Kenmore’s canceled affordable housing project draws sharp criticism
Kenmore's canceled affordable housing project draws sharp criticism The Seattle Times
City of Kenmore Faces Backlash for Rejecting Affordable Housing Project
More than a year ago, the city of Kenmore made a choice to invest in affordable housing — even setting aside land and millions of dollars to make it happen — but when constituents showed up in force to fight the project, city leaders caved to the pressure.
Now, state and local officials and affordable housing advocates are strongly denouncing Kenmore’s actions. And it could propel into law a new Washington House bill that would add state oversight to prevent cities from doing the same in the future.
City staff and nonprofit Plymouth Housing spent more than 20 months on the fully funded project that would have created 100 units of affordable housing in an area that needs hundreds more.
Leaders across the region said negative stigmas around poverty, public outcry and not-in-my-backyard attitudes cannot dictate the region’s ability to meet its affordable housing goals and decrease its homeless population as the crisis becomes deadlier than ever.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Addressed:
- Goal 1: No Poverty
- Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
- Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals
Denouncement of Kenmore’s Actions
- King County Executive Dow Constantine called the City Council’s actions “profoundly irresponsible.”
- Michele Thomas, the director of policy and advocacy for the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance, called Kenmore’s decision “particularly devastating.”
- Patience Malaba, leader of the Housing Development Consortium, said the Kenmore City Council “failed residents struggling the most.”
Reasons for Rejection
- Several constituents and council members claimed they didn’t know the site would serve people exiting homelessness.
- Concerns were raised about the building’s height and proximity to public facilities.
- A surge of public pushback triggered Kenmore’s council to back out on the project.
- Private Facebook groups of Kenmore residents played a role in stoking opposition.
Importance of Permanent Supportive Housing
- Permanent supportive housing provides wraparound services to people living in apartments with 24/7 on-site staffing.
- It is a critical piece in assisting people with serious physical or mental health needs after surviving outside for years.
- King County has 7,330 units of permanent supportive housing, but the demand remains high.
State Bill to Prevent Similar Rejections
- State Rep. Strom Peterson introduced a bill that would limit cities’ ability to prohibit affordable housing development.
- If passed, the bill would allow the state government more power to ensure the development of affordable housing.
Overall, Kenmore’s rejection of the affordable housing project is seen as a setback in achieving the region’s affordable housing goals and addressing homelessness. It highlights the need for stronger oversight and community education to overcome negative stigmas and opposition to such projects.
SDGs, Targets, and Indicators Analysis
1. Which SDGs are addressed or connected to the issues highlighted in the article?
- SDG 1: No Poverty
- SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
- SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals
The article discusses the issue of affordable housing and homelessness, which is directly related to SDG 1, which aims to eradicate poverty in all its forms. It also addresses SDG 11, which focuses on creating sustainable cities and communities, including providing access to safe, affordable, and adequate housing. Additionally, SDG 17 is relevant as it emphasizes the importance of partnerships and collaboration to achieve the goals.
2. What specific targets under those SDGs can be identified based on the article’s content?
- Target 1.4: By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular, the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership, and control over land and other forms of property.
- Target 11.1: By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe, and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums.
- Target 17.17: Encourage and promote effective public, public-private, and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships.
Based on the article’s content, the targets mentioned above are relevant. The article highlights the need for equal access to affordable housing for all individuals, particularly those who are poor or vulnerable (Target 1.4). It also emphasizes the importance of providing safe and affordable housing to address the issue of homelessness (Target 11.1). Additionally, the article discusses the potential for partnerships between state and local officials, affordable housing advocates, and nonprofit organizations to address the challenges related to affordable housing (Target 17.17).
3. Are there any indicators mentioned or implied in the article that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets?
- Indicator 1.4.2: Proportion of total adult population with secure tenure rights to land, with legally recognized documentation and who perceive their rights to land as secure, by sex and by type of tenure.
- Indicator 11.1.1: Proportion of urban population living in slums, informal settlements, or inadequate housing.
- Indicator 17.17.1: Amount of United States dollars committed to public-private and civil society partnerships.
The article does not explicitly mention specific indicators. However, based on the targets identified, the indicators mentioned above can be used to measure progress towards those targets. These indicators focus on measuring the proportion of the population with secure tenure rights to land, the proportion of the urban population living in inadequate housing, and the amount of financial commitments made towards partnerships.
Table: SDGs, Targets, and Indicators
|SDG 1: No Poverty
|Target 1.4: By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular, the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership, and control over land and other forms of property.
|Indicator 1.4.2: Proportion of total adult population with secure tenure rights to land, with legally recognized documentation and who perceive their rights to land as secure, by sex and by type of tenure.
|SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
|Target 11.1: By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe, and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums.
|Indicator 11.1.1: Proportion of urban population living in slums, informal settlements, or inadequate housing.
|SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals
|Target 17.17: Encourage and promote effective public, public-private, and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships.
|Indicator 17.17.1: Amount of United States dollars committed to public-private and civil society partnerships.
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