The Leader: County funds new housing project

The Leader, September 11, 2019: County funds new housing project

Advocates for low-income housing say there has been no construction of affordable apartment buildings in Jefferson County in the last decade, a drought the County Commission took steps to end this week, more than a year after declaring an affordable housing emergency.

The Jefferson County Board of Commissioners on Sept. 8 approved the sale of a parcel of land at the corner of Hendricks and 7th Street in Port Townsend to OlyCAP to build 44 units of affordable housing with an early childhood education center.

The Commission also released $75,000 from the county’s affordable housing fund—collected from transaction recording fees—to help OlyCAP demonstrate to federal agencies that it has support and funding to get started.

The last affordable housing project in Jefferson County was South Seven Senior Village near Port Hadlock, built in 2006, according to a press release from OlyCAP.

The funding was previously approved by the Joint Oversight Board on homelessness and affordable housing, which includes members of both the county commission and city council and prioritizes solving the affordable housing crisis in Jefferson County.

The half-acre property is adjacent to the county’s Department of Community Development and QFC. It was originally purchased in 2002 for $3.1 million with two other parcels which currently house DCD and the county’s public health department.

Most recently, the parcel has been used by Jefferson Healthcare for parking. It was recently valued at $362,280 by the county assessor.


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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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