HOMES NOW… OR, PARTY DOWN?
PORT TOWNSEND - A group described by Proposition 1 proponents as an “ideal vehicle” for possibly millions of dollars collected from higher property taxes is using taxpayer money for a post-election retreat.
A public records request has unearthed a grant from the City of Port Townsend to Homeward Bound for $30,000. The grant is described as a contract, but simply gives money for unspecified “work” that includes $5,000 for a post-election retreat.
Homeward Bound is the organization behind the $1.6 million “Cherry Street Project” in Port Townsend. This is a four-unit apartment building barged from Victoria, B.C. that has been sitting idle and uninhabitable on stacks of wooden blocks since early May. (The $1.6 million is calculated from all costs of the project: purchase, transportation and staging of the building, final construction and foundation, the $600,000 cost of the land and interest charges).
PORT HADLOCK - Bayside Housing Services, a temporary housing program that provides short-term housing to those in need, recently completed their first successful fundraising drive on October 2nd. $65,000 was raised all together; $35,000 being raised by donation plus a $30,000 match pool.
After sitting empty for years, the Old Alcohol Plant was a great choice to be used for temporary housing as well as a community gathering place.
BHS rents one floor of the historic building to be used for this transitional housing model. The model has been used in other areas of the country and has worked well giving people the opportunity to transition out of homelessness and into permanent housing. Bayside’s mission is to provide safe, temporary supportive housing so people in need can secure permanent housing.
Guests of the program sign agreements of 28 days and are able to renew with program director approval. Priorities are given to veterans, seniors, and low income or low wage earners in Jefferson County.
The non-profit accepts donations of time, money, and supplies. You can visit them on the web at www.baysidehousing.org for more information.
Want Affordable Housing? Say No to Prop 1 and Yes to City Unplanning
By Jessica Hogenson
PORT LUDLOW - Proposition 1 would impose a county-wide property tax to create a $13 million fund for groups promising to build affordable housing in Port Townsend. The seven-year tax levy would regressively tax low-income homeowners at the same rate as people with million dollar houses.
What projects are proposed by Prop 1? None, apparently. “Prop 1 is nothing other than a levy to create a dedicated fund," writes City Councilmember David J. Faber in a Facebook group about affordable housing. "No project has applied for funds because they cannot because the fund does not yet exist.”
Homes Now, the organizer behind Prop 1, references on its website a handful of local nonprofits that may or may not apply for grants which may or may not be awarded at the discretion of a “Fund Board” comprising yet-to-be-appointed persons. (But only after we vote for the funding!)
Olycap is one such nonprofit—a beloved local organization which, by all accounts, does good work. One would hope. According to its 2015 IRS 990 tax return, it spent more than twice as much in salaries and compensation ($4.11 million) as it spent on grants ($1.83 million).
It's best to KNOW PROP 1 before you vote this coming November. We are posting a series of articles titled "KNOW PROP 1" before November's elections so you can be better informed when it comes time to vote.
Overview: Progressive Strategies NW has been asked to provide an analysis of the viability of a countywide ballot measure in support of affordable housing in Jefferson County, Washington. This analysis will also analyze the relative viability for the measure countywide versus in Jefferson County’s lone municipality, Port Townsend. The overall purpose will be to establish countywide viability (and juxtapose it with the likely fortunes of a Port Townsend-specific campaign), the best option for tax structure, and most importantly, what resources and approaches would be required to run an effective campaign.
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