Compass Housing Alliance (formerly Compass Center) has released details on their new low-income housing development at 1753 NW 56th St., which will be called Urness House.
The 80-unit mixed-use building will house chronically homeless men and women. There will be a screening process for those who wish to live there. All residents must pass the tax credit eligibility criteria and be able to live on their own. A person who has been convicted of arson within the last ten years or is a level 3 sex offender will not be allowed into Urness House, according to a release sent by Compass Housing Alliance. “An application will be forwarded for review in the event that the record indicates a conviction of a crime that requires registration as a sex offender, other serious crimes, or a continued pattern of criminal convictions which indicate that the applicant for residency poses a risk to the safety of tenants, staff or neighbors,” the release explains.
The first two floors of the facility will be support services for residents and non-residents. Social workers, addiction counselors, mental health professionals, healthcare providers and employment specialists will work out of these offices. These human services will not be provided by Compass Housing Authority, but by outside organizations.
“The goal of Urness House is to promote the health and housing success of the 80 residents,” states the release, “To achieve this goal, supportive services will be offered on site and Urness House will be staffed 24 hours per day. Our experience with similar projects is that the provision of confidential, on-site support services is’ important for this population’s transition from homelessness to independent and healthier living.”
Compass is proposing 11 parking spots, which in their experience, should be adequate for the human service providers. Car ownership by residents, according to the release, is extremely rare. There are several transit options in the immediate vicinity.
Compass owns a half-dozen permanent housing facilities in King County for people trying to get back on their feet. “Maintaining positive relationships with our neighbors is important for Compass generally and for Urness House,” states the release. To do this, Compass offers to create a community advisory board for Urness House. This board will give neighbors a place to offer suggestions and voice concerns. “The management of Compass and the Urness House staff are committed to being good neighbors to Ballard,” the release states.