LIHI Plans Tiny Houses for Homeless on Market St.

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This topic contains 58 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  JM98107 3 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #82159

    KS
    Participant

    Just read this blurb in Sustainable Ballard’s newsletter:

    “Seattle’s Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) recently announced that they have reached an agreement to build a Tiny House Community in Seattle’s Central District this fall … We have recently learned that LIHI also has plans to build and place six or more of these tiny homes on Market Street […] This important project will provide a safe place to live for people currently living on the streets.”

    Unclear what this means. Is this the site originally planned for the encampment or a different site on Market St.?

    #82163

    JM98107
    Participant

    Nickelsville on Dearborn St has tiny tool sheds for housing and some tents.

    #82189

    Anonymous

    It’s referring to the original Market Street site, but they’re jumping the gun since the city is currently in the process of working with a committee to find an alternate site.

    #82193

    Marigold
    Participant

    CR, according to whom? What committee? Who is on it? Has there been a public announcement? Are they going to just spring an “alternative” site on another neighborhood without public discussion again?

    #82197

    Ernie
    Participant

    Good question Marigold, just who is on this secret committee that is “working” with the city on an alternate site?

    #82198

    The Bunny
    Participant

    I called LIHI. They did confirm they are intended for the encampment at the Market St. substation. I asked if they have a “ship date” and the answer is no because they understand the site has not been confirmed. What’s alarming is they (for all intensive purposes) are allocated to Ballard. So it would seem to me they (I’m talking about the Mayor’s office/city council, not LIHI) are just trying to let this issue “die down” and then will make the decision.. as if one has not been made already. Have you seen the substation site? Soil has been extracted and backfilled. It’s ready to go. I’m pretty sure that’s where it’s going. I’m not confident the mayor is backing off this position. He has not said one word on this specific issue at all (the site selection controversy). No comments. Nothing. So why would I think any different?

    #82199

    JM98107
    Participant

    This morning, I was looking at the mess under the north end of the Ballard Bridge and a bum popped out, like a prairie dog, from under a heap of junk. It was pretty comical when he threw an orange at the neighboring pile of trash and then sunk back under his pile.

    Who is going to clean-up the transient garbage?

    #82202

    VeganBiker
    Participant

    JM98107 – I am sure it will be the city that cleans up the mess, that is what normally happens at these locations. Last time I saw a cleanup under the Ballard Bridge down by NW 46th, there was a HUGE pile of stuff with a couple of transients sitting in it with about 6 SPU workers removing the mess and two Seattle Police officers looking concerned. We pay for all of that.
    It really bothers me that these transients create so much mess and do not clean it up! I noticed last week a motor home/camper at 14th and 45th that had a huge pile of stuff in front of it and across the street from it and two guys sitting in chairs just having a good old time. What the heck is going on.
    We have had a car full of crap on 29th by Adams for almost two weeks, the city has put an orange warning sticker on it but it is still there yesterday.

    #82205

    The Bunny
    Participant

    This is an endemic problem to our and many areas in the city because the city council (aka the mayor and our district 6 council member) have been permissive of this and basically the police are remiss to enforce simple laws to curb this behavior because the city interferes in the process. Talking with a beat officer in Ballard last week, I asked why he does not enforce some simple rules like this right in front of him. His answer was “this is what the city wants.” I’ve tested this logic through officers I talk with as well as calling Cruzan at north precinct. I’ve been trying to get a few specific (one in particular) vehicle moved right here in super central Ballard right by where I live. Been parked for over a month. This car has been doing this for years. Parking is ridiculously limited here. They put the orange sticker on it. They owner removed it. No change/no enforcement. The police are lax in enforcing this because we (the city) end up paying for the very fines the city levies on them. Our district rep (Mike O’Brien) supports this program that provides funds to pay these fines. I asked over email about it and he directed me here to which he supports http://www.seattle.gov/council/issues/RoadtoHousing.html. So why would police want to enforce anything on these RV’ers, car campers, etc. that are clearly taking advantage? Until the city council members change and the mayor changes (change meaning their behavior or vote them out), I do not see this problem getting better. Just much much worse.

    #82206

    Anonymous

    Marigold, it was announced at the Leif Erickson meeting that the city was willing to consider alternate sites. An ad-hoc committee made up of stakeholders from the Ballard Chamber, the homeless/hunger task force, a neighborhood representative and a few others has met a couple of times to discuss other possible sites in Ballard. MyBallard ran a story a week or so ago identifying the sites. There are about half a dozen.

    Those discussions are ongoing at the moment. I think there could be a decision as early as next week. But at this point, as far as I know, the Market Street is not a done deal.

    Re the messes the city cleans up: I walked down the side of the Magnolia Bridge where the homeless woman was killed last week and there’s a big mess of garbage, clothing, food containers and other items left there that the city now has to clean up. It’s a pretty disgusting, smelly mess.

    VB, have you seen the big pile of stuff dumped on 9th near Leary?

    #82210

    JM98107
    Participant

    Too bad we can’t post pitures here because it’s easier than typing 1,000 words.

    #82213

    Marigold
    Participant

    CR, I saw that article but my take was that those other sites were taken off the table because of various reasons. The site by bright Street for example is in a right-of-way, Ballard Blocks II is private property, one was up next to Ballard Terminal Railroad.

    I guess we’ll find out but if the Market Street site is abandoned because of public outcry then the example the city sets is that the next site can be challenged and overturned as well. It’s nothing but a hot potato now…

    #82214

    Anonymous

    Marigold, I know that some of the sites are off the table, but as far as I know not all of them are.

    The city brought the backlash on itself by showing a complete disregard for the community in how it handled the site selection process. The Ballard Chamber of Commerce has been working closely with the city for more than two years on a new urban development framework for Ballard and only heard about the proposed sites two hours before the press release about them was sent out. City leaders need to learn that they can’t just steamroll something as important as this through and expect the community to just roll over.

    #82215

    KS
    Participant

    Private sites were not included on the city’s list to the best of what I have been able to determine but the city has been obscure about what it did and did not consider and also about what factors they used to disqualify specific sites and to rank the acceptable sites. In their letter to City Council they alluded to a ranking system but did not provide detail and City Council did not ask.

    City Council passed an ordinance authorizing sale or condemnation of the Yankee Grill (Diner) property in February for a Combined Sewage Overflow tank or tunnel facility. The city acquired the property in late April or beginning of May.

    Essentially DPD appears to be saying now that if not the Market St. site in Ballard then another site as long as it is in Ballard — even though the sites were not on the list of those that the city initially identified as the seven best (the preferred and alternate site lists). To me this raises the issue of whether the city is acting in an unlawfully arbitrary and capricious manner in response to public concerns and comments and I believe litigation with accompanying discovery might uncover that.

    Note that DPD and HSD have published their proposed rule and now the minimum (14 day) period has passed they can move forward. It was wholly inadequate in discussing how decision makers should evaluate whether the site identified by an applicant is appropriate. When city officials had meetings with the public in August they did not tell the public that this rulemaking was published and that they could or should comment. I had to read their land bulletin to figure it out. I only discovered the rule after the minimum 14 day waiting period (for final implementation) had passed but I submitted a comment anyway given that the rule did not appear to be signed or finalized. They have not acknowledged my comment.

    #82219

    Anonymous

    Private sites weren’t included on the city’s list, but the city has since said it would consider privately owned land as well.

    On another note, the HuffPo published a story about a development of cottages that are being built in Dallas for chronically homeless people. This seems like a fantastic, cost-effective idea. We could be doing this in Seattle; instead, we’re throwing up tent encampments and wasting money that could instead be spent on building low-cost, sustainable housing for homeless people. Even Texas gets it, but we don’t.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/cottages-for-homeless-will-save-dallas-taxpayers-about-13-million_55d4bc9ce4b0ab468d9f5765?kvcommref=mostpopular

    #82236

    Salmon Bay
    Participant

    The solution for homelessness is homes. The city really needs to get on the stick with building suitable housing.

    In the short term, lacking these homes, the city needs to find a safer solution than people camping under bridges and living on the street. That is the function of the tent encampments. Everyone concedes they are not a solution to homelessness.

    It is a pity that so many people are wasting the city’s time and money fighting these temporary emergency encampments that provide a safer place for people to live.

    It is encouraging to hear the recent dialogue from the city discussing requirements for developers to require low income housing in developments. Hopefully they can abolish the archaic parking requirements as an incentive for developers to build low income housing. Perhaps some of the developers could get credits for converting already built underutilised onsite parking spaces into low income housing.

    #82237

    Anonymous

    I disagree, obviously. I don’t think communities should have the city’s failure to deal with homelessness foisted upon them in the form of tent encampments, which completely fail homeless people. It’s appalling that this is the city’s response to the homeless crisis. Are any other cities in the country setting up tent encampments as an appropriate solution to homelessness? I haven’t heard of any doing that. Why? Because they don’t work.

    There are other, better ways to provide shelter. I’d like to see the city get creative and start exploring those. I like your suggestion about giving developers credits for converting unused parking into low-income housing. Or maybe those areas could be used to house tiny homes. Maybe there are hotels or apartment buildings the city could renovate to provide housing.

    Tent cities are not the answer. The three the city is planning will only serve what, 200 people? That’s a drop in the bucket. And I’ve said it many times – continuing to pursue the same policies that led us to the current crisis makes absolutely no sense. Setting up “self-governing” communities is not the answer. It’s ridiculous that we’re even talking about this.

    #82238

    JM98107
    Participant

    A bum is bum and nothing more. Are these guys refugees from Yemen or Syria? No, they are only shuffling from a can of beer to the next beer. It is sad to see someone completely destroy a perfectly good body, but that is the truth.

    #82239

    Salmon Bay
    Participant

    Yes, it is ridiculous that we are even talking about this. Is it better to have people camp under a bridge or in an organized tent encampment? Organizing a temporary tent encampment should be fast and easy and allow the city to move on to find better solutions while homeless people that live in tents have a safer place to live. Period.

    #82240

    Edog
    Participant

    I disagree, obviously. I don’t think communities…..’s failure to deal with homelessness foisted upon them in the form ….. fail homeless people. It’s appalling ….crisis.

    Tent cities are not ….. 200 people? That’s a drop in…. And I’ve said it many times – Setting u…. is not the answer. It’s ridiculous…. this.

    Compass Rose – SHUT UP, SHUT UP, SHUT UP Already! [DOG JUMPs Up and Down and STAMPS FEET with hands over ears]

    Nobody wants to hear your tired old rant anymore! Just move back to Vancouver so you can find the past you are so desperate to live in!

    P.S. Next time you find a pile of bum trash, please pick up a big bag of it, and hit yourself in the face with it. And before you take offense to that suggestion, remind yourself, the self flagellation you practice here could not be any worse than a swift kick in the a*s from a hobo’s boot bindle! Moreover its something you’ve earned!

    #82241

    JM98107
    Participant

    Doggie is back! Woof.

    I sam sick of the hobos asking for money because they are too stupid and lazy to work. Getting high every day isn’t a good career move. When you’re trashing the community then your stupidity becomes our business.

    #82242

    JM98107
    Participant

    Why do the taxpayers have to foot the bill for the hobo comp? How is recruiting more white trash zombies going to improve Ballard? More car prowls? More fighting? More assaults and murders? It’s a total waste of effort and money. Dancing at the zombie zoo.

    #82243

    Anonymous

    Sure, SB. Let’s keep on setting up tent encampments and expecting a different result. Let’s not ask how the city plans to deal with the increasing numbers of chronically homeless, mentally ill and addicted people. Let’s just assume that establishing self-governing communities run by an activist organization is somehow going to help.

    Let’s not question why the city hasn’t built more Housing First developments in the past decade. Let’s not ask why Seattle hasn’t followed other cities’ leads in diverting funding away from intervention measures and into sustainble long-term solutions. Let’s not ask how the $40M a year Seattle is spending on homelessness is effectively addressing the problem.

    Let’s just continue on doing what we’ve been doing for the past decade and magically thinking things will change.

    FFS.

    #82244

    Salmon Bay
    Participant

    Compass Rose, I’m not sure if you truly don’t understand or you are just being obtuse. The only result that is expected from a tent encampment is that people have a safer place to live. Everyone, including the mayor and the city council agrees that tent encampments are not a solution to homelessness.

    #82245

    Anonymous

    Then why continue what is demonstrably not an effective approach, SB? We could set up 20 encampments in the city and they probably still wouldn’t accommodate all the homeless people, nor would they be a long-term solution. It’s pretty simple: at some point, we need to take a different approach. That means making some difficult choices.

    I think you’re the one who doesn’t get it.

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