$11 Million property listing in South Lake Union could help pay for homeless housing
SEATTLE - A property sale in one of Seattle’s fastest growing neighborhoods could help pay for some major housing for the homeless.
Mayor Jenny Durkan on Wednesday announced a plan to put some of an $11 million sale of a former city IT building toward tiny houses and rental assistance.
“It’s a crisis that demands urgent action and on where there’s no silver bullet and no one solution,” Durkan said during a news conference at Seattle Vocational Institute.
Standing in front of a tiny house being built at the school Durkan presented her “Building a Bridge to Housing for All” plan.
Durkan said she would like to see the homeless out of tents and into tiny houses, which she admits isn’t the answer to the city’s housing crisis.
“First we have to understand this is just a bridge,” Durkan said, as she was flanked by city leaders and city councilmembers. “We know that tiny houses and micro-houses are not a solution for long-term and supportive housing that many of the people living in the streets need.”
Gerald Brooks, who lived in a tiny house in North Seattle’s Licton Springs neighborhood, said the four walls, roof and electricity made all the difference in his life.
Before a tiny house Brooks lived in a tent. He said living in the city-subsidized house not only gave him a dry place to safely store his property, but gave him a sense of dignity.
“I lost my sense of dignity. You know I’m not a bad person at all it just happened to me like this and I’m glad to be here,” Brooks said after the news conference.
Brooks briefly addressed the news conference crowd, thanking the city for the housing option.
Inside a Nickelsville camp in Georgetown on Wednesday Harold Odom walked his dog and chatted with other residents.
Odom calls a cheerfully painted yellow and blue house home a drastic improvement from where he was not long ago.
Odom had lived under a bridge for more than a year, battling addictions and health problems.
“It’s like going from the street to an apartment building. If you want to imagine that,” he said about his Nickelsville camp.