DESC Delridge project recommended for $500,000 state funding

October 26, 2011 at 2:45 pm | In Delridge, DESC Delridge project, West Seattle housing, West Seattle news | 26 Comments

The state Housing Trust Fund is recommending that the Downtown Emergency Service Center get a $500,000 grant for its 75-unit Delridge project to house homeless people living with mental illness. According to online records, that is the full amount that DESC sought from the state. DESC also is seeking city and county funding, and according to the website kept by Delridge Community Forum, which organized a meeting about the project 2 weeks ago, there’s a county meeting tomorrow about funding. That information is here, including who to contact with opinions about the project. DESC planned to complete the purchase of three parcels in the 5400 block of Delridge if it got funding for the project, and has said construction wouldn’t start any sooner than next fall.

26 Comments

  1. How about those of us whose property values will be impacted receive state funding?

    Comment by Delridgian — 3:29 pm October 26, 2011 #

  2. It is so frustrating that the concerns of the people who actually LIVE in this neighborhood like myself are being ignored. This is being forced upon us. It is not the right area for many reasons! The only good reasons FOR THE DEVELOPER are that land is cheap and the people aren’t able to mount a good fight. This is not what this fragile community needs. No one with clout seems to care about the impact of 75 mentally ill people, many of whom are drug users, on our community. As a resident raising my family here, I care very much and am sick about it.

    Comment by WS Mama — 3:38 pm October 26, 2011 #

  3. There’s no evidence that property values go down when projects like this go into neighborhoods like Delridge, even though people always worry about this.

    And, in case you didn’t notice, the government already gives you lots of money to own your home, such as a the mortgage deduction and the heavy subsidy your tax dollars provide to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, without which the entire mortgage industry would disappear. Why do people like you always have to pick on the poor and discount how much money the government gives you to own your home?

    This project will likely add improved security and a nice looking place in a neighborhood that needs these types of improvements.

    Comment by Perry — 5:35 pm October 26, 2011 #

  4. And Boren school will be reopening right down the street with up to 1000 elementary kids next year (Sept 2012) as an interim site at least until 2016. Kids will have to walk if they live within the 1 mile walk zone. Not much mention of this…

    Comment by tk — 5:53 pm October 26, 2011 #

  5. Genuinely curious, Perry, as to how this project would add improved security to the neighborhood?

    Comment by bolo — 6:00 pm October 26, 2011 #

  6. Oh, terrific.
    /sarcasm

    Comment by MaryCooks — 6:34 pm October 26, 2011 #

  7. Hummm…Perry, you obviously are not a home owner… I don’t see any breaks owning a home….. My value has gone down, yet my property taxes stay the same…. I think apt dwellers have it best… Have a problem, call your landlord….

    Anyway, this project is not situated in the right place! No grocery store, no pharmacy for all those mentally ills to get their meds, no bus to get them to the junction for these services. Come on people, just because you can buy the land cheaper on Delridge, doesn’t mean it’s a good place to put this type of project! DESC who the hell are you and what kind of idiots are running your projects?

    Comment by MP — 6:56 pm October 26, 2011 #

  8. Gee Perry I wonder how people got mortgages before 1972 without GSE’s? Why do people like DESC and the city have to pick on the poor of Delridge by rounding up the poor of downtown and saddling our low income neighborhood with it’s warehouse? That’s the real question.

    Comment by Taxed to prosperity — 6:58 pm October 26, 2011 #

  9. MP & Taxed to Prosperity, I completely agree with both of you. Perry, engage brain. This isn’t some “not in my back yard” nonsense. It’s a matter of facts. I live directly accrosd the street from a heavily frequented bus stop & have seen countless drug deals. Frankly, that’s tollerable compared to having the destructive burglary and violent crime I see far too often. The fact of the matter is: a) there aren’t services like convenient bus routes to grocery, pharmacy, etc,; b) the emergency services we have are maxed out; c) there’s more thuggery in this neighborhood, making it unsafe (fact), than we know what to do with. Additionally, given the seemingly laxed approach the agency running the other existing facilities, adding such a property to this area would not only exasserbate the existing troubles of the neighborhood, but likely those of the proposed facility’s inhabitants (i.e., current drug dealer issues at the Seattle Housing Auth.). However, Perry, you are right about one thing, there’s nothing wrong with being poor. Honest, hard-working folks that truly want a better life for themselves and their families are what make up the majority of this great nation. However, in many cases, those aren’t the qualities of the residents of such properties as DESC. For the sake of arguement, you don’t live in Delridge, do ya, Perry?

    Comment by NorthDelridgeOG — 9:36 pm October 26, 2011 #

  10. If you want to have an impact on county funds for this project, you can comment at a county funding meeting on Thurs. Oct. 27th at the Mercer Island Community Center 8236 SE 24th Street
    Mercer Island, WA 98040
    -
    Be sure to speak up and get your comments on the record if you attend.
    -
    Just found out about this through the organization called Delridge Community Forums who sadly has not stepped up beyond giving the DESC and the city officials who whole-heartedly support them the podium at their recent “community” meeting. Neighbors barely got to say a word. It was dominated with DESC propaganda in the name of appearing “neutral”.
    -
    It’s an extremely last minute notification from the DCF who took on the role of keeping the community informed and up to date on the DESC topic, but if you can make it across the water–most of us have to work and couldn’t possibly get time off with this little notice–you might get a chance to say how you feel about county funding.
    -
    DESC projects are primarily funded with tax payer dollars. Millions of tax payer dollars. http://www.desc.org/annualreport.html Over 13M in 2010 in public grants and contracts.
    -
    You can also write letters to these officials who have said they will read your concerns. Please direct your energy toward these public funding sources as that can make a difference:
    -
    Washington State
    Janet Masella, Department of Commerce
    janet.masella@commerce.wa.gov
    -
    City of Seattle
    Rick Hooper, Director, Office of Housing
    rick.hooper@seattle.gov
    -
    King County
    Cheryl Markham, Program Manager, Housing and Community Development
    cheryl.markham@kingcounty.gov
    -
    John DeChadenedes*
    Coordinator of King County Funding
    john.dechadenedes@kingcounty.gov

    Comment by I heart Delridge — 10:20 pm October 26, 2011 #

  11. MP – my understanding is that the DESC residents will have their own transportation (a DESC bus) to get to the pharmacy and grocery store.

    Comment by del neighbor — 10:22 pm October 26, 2011 #

  12. del neighbor,
    -
    Yes, 1x per week public funds will pay for a van to shuttle 75 residents from this project to a grocery store.
    -
    Meanwhile, long-time, low-income North Delridge residents can only shop for food at a gas station.
    -
    And, watch this video http://www.seattlechannel.org/CityInsideOut/videos.asp?program=3061118 where experts, including DESC Exec. Dir. state that these projects “should not happen just anywhere outside of the downtown core” but should be in “walking distance of a grocery store, good public transportation,” etc.
    -
    DESC Exec. Director stated in a public mtg that convenience stores are harmful for his clients and that they should have walkable access to a “major super market” to have a chance at normal socialization. This project would be directly across the street from a gas station AND a convenience store. Plus, bus service is poor in Delridge.
    -
    Neither the project nor the neighborhood can support one another. Bad timing, bad idea. Bad logic.

    Comment by I heart Delridge — 10:38 pm October 26, 2011 #

  13. Hummm…MP, you obviously are not a home owner…if you don’t see any breaks owning a home. If you were a homeowner you certainly would be aware of the mortgage interest deduction. And you would be learning that home values are cyclical…if you bought at the top of the bubble, you will have to hang in there for a while.
    Perry is also correct in that homeowners do receive subsidies.

    MP should check his King County Property Taxes. He will certainly see a reduction in the Assessor’s valuation of his property and taxes reduced. But, what does this have to do with DESC?

    The North Delridge Original Gangster denies being NIMBY, then: a) makes the same false and tired charge about no buses, when the facility will provide its own transportation; b)claims without any proof that emergency services are “maxed out” while this blog constantly reminds us of how functional our emergency services truly are; c)brings up thuggery in his hood that makes it unsafe, whatever that has to do with DESC?
    The chirps of “property values” declining can be proven false and are a NIMBY standby.

    These are all classic NIMBY complaints.

    Comment by Seattle NIMBY — 12:22 am October 27, 2011 #

  14. I have just posted some demographic research at:
    http://aconcerneddelridgeneighbor.wordpress.com/

    I believe that the census data shows that the DESC project does not meet the intent of the Housing Element of the Consolidated Plan, as implemented by the Office of Housing, to distribute very low income housing throughout the city. The census data seems to support my and my neighbors’ intuitive feeling that this area of Delridge already has a significant number of extremely low income households.

    I am not a demographer, so would love feedback on the data.

    Comment by Delridge Neighbor — 12:59 am October 27, 2011 #

  15. Put it in ballard

    Comment by nick — 6:17 am October 27, 2011 #

  16. I recently was at a mental health community fair and spoke to a young woman manning the DESC booth. I said that I thought the Delridge location was poor because the folks would have no access to supermarket, bank, and other services. She said that they didn’t need these nearby because vans would drive them. I said this was counterproductive if you’re trying to teach residents how to function in the world……it seems to me that walking to stores, having a bank account, and being part of a neighborhood would be important. I also mentioned all the drug activity in front of the Delridge Library at the bus stop and similar at the convenience stores. She said that didn’t matter either, since the folks would be supervised. I said it sounded to me like they were in prison if they only could go out into the community with supervision and a van. If a remember correctly, DESC was not “promising” this type of supervision when they originally requested the site. Seems to me they’ve realized it is a poor location, and so now they are trying to compensate with vans and more DESC staff supervision. I then talked to the young lady about “why not putting a facility in Laurelhurst or Magnolia?” “why only in low-income neighborhoods?” She got defensive and said that DESC projects are “all over, not just in poor neighborhoods.” Then she showed me a map which showed their projects in Belltown and such. Guess Belltown is more upscale than Deldridge in the eyes of DESC…..

    Comment by iggy — 7:18 am October 27, 2011 #

  17. Write letters this morning to people who make funding decisions. See my earlier post. Make your voices heard.

    Comment by I heart Delridge — 8:07 am October 27, 2011 #

  18. Thanks to those of you who took time to post ways we can make our voices heard. I certainly don’t think Delridge is the right place and fully intend on putting my two cents in at each and every one of the sources you mentioned.

    Comment by LA — 10:20 am October 27, 2011 #

  19. I’ve been in the West Seattle/White Center area for several decades and have always been sick and tired of Seattle and King County using us as a dumping ground for low income housing and other projects that the Wealthier neigborhoods will never allow in their areas. Why don’t they locate this project in Magnolia or Madison Park or even the Leschi area, at least there they’d be close to hospitals and shopping? I agree that Delridge has more than it’s fair share of low income housing and enough is enough of being dumped on for everything.

    Comment by Klause — 10:57 am October 27, 2011 #

  20. Klause,
    If you have lived here long then you surely are forgetting that it has NOT been a particularly rough decade for Delridge getting things dumped on by Seattle and King County.
    On the contrary, it was a record breaking time of re-development moneys flowing in.
    I can think of a beautiful new library, a new neighborhood center, a brand new skate park, a new community center, new state of the art athletic fields, restored wetlands, the Longfellow Creek Trail, public art installations, the newly converted multi-use old Cooper School, Sanislo Elementary, the construction of the new Cooper School and considerable green areas protected from development.
    As far as businesses go, there has been a dumping of going concerns – Home Depot, several new coffee shops, new restaurants, the Sports Fitness Center, a music venue/bar/restaurant, and several small businesses.
    A notorious stolen goods fencing operation has been eliminated as have several run down houses which have been replace by new, nicer low income housing.
    Magnolia, Madison Park or Leschi have seen no such money ‘dumping’ by the city and county.

    Comment by Seattle NIMBY — 12:25 pm October 27, 2011 #

  21. @Klause

    Perhaps? just perhaps… West Seattle is the neighborhood that really CARES about people! ???
    .
    I would like to think that we are.
    .
    !

    Comment by Kevin — 1:34 pm October 27, 2011 #

  22. It doesn’t strike anyone as odd that a public meeting for a proposed Delridge project is being held on …Mercer Island? Heck, if they really don’t want to hear from the affected neighbors, they should hold it in Bellingham!

    Comment by roaster — 3:49 pm October 27, 2011 #

  23. NIMBY & Kevin: I’m not saying that we are against “People” and it’s not only People that I’m talking about when I say we get dumped on. It’s all the different projects over time (you two probably haven’t been around long enough to know what I’m talking about)that Seattle & King County keep wanting to dump on us.
    NIMBY: I didn’t say Delridge hasn’t received anything good, but just take a look at what they are trying to dump on you now. Yes Delridge has received a few good things, but it hasn’t changed much since the 1960′s. You guys only see the here and now. Yes, it’s nice to be able to take in the poor and needy, but when is enough? A community can only take so much.

    Comment by Klause — 3:56 pm October 27, 2011 #

  24. @I Heart Delridge & others,
    .
    Delridge Community Forum is an all-volunteer group of your neighbors doing its best to gather all this information on our own. Everyone is WELCOME to join us to help get the word out about this project and inform the community about FACTS, and not fictions.
    .
    We thank the 100+ neighbors who attended the first forum. We acknowledge some of the problems and heard comments and suggestions.
    .
    We are working hard to post answers to the questions that were submitted, provide contact information to staff and electeds who need to hear your feedback, AND to plan a second forum that will feature neighbors of other DESC facilities in the city to get “their side” of the story. Stay tuned…

    Comment by Mickymse — 4:11 pm October 27, 2011 #

  25. Mickymse – Your group of well intended, yet naive people did everything possible to appease the DESC. You lost your credibility of being an unbiased group after the ‘Forum’ at the YCAC. The DESC and City stole that show. Meanwhile, the funding train from the City, County and State was leaving the station.
    .
    Your group did your best at trying to tamp down the nearby neighbors of this project who have at a minimum been very concerned, with most being outright angry. You missed an opportunity to empower a historically powerless, poor and minority neighborhood. Fail.
    .
    It is time to get serious and start playing hardball. Stay tuned…

    Comment by Been There — 10:37 am October 28, 2011 #

  26. There is an immense amount of public housing (SHA housing) in this area. Many hundreds of units in Highpoint, just a couple blocks away. It is entirely inappropriate to concentrate public housing in such proximity instead of spreading it out. Unless Delridge is the only place where the residents can get access to the services they need, I say build it in another location without such a high concentration of poverty and subsidized housing.

    Comment by skeeter — 11:28 am October 28, 2011 #

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