In October, Sahro's rent will go up from $550 to $1,150.
Her two-bedroom apartment in South Seattle has many problems: black mold, broken stove burners, non-functioning heaters, outlets that electrocute her children, and pest infestations. She's put up with the poor conditions because she was able to afford the $550 rent as a single mom.
Sahro says the new owner of her building will dramatically raise the rent for all tenants, but still refuses to make improvements.
Sahro doesn't want to move away. She feels a strong connection to her neighborhood. Leaving would mean pulling her kids out of schools they love, and adding a lot of time to her work commute. But she can't afford the soaring rents in her neighborhood, which has traditionally been one of the more affordable parts of Seattle.
Sahro introduced us to several of her neighbors. All were immigrants from East Africa, and some didn't speak English. They all told us they feared that the rent hikes will leave them homeless.
This video was produced by Firesteel, an advocacy program of YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish. Learn more at http://firesteelwa.org
- Sahro Farah, Mohammed Farax Dircy, Mohammed Ali Abdi, Ahmed Buro, Galmo Said, Mohammed Arabi, and Osman Osman for opening their homes and sharing their stories
- Janice Tufte and Muslim Housing Services for connecting us with Sahro
- Firesteel volunteer Gemma Amos for videography and editing work