24-unit apartment complex coming to Spokane

As rent keeps rising in Spokane, many people have mentioned how hard it is becoming to make ends meet.

The Spokane City Council didn’t help matters much Monday night, delaying a vote on new tenant protection laws until march.

The proposal would have put more responsibility on landlords to cover rising rent costs.

The good news, though, is that another housing option is on the way, with a 24-unit apartment complex being built on North Wall and Sinto Avenue. The bad news — the developer of that property is worried those same tenant laws may get in the way of future projects.

The developer of that soon-to-be apartment complex, Aaron Cunningham, said those laws would hurt renters in the long run.

He said often times people believe tenants are handed a higher bill while the land lords are walking off with more money. However, he insists that is not the case.

“We understand that people think landlords get all of the advantage when it comes to renting out their properties, and that it’s all income, but there’s also cost that’s associated with it,” Cunningham said. “When you look at a project like this, you’re looking at $3-5 million dollars invested into the community.”

He bought the property in 2016, and for years, he had plans of making it into some sort of housing.
Now, the construction is underway for a 24-unit apartment building.

Cunningham doesn’t believe the City Council should be involved in these tenant protection laws.

“There are options available for people to receive subsidies, and we don’t think the city needs to get involved in providing those subsidies by taking it out of the pocket of the landlords,” Cunningham said.

Many renters like Nicolle Zangar just can’t afford to find a cheaper place, though.

“I currently spend about 60-65 percent of my income just towards rent, and so they always say you need to get a cheaper place but there aren’t any,” Zangar said.

Zangar is a single mother, facing the same struggles as many other renters in Spokane.

But, on the other side, landlords are also facing some struggles.

Cunningham said any new tenant laws would force him to rethink any future projects in Spokane.

“If you only have a few units and you’re having a difficult time with the laws, then you’re going to see more of those landlords selling those homes,” Cunningham said.