent removes 172 units from the available Affordable Housing in Washington County. The prospect of finding housing we can afford in the Tigard area is diminishingly small. New Affordable Housing units are under development in Tigard and across Washington County but not enough to replace the Woodspring units. The same is true for the general Portland metro area.

We understand that providing affordable housing to Tigard is not the sole job of the Hamilton-Zanze corporation, however we are asking you to be a good corporate citizen and consider the devastating impact of your decision on the hundreds of vulnerable Tigard tenants you inherited and who will be catastrophically displaced when the rents jump to levels they are unable to pay.

We are writing to collectively ask that you please permanently grandfather in existing tenants into affordable rents, per the ‘LIHTC’ (IRS Section 42) rent standards so that we may age in place without fear of displacement. We are committed to exploring all possible strategies of staying in Woodspring with affordable rents, but decided that the first step would be to just ask you nicely to reconsider your decision of pricing us out with steep rent increases after the 3-year grade period ends.

Please commit today to allowing us to age in place with dignity. We are asking for your response, by email, by 5 PM, May 3rd. We are confident that after reading our plea you will do the right thing. We look forward to hearing back from you.

Thank you,

Woodspring Tenants Association

16200 SW Pacific Hwy Suite #H

Mail Box 186

Tigard, Or 97224


various public and elected officials in the local area

Mission Rock

Woodspring Office

Enclosure: 7 pages of signatures of current Woodspring Tenants


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