Evicted tenants searching for solutions to Spokane housing challenges

Hundreds of thousands of people enjoy living in the Inland Northwest – but finding a place to call home isn’t always easy, as affordable rentals in Spokane can be hard to find.

How well do you know your neighbors? Would you be able to tell someone when their birthday is? What their spouse’s name is? For the people that once lived in the apartment complex on Eighth and Oak, they can – and they say leaving the place behind feels like leaving a family.

Linda Dresback has been a tenant in the building for nearly 16 years. In May, her landlord evicted everyone in the complex.

“Here’s your notice – 90 days, pack up and leave,” Dresbeck recalled.

Dresbeck tried to fight it, but she was there on Halloween Day, boxing her belongings up and leaving home.

“My life in the back of a Penske truck,” she said, standing on the deck of truck. “Oh my.”

Outside her apartment are eight mailboxes – six of them are marked with a little note by Dresbeck, each adorned with a sad face, signifying that the owner person is gone.

“I know they’re sad face, but it’s because it is sad,” Dresbeck explained, holding back tears. “We weren’t just tenants, we weren’t just neighbors. We’re a family.”

Two of the boxes in the middle don’t have a note – one of them is Dresbeck’s. The other belongs to her nextdoor neighbor, who is afraid to go outside due to her agoraphobia.

“[She] did not come out of her apartment for almost three years. When she finally did, we became really close friends,” said Dresbeck.

Dresbeck said that this is a difficult time, but life will get better. Little signs have cropped up here and there, convincing her of this – one of these signs being the price of the truck.

“I didn’t have enough cash on me, and they lowered the price and they gave me an extra day,” she explained.

She’s saying goodbye to her neighbors today – but she knows she’ll see them again. They are a family, after all.

“Good things will happen and good will come of it,” she said.

The tenants were told they have until midnight to leave their apartments, and Dresbeck left Thursday afternoon. Before she left, she told 4 News Now that she wishes landlords understood that finding a new place to live takes longer than a 60-day or 90-day notice. When you have children or a fixed income, even more so.

She believes what happened to her and her ‘family’ is wrong, and that hopefully Spokane will find a solution.