Boom Low-Income Housing Is the Neighborhood’s Biggest Problem…
posted by April 17 at 12:36 PMon
…according to a poll at the High Point Blog.
But by “problem,” the poll’s author doesn’t mean there’s too little low-income housing in West Seattle’s mixed-income development. The problem, obviously, is the very presence of low-income housing.
As the High Point Blog sees it, the greatest stumbling block to the success of the new and improved High Point is its low-income housing….
…the maintenance (or lack thereof) by pov-housing residents to maintain the exteriors and window coverings of their dwellings…that is to say.. crazy furniture in the windows, torn curtains, kitschy statuary and signage in windows etc…. the constant feeling that we live in Tangier and not West Seattle.
Some pollyanna neighbors, as the poll results show, believe there are “no significant problems” with the large tract of land being redeveloped from government and low-income housing. (Erica wrote about the project over here.) But for the level-headed folks at HPB, there’s bad news: More low-income housing is on the way.
Tonight, five duplexes and two single-family houses proposed for High Point are up for an administrative review with the Department of Planning and Development. The 12 units could break ground by this summer and will sell at well below market rate.
“We serve a population at 25 percent to 50 percent of median income [for King County],” says Tom Gaylord of Habitat for Humanity of Seattle/South King County. “We use volunteer labor and home owners to construct the house. We use mortgages with no interest and no fees to get residents in for the cost of the house, which is low because labor cost is low.”
Volunteers and families hammering nails and painting walls. It does sound menacing.
“It’s great, you see little old ladies out there putting up honkin’ beams,” says Gaylord, oblivious to the havoc they will wreak on the manifest destined residents of High Point.
But Gaylord and HFH are determined to press on with their insidious scheme. “In spite of the plan end homelessness in King County in 10 years, so much more is needed,” he says. HFH has constructed about 125 housing units in the Seattle area, and plans 20-30 more per year, according to Gaylord. “We’d like to be doing more.” The gall.
UPDATE: Gaylord just sent me drawings of HFH’s proposed street scape, sans statuaries.