City Asking Tenants to Vacate Two Downtown Apartments

If you pass through the Historic District of Yakima this week, you'll find people carrying bags and rolling furniture on dollies.

Most of them are packing up their lives and looking for a new place to call home.

Keith Ward is a Vietnam War veteran, he moved here 6 months ago from the west side of the state, hoping to find an affordable place to live.

"That's why I moved over here in the first place, because it was cheaper," said Ward, "Now I've got to jump back over to the other side."

About 200 low-income residents are being asked to vacate the Senator and Cascade Apartments by the end of the week.

The two buildings are littered with code violations; both have broken fire alarm systems, holes in the floors and walls, and a collection of electrical problems --leading the city to deem them unsafe for people to live in.

This decision didn't come out of nowhere.

The city's been asking the building owners to fix these problems since December, now we're in the middle of Summer, and officials have no choice but to close up shop.

"There's been minimal progress that's been made to address the numerous code violations that are now seven months old," said city spokesperson Randy Beehler, "Because of that lack of progress, it simply was unsustainable any longer for the residents to remain in those buildings."

Without a cheap place to stay, it looks like Keith Ward will have to pack up and leave town.

"I don't want to end up sitting right here on the street corner," said Ward, "And whether anybody has to pay for that, I don't know."

The Cty of Yakima says it is enlisting the help of the county's Human Services Department, which will assist in finding housing for those asked to vacate the apartments.