PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – In Washington, where there is no rent control, some tenants at a low-income apartment complex in Washougal are panicked after getting a notice their rent is going up 40%.

A lot of the tenants at Rockwood Terrace Apartments in Washougal are on fixed incomes and told KOIN 6 News they can’t afford a $400 per month increase and are now worried about losing their homes.
Washington lifted its eviction moratorium earlier in 2022. Renters said they were notified in early September about a rate hike and were told they had to sign new leases by the end of the month that would go into effect in January. Renters could go month-to-month but worry that would mean even higher rates.

The proposed rent is more than $1,300 a month and those who live in the apartments say they can’t pay that amount.

Tenant Saree Adams told KOIN 6 News “I’m on Social Security, I’ve been getting the exact same amount for the last four years. So, if I don’t get any more money, I can’t pay you any more money. Then we end up with a bunch of homeless on the streets, trash on the streets, rats, things like that, people want to know how it goes downhill, well this is how it goes downhill.”

Adams is trying to negotiate on behalf of the residents — working through the apartment manager with the out of state owner hoping they will find a compromise.

KOIN 6 News also checked with the Council for the Homeless in Clark County, which highly recommends keeping communication open with the property manager and not ignoring notices.

Clark County housing experts told KOIN 6 News the vacancy rate is at 2%.