Council Approves Land Transfer For Berkshire Low Barrier Housing Project – What’s Next

January 4, 2018

Everett Government

low barrier

The clock has started and construction must begin by the end of May.

Last night the Everett City Council held a public hearing and voted on moving forward with the first of many Low Barrier Housing Projects planned in Everett.

This project is for 65 units of low barrier housing located on Berkshire Drive between Evergreen Way and the Everett Fire Department Training Grounds in central Everett.

The council actually approved four different items.

  • The transfer of property on 26th street from the city to its utilities division and declaring Berkshire property surplus
  • The transfer of the Berkshire property to Catholic Housing Services
  • A construction covenant
  • Use restrictions and operations covenant and agreement for 50 years

You can see all of the items along with the covenants and other details here.

Some of the highlights in the covenants are:

  • Residents must be considered Chronically Homeless which is defined as a homeless individual with a disability who lives in a place not meant for human habitation, a safe haven or emergency shelter and has been living as such for at least 12 months.
  • Residents must be Low Income which is defined as having a gross annual household annual income at or below 50 percent of the local area median income.
  • Admissions must be prioritized with the greatest barriers to housing such as being homeless the longest period of time or have the highest service needs. The admissions policy must not require tenant sobriety or participation in mental health treatment as preconditions to admission.
  • Residents will not be allowed if they have criminal convictions for methamphetamine production, convicted of arson or convicted of sex offenses or who have exhibited serious or recent violent behavior.
  • All residents must be referred through the Snohomish County Coordinated Entry System in consultation with the City of Everett’s CHART program. There is no requirement the resident has to be from Everett but does have to reside in Snohomish County.
  • The facility has to have staff on site 24-hours-a-day.
  • The covenants last at least 50 years.

There has to be an approved management and operations plan. An initial management and operations plan has been submitted by Catholic Housing Services. Beginning in 2020 and every five years thereafter the plan must be updated and approved by the City of Everett Planning Director.

Here is the initial Draft Management Plan submitted by Catholic Housing Services. Some highlights include…

  • Outreach to the surrounding neighborhood. Thirty days prior to the start of construction residents within a 500 foot radius will receive a letter specifying the construction schedule, as well as a contact number for construction-related nuisances.
  • Two weeks prior to construction completion Catholic Housing Services will mail another introduction letter to those same addresses within a 500 ft radius specifying an opening date and a contact number for the on-site management staff. This phone number, answered by building staff 24/7, will be maintained throughout operations so that neighbors can have a single point of contact for any perceived nuisances created by the project or its’ residents.
  • Residents of the low barrier housing project will be asked to sign a good neighbor policy as part of a resident’s lease agreement with the following provisions:
    1. No littering or loitering in the neighborhood.
    2. No yelling or fighting on the property, sidewalks or in the neighborhood.
    3. No bringing in unauthorized guests through any entry that is not the main entrance.
    4. No hassling neighbors, store vendors, etc.
    5. No aggressive panhandling in the neighborhood.
    6. No purchasing or selling drugs or drug paraphernalia in the neighborhood.

A groundbreaking ceremony is expected later this month and construction must begin no later than May 31st of this year. The next steps includes submitting applications and receiving development and building permits. The first residents are expected to begin moving in during the second quarter of 2019.



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About myeverettnews

My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring breaking news and events in Everett, WA. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett. It's written by Leland Dart a former Snohomish County based radio reporter born and raised in Everett.

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