Low income housing development gets green light

A mixed-use development that includes 80 units of low income housing is moving forward.  The design for Urness House at 1753 NW 56th Street was just approved by the Department of Planning and Development with some conditions.  Urness House will have to integrate architectural designs that pay tribute to the neighborhood’s history and character as well as take safety steps to protect pedestrians and drivers.

A look at the proposed Urness House.

The development will house chronically homeless men and women.  Compass Housing Alliance says there will be a screening process and 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.   The first two floors of the facility will be support services for residents and non-residents.  You can read our previous coverage of this story here and here.

Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

117 thoughts to “Low income housing development gets green light”

  1. My condolences to anyone that bought property in the neigborhood. You chose to invest in Ballard, and Ballard just just gave you the middle finger. You need to realize that Ballard belongs to the renters and the homeless. Silly, home buyer.

  2. Welcome free loading hobos and sex offenders. Gun ownership just went up in Ballard!

    Will they be doing drug testing to continue residence each week?

  3. I am glad that these services will be available in Ballard, let my voice stand in contrast to the nimby paranoia seen in other comments!

  4. Why no big box condo comments? So its a crime to build a big box for condos, but when its a big box for poor people its ok?

  5. Congratulations to the Compass Center and to Ballard – we need a facility like this.

    I wonder how many on this Board who are trashing the Compass Center and making jokes about hobos, etc. (it’s all so tiring) have actually toured their facilities or attended the meetings or actually talked to residents and business owners who live in other communities and have Compass Center facilities as their neighbors, all of whom have had nothing but great things to say about Compass Center. These are the people I really listen to – those with no skin in the game and no dog in this fight – they are the ones who have said that they much prefer having Compass Center next door than a random apartment building.

    We need this facility, and like others am glad to hear that this facility is moving forward. Welcome!

  6. This is awful. I already have to do the 100 meter bum hurdle when walking down market and there’s some nasty stuff that goes on just down the street by the 7-11. Living just down the street, as it is now I worry about my girlfriend taking our dogs out at night, let alone if this place gets built. I understand place like this need to be built somewhere but 1 block from downtown ballard? Really? Not good for local businesses.

  7. Finally, some semblance of what Ballard used to be. Middle to lower class folks just trying to live and work hard in their neighborhood. As for the rest of the bigoted commenters on this story…How about you high priced condo dwelling, haute bar food swilling, drunken yupsters that have overtaken what used to be a great middle class neighborhood go re-invade Belltown and leave the rest of us regular people in peace. Hm?

  8. Huh? Home owners own their home and property, nothing else. They chose to buy a home, consequently taking on the risk or reward of property values changing. Also, renters have just as much rights as owners in regards to the neighborhood they live in.

  9. Sweet. By the time I get around to buying a house, it’ll cost 100k less than it would have before.

    There’s really no point in trying to find a neighborhood that isn’t crime stricken in Seattle anyway, I’ve been harassed by drunk homeless people in every neighbohood I’ve visited here. Except lower Queen Anne. Why aren’t there more homeless around Seattle Center?

  10. Seattle is a city. Crime, homelessness, etc is unfortunately a part of living in a city. Stop your complaining and move to the suburbs if you really can’t deal with this.

  11. It’s better to have them housed in a safe apartment with sanitation facilities than sleeping in the parks, loading docks, and empty door ways.

  12. Thank you! I live across the street (I’m pretty sure the photo from above was taken on my front steps), and I am happy to see this facility join our neighborhood!

  13. For some reason I had thought this was going to be on the property adjacent to the old Denny’s property on NW 56th Street. This is on the west side of 17th Avenue NW. Thank goodness..Sorry West Ballard friends. :(

  14. Tally the ‘like for’ and the ‘likes against’ and I think you’ll get a pretty good picture of the true color of Ballard. Read it and weep you haters, the burbs are calling to you.

  15. we can all argue about the moral “correctness” of a place like this, but there is no way that this helps the nighborhood at all. the Ballard community? nope, sorry. i really don’t think that can be argued.

  16. I see the haters have made an effort to increase their voting, but they are still behind. Perhaps some more vitriol is in order. C’mon you guys can do better than this…

  17. You mean the vocal minority? Put it to a vote, the bums would be sent back downtown. What we don’t need to do in Ballard is import more.

  18. I have lived in this area for almost 20 years….there are very poor, homeless and near homless all over the place. Bussed in? Listen to Glenn Beck Much?

  19. Reactionary mudslingers! Institutions like this are all around you already! Wake up! With this economy more and more people will qualify for the housing, not just your paranoid bigoted view that they are ‘unemployed’ or ‘vagrant’ or ‘hobo’ or whatever….it could be your Mom, or best friend from college or YOU. This is part of what being in a community is all about. Stop the hate, contribute to your community. You might need it yourself someday!

  20. ok. so, anyway, how is this helping to make Ballard a better place to live – for the community? putting a high-rise “shelter” just off Market st is going to help the Ballard community how? who will they take off the mean streets of Ballard?

  21. By the definition of someone who hasn’t lived in a city of less than 5 million people his whole life (not LA or NYC)….600, 000 in Seattle. Big town. Ballard = sleepy suburb of that town.

    I know , to some yokels around here Ballard is like Brooklyn or the Bronx.

  22. Yeah I was wondering how the above mock-up paid tribute to the neighborhood’s history and character myself. I know it’s inevitable, but yuck I loathe those giant condo monstrosities.

  23. If this is similar to the Plymouth Housing Group’s Plymouth Place property, I don’t think we’ll see an increase in “bums” in the area at all. I’m not sure if it just wasn’t filled, but I hardly saw any milling about outside.
    If this is “mixed-use” does that mean shops/restaurants are going in underneath?

  24. oh please enlighten us all on the way you see things. All your posts have been nothing but stabs at the people who are concerned about this place being built while contributing nothing to the argument for it.

  25. It does nothing to make Ballard a better place, it makes Seattle a better place by offering transitional housing of people who want to get off the street. Try to look at the big picture here for a sec.

  26. If there’s one thing Ballard needs it’s an put patient methadone clinic! Yeah junkies, welcome!

    Folks in Ballard better start tying down everything they own when the methadoners hit town.

  27. The organization that’s bringing this homeless highrise to Ballard openly admits that they will be bringing in their “residents” from other parts of Seattle. These will NOT be the bums you already see around Ballard. These are ADDITIONAL bums, to be added to Ballard – Seattle’s new dumping ground for the undesirable.

    Open your eyes – and use your brain. The reason Ballard is now the city’s dumping ground is because of the locals are suckers. The post above (“These people are already in the neighborhood”) is EXACTLY the reason why:

    Bad things happen to your neighborhood when a critical mass of your neighbors are both willfully ignorance and naive.

  28. But these are not our existing local bums. These are bums that will be brought in from other parts of Seattle – and added to ours.

    If this would get our existing bums off the streets, I’d be all in favor of it. But this won’t. It only adds to the existing problems.

  29. Attitudes like this make me laugh even harder that I was smart enough to rent the last few years and that I can buy in a neighborhood that hasn’t just hit an iceberg, That is a titanic reference to the bigotted homeowner. Haha. Good luck.

  30. We are doing something about it. You concerned? Really? so what are you contributing? Sniveling and complaining about who moves into “your” town.

    I’m ready to roll the dice again and put more felons inside in a way that you cannot refuse.

    How do you like me now?

  31. It’s a titanic statement to assume that I paid too much for my home or that I purchased within the last few years. Hanging onto real estate as a long term investment is smarter than renting. Hands down. Ask anyone.

  32. Several somebodies here on this page thinks it is a city to which they alone-should live in. So, we started putting homeless inside Ballard in real homes with real estate transaction-sponsored privately. Since most of Ballard wants to oppose public housing, we chose to put them into your neighborhoods in a “meet the fockers” way. You cannot oppose it, real estate transactions are not subject to public disclosure laws.

  33. Thanks man! I love not working! Now i can drink all day and get wasted on crack! When I need stuff, I’ll steal it! God bless you!

  34. Sheesh! why build a new building when there are still so many vacant condo’s available around the corner? Why not just let the homeless live in the vancancies? oh my! never mind, they’d be right next door then. Better they should have their own building…..right……..let’s see, what else can the politicians spend our money on?

  35. Based on the number of bars in Ballard, I think an alcohol treatment center might be in order. And booze is a gateway drug, ya know…

  36. Suburb. You keep saying that word. I don’t think that it means what you think it does.

    I’m not sure if this has been brought to your attention, but Ballard lies within the boundaries of this city of 600,000. It would be redundant for a suburb of Seattle to be part of Seattle proper, don’t you think?

    Ballard is very much an urban cluster in a patchwork of similar nodes across the city, be they Capitol Hill, Fremont, Wallingford, the University District. etc.

  37. OK folks. Honest question. How many of you have landed a decent job with no home address to speak of? How many of you have hired another in the same predicament?

    Now place yourself in the perspective of those to be placed within this transitional housing. Those that have the desire to do so will finally have the relative stability and the facilities to actually move forward until they are able to stand on their own two feet.

    God, do you folks even read the body text before firing of with your vitriolic invective? They will be screened. There will be strict rules to abide by.

    “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” —Atticus Finch

  38. 100 years of domination….still feels like a suburb; single family homes, gardens.

    But keep up the work, it’ll be hobos and gangbangers running the place soon, every bleeding hearts wet dream.

  39. Why not put them in the condos? It’s called private property…you know, like when someone breaks in and steals your sh*t and your run crying to the cops because they ‘took my stuff’.

    Understand the concept of private property now? Pretty fundamental to the American way of life.

  40. I don’t mind it being built here if it’s run well. I think the proposed design is the true tragedy. It reminds me of 1960’s DDR (E. Berlin) apartment buildings. Ugh.

  41. my house is doing just fine! buy close to market and run this risk. pay attention to zoning and make wise choices. You can’t put the blame on anyone else.

  42. Contact Compass House and ask them questions directly. Tour their other facilities. Get up and DO something rather than sitting here speculating based on a complete lack of information that you have.

  43. and if you truly cared to do anything you would. Instead you want to put it to some imaginary “vote” and just complain on the internet rather than visit the site, talk to the organization and see what is really going on with these shelters. You may be surprised at what you find.

    Stop painting all homeless with the same brush. Sure there are the local drunks who cause problems, but you surely can’t believe they are representative of the homeless population as a whole.

  44. your mom and kid are fortunate to have you for a support system. Not everyone is so lucky as to have someone to fall back on. Shame and responsibility only carry you so far, when you’ve lost everything. Please open your eyes and look beyond the local drunks and vagrants. How can you be so hateful towards those in legitimate need.

  45. They will have 11 parking spots. So stupid I cant even see how the city could allow it for 7 story building with 40 desk spaces alone not counting kithchen staff ect. That is just one of many poor planning on the planners and Compass

  46. If you would like to see 7 story building with only 11-13 parking spaces
    You might not live or park nearby.
    If you would like to see 80 unit 7 story building of chronically homeless and sex offenders(the current compass center has huge percentage of sex offenders)
    You may not live close by.
    If you would like to this urness house to be built with very narrow access alley for all the deliveries
    You may not walk close by
    If you would like to see more homeless to the area hanging around
    You may not shop in Ballard
    If you would like to see this built
    You might live in or around Pioneer Square

    They chose Ballard because they think the residents of Ballard are made up of sheep and will go along with what ever the City Council, Mayor decides.
    If you would like to put a stop to it before it is too late then do something.
    You have to appeal the decision by next week for $50.00.
    Quit letting government’s unfair taxes and bad decisions rule you.
    Join me and many others and take a stand and say NO


  47. would you like to provide some more information on exactly where to say this “NO” to, or are you just urging us to speak a generic “NO” to the internet gods, who are kind of busy delivering people their streaming porn.

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