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New Apartment Owners, Tenants Evicted

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CORVALLIS, Ore. – Dozens of families are being evicted after a change in ownership at a Corvallis apartment complex.

What used to be the Corvalla apartments is now called The Park at 5th Street since the Riverstone Residential Group purchased it, a company based in Dallas, Texas.

One former tenant, Dawn Lyman, moved into the Corvalla in September.

“I was told that they got bought out by new owners, but I was not informed that I would be asked to move two months later,” she said.

In November, Lyman says she and many other of her neighbors received an eviction notice from Riverstone Residential saying they needed to be out by Dec. 31.

“I don’t know what to do,” she said. “I’m staying at friends’ houses.”

She has two sons who are temporarily staying with their grandma, but Lyman says she is currently homeless.

“My sons get straight As,” she said, “They’re really good boys. And right now I think with the last move and this move, it’s been really hard on the family and my oldest son – his grades are starting to slip.”

Lyman says many of the tenants at Corvalla have been low-income residents or disabled. The City Housing Division says Corvalla offered some of the cheapest rent in town. But now, a single-bedroom apartment that used to cost $500 per month has jumped to at least $725. Since the renovation projects have started, Lyman says more students have been moving in. Riverstone Residential says on its website that the complex is near Oregon State University.

“As I look for places to stay with my limits with HUD, I may have to move to Albany or Lebanon,” Lyman said.

Another tenant, Nicole Navarro, has three children and has one on the way. She received a no-cause eviction notice stating she would need to be out by the end of February.

“What am I going to do?” she said. “It’s sad that they don’t care that we end up on the streets if we can’t find a place to go.”

The tenants could stay, but they would have to pay up.

“I went in there and asked for an extension and of course they said no,” Lyman said about the management office. “But they did tell me: ‘But we can transfer you into a unit that’s been renovated. But your rent is going to go from $650 to $875.’ Plus renters’ insurance. Plus a deposit. Plus another application fee. It’s just as expensive as going somewhere else.”

Navarro says she is in the same boat.

“I can’t even afford that, even if I was able to move back in here.”

Navarro has not found another place to live either. She moved into her two-bedroom apartment in July at the Corvalla, but only with the aid of several local organizations that help people with move-in deposits and rent costs.

“I had We Care, FISH, and St. Mary’s all help me get in here,” she said. “But they only help you once. So I don’t know what I’m supposed to do or who to go to for help.”

Another concern Lyman has is that the eviction notices are in English, and some of her neighbors only speak Spanish.

“Someone needs to represent the Hispanics who live here who aren’t understanding what’s happening,” she said.

She says one Spanish-speaking neighbor got wind that others were being evicted after he spoke with someone who spoke both English and Spanish.

“He was shocked that other people were getting kicked out,” Lyman said. “He brought down this letter to her and she had to explain to him that he was one of the people who had to go. And he didn’t even know. Because the letter was in English.”

KEZI 9 News tried reaching out to The Park at 5th Street. We were referred to the Riverstone Residential Group corporate office and have not received a response.

If anyone is facing eviction and needs help, contact Bob Loewen with the Corvallis Housing Division at: bob.loewen@corvallisoregon.gov or by phone at: (541) 766-6944.

6 comments

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  1. Glenda says:

    This is cruel, disgusting and unconscionable. Shame on that Texas firm that bought these apartments. How dare they. They should have found places for these people to go to rather than just giving them eviction notices. Just horrendous.

  2. Marti McAllister says:

    These people should be ashamed of themselves for what they are doing to these tenents. If I was living there, I would be making myself a sign, and picketing the whole complex. Let’s see how many people rent apartments with that going on outside. What are they going to do EVICT THEM, I think that ship has already sailed!

    1. kimberly weiland says:

      I used to live there and have known most of the tenants for as many as 17 years we have been through good times and bad we are like a big family .after being gone for a few months I came back to visit and was spending a couple days with one resident that I love like my own grandmother that’s has watched all my children grow up well when the new managers asked my name I was told I had 24 hrs to leave because they have heard rumors that included my name and now my grandmother is so afraid of being evicted that with tears she asked me not to stop by until she could get moved that also caused me to loose a very much needed job !! so how far are these people going to be allowed to go .My daughter and her dad have also been evicted and like I said we have all lived there for as many as 17 yrs . its sad that a company that can pay that much cant help with our housing issues instead of putting more people on the streets ! No Wonder they don’t care to respond!! I wonder why????

  3. Dani MIller says:

    I can add this to the many many reasons I dislike the way business is done in TX

  4. James Glen says:

    I was surprised a Eugene TV station was interested in Corvallis especially since rents are so high in Eugene and many low income folks there have also had to relocate. The Eugene skyline is dotted with fancy high rises for U of O students. The quality of rental housing near the U of O campus has been poor for quite some time. I am local and know the history of the Corvalla property. The apartments are over 50 years old and need major maintenance. The former owners ran the property with little maintenance and the apartments were also a haven for crime and other activities. Hopefully the City of Corvallis and the State can take steps to provide higher voucher levels for subsidized tenants and a local solution can be created to provide affordable housing. It is certainly sad the residents do not have many local options but that is a result of government not providing enough housing options for the people who work and live in Corvallis. Many working folks have already re-located to Albany and Lebanon as folks have relocated to Springfield and Cottage Grove.

  5. chris southern says:

    riverstone is by far the worst management company i have ever delt with i was threatened multiple times by there corporate staff and told i was untrustworthy when i work for the government have no record and pay my rent early every month then the rent was outrageous 725 a month for a 500 sq foot apt with lots of mold that ruined everything in my storage unit dips in the floors that you trip over everyday and doors that dont close right so people can brake in easy riverstone should be put out of business for the clear harassment of renters the unlivable condition in the apts and there should lower all the rent in there places because they are over priced and buying everything in Corvallis so they can control rent pretty locals that grew up in the area will have to move to crime stricken areas in Albany & Salem that they never wanted to live in because the town of Corvallis will be turned into a monopoly

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