Class action lawsuit filed to halt Pioneer Homes rate rise

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Two Alaska attorneys have filed a class action lawsuit in Ketchikan, seeking to reverse a rate rise at Pioneer Homes.

The suit alleges that the Dunleavy administration raised rates too high and too quickly under state regulations. The attorneys, appearing on behalf of all approximately 497 Pioneer Homes residents, are seeking for the rate rise to be halted and reversed.

According to court documents filed on Nov. 4, some residents at Pioneer Homes saw a 140 percent rate rise in one month, leading to tough financial decisions including bankruptcy and divorce.

The rate rise is said to be illegal as residents signed contracts believing that rates would only rise gradually.

The Dunleavy administration has repeatedly said that no residents will be required to move from a Pioneer Home if they don’t have the capacity to pay. The suit alleges that “this representation is arbitrary and not credible.”

The class action lawsuit was filed by Vance Sanders and Elizabeth Bakalar, a former State of Alaska attorney who is separately suing the Dunleavy administration for allegedly firing her illegally when the governor took office.

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