Hundreds of refugees forced out of Boise apartments

Hundreds of people in Boise will have to find new homes, and many of those people are refugees. An apartment complex is evicting them, before a remodel and redesign.

BOISE -- Hundreds of people in Boise will have to find new homes, and many of those people are refugees. An apartment complex is giving them a notice of termination, before a remodel and redesign. But, some people are trying to help.

The Glenbrook Apartments off Curtis Road in Boise is home to more than 100 families, many of them refugees. One week ago, 112 apartments got notices on their doors, telling the people who live there that they have 30 days to get out if they are renting month to month and those with leases will not be renewed.

Julianne Donnelly Tzul is the executive director of the International Rescue Committee in Boise.

"People who we work with very closely have already gone through flight, war, disaster, devastation, have been displaced," she said. "(They) have, with a lot of strength, ingenuity and resilience, made whole new lives. And they're being expected to do it all over again."

Tzul says the complex was recently sold, and the new owner is remodeling and redesigning the complex, putting it back on the market at higher rates. Long-term leases will be honored. But, many of these people were on month-to-month agreements, which means they now have one month to find another place to live. Tzul says she'd like the new owner to let people stay until they found new homes. We reached out to the new owner about that possibility, but didn't hear back.

"I would perceive that this is largely a business decision in their minds," Tzul said.

The I.R.C., along with World Relief, the Agency for new Americans, the Vineyard Church, and the Oasis Church are working to help find these folks homes. But, they only have about three weeks to relocate more than 400 people. And, that's a tall task.

"Boise, typically, has a very low vacancy rate: It stands at about 1.4 percent," said Tzul. "There's a whole lot of nervousness, dread, worry."

Coming up Thursday, the I.R.C. and others will be going door-to-door in the complex, making sure everyone knows exactly what's going on, and trying to figure what kind of home each family needs. There are also some law experts looking into the eviction notices themselves, trying to find out if they're legal or not.

If you want to help out, contact one the agencies lending a hand. You can email the Boise International Rescue Committee at volunteerboise@rescue.org .


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