Update on Joel Romeo’s affordable housing project

The housing renovation to help keep Ballardite Joel Romeo in affordable housing is ticking along, but the nonprofit in charge of the build is looking for additional help.

Romeo, in his late 60s, was evicted from his home of 20 years last year because his landlord said he was a hoarder. Romeo is autistic and mute, and despite his friends helping him clean, he was still kicked out of his house, leaving him without an affordable home. So, his friends set up a Go Fund Me campaign, raising over $22,000 to help build Romeo a new house. The below documentary was made about Romeo.

Nobody Loves Joel Romeo from Mike Skoptsov on Vimeo.

Since then, nonprofit group Parkview Services has been renovating a duplex in Ballard to build him a studio to live in. Several businesses pitched in with supplies and funding, and volunteers have been working to build ever since.

From Parkview Services:

Renovating a garage into a studio apartment with a separate entrance is an expensive and time consuming job. Fortunately, local business owners have demonstrated their commitment to creating inclusive affordable housing in their community. Combined with financial support from Parkview Services, local foundations and the many donors who raised over $22,000 for Joel through his gofundme, this project is possible, and Joel will have a home for as long as he wishes to stay. Beyond Joel, this studio serves as an affordable housing rental for decades to come for other low-income people with disabilities.

The nonprofit is seeking additional help, either financially or with construction assistance. “We’ve encountered some unexpected problems over the past few months that have set us over budget. In order to finish on time, we need more money and can use your help if you are skilled in construction trades,” the group writes on their website. Contact Lauren Sabia at 206-542-6644 Ext. 151 or lauren@parkviewservices.org to help.


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