No Homeless Housing Coming to Pasco, At Least For Now
Tuesday night, by a vote of 4-3 the Pasco City Council voted down a proposal that would have sold a parcel of land in East Pasco along Heritage Boulevard to Catholic Charities. (Image courtesy of Tri City Area Journal of Business).
It would have been used to build a 50-unit four story structure that would provide screened tenants a way to rebuild their lives, get off the street ,and have access to needed services. However, many in the community resisted. No concrete blueprints or final set in stone plans had been released but the initial plan was for a four story structure, as seen in this initial artist rendering.
Some said they didn't want this massive building looking down on them; some residents who've lived in the area for years said it would be an eyesore. Others felt it was an attempt by the city to make money. City officials have said that parcel of land has been difficult to sell. However, reports indicate some council members said they were influenced by the extensive feedback from residents, and voted no.
A statement released by the City Council Wednesday read in part: (referring to their Tuesday night meeting)
"...The main subject of discussion was agenda item 8b regarding the possible sale of City property along Heritage Boulevard to Catholic Charities - Eastern Washington. Catholic Charities’ intended use of the property was for a supportive housing project that would have served chronically homeless individuals using the housing first model. Council heard from Catholic Charities and a member of the public against the project at last night’s meeting in addition to members of the community speaking either in support or opposition to this project (or the location) at the January 14 Workshop. Ultimately, Council voted 4 to 3 to deny the sale of the property. Catholic Charities has indicated they will continue to work to locate this project in Pasco."
Officials with the Charity now say their next effort will be to find another area of land on which to plan and build such a center. Many opponents of the plan said they were open to a scaled down, less invasive structure; one located in an area that would be less "disruptive" to the East Pasco community.