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Armour Flats tenants form union after rent increase and non-renewal of leases

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Carlos Moreno
/
KCUR 89.3
Julie Byerlee, a 10-year resident of Armour Flats, with several letters from Reliable Properties informing her of lease changes including price hikes and how long she can stay in her unit.

Tenants cry foul as announcement of renovation plans for midtown apartment complex has them scrambling to stay in their homes.

At least nine tenants at Armour Flats apartments have received notice their leases will not be renewed after the building came under new management this summer.

The 24-unit complex, managed by Reliable Properties, houses several seniors, disabled, and fixed-income residents that tenant and union spokesperson, Clifford Woodard says have nowhere else to go.

"I'll tell you the truth, I thought about suicide," said Woodard, who was previously homeless for ten years. "The thought of going back out there, it's terrifying."

Angry with the lack of communication and the unexpected notices to leave, the residents formed the Armour Flats Tenants Union to fight for a better option.

The tenants laid out a list of demands directed at Reliable Properties, one of which includes six months of rent-free residency prior to moving out.

"Let us live there for another six months without paying rent so we can save some money to move," said Juliee Byerlee, another union spokesperson and tenant at the Armour Flats apartment complex.

The union plans to meet with city council members to discuss their concerns.

  • Julie Byerlee, Armour Flats tenant, spokesperson for Armour Flats Tenants Union
  • Clifford Woodard, Armour Flats tenant, spokesperson for Armour Flats Tenant Union
When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
As Up To Date’s associate producer, I construct daily conversations that give our listeners context to the issues of our time. I strive to provide a platform that holds those in power accountable, while also spotlighting the voices of Kansas City’s creatives and visionaries that may otherwise go unheard. Email me at zach@kcur.org.
Elizabeth Ruiz is a freelance producer for KCUR’s Up To Date. Contact her at elizabeth@kcur.org or on Twitter at @er_bentley_ruiz