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Nordic News

The student news site of Inglemoor High School

Nordic News

The student news site of Inglemoor High School

Nordic News

Redmond adopts affordable housing

The+site+where+the+construction+crews+will+break+ground+to+build+the+Plymouth+project+in+2025.%0A
The site where the construction crews will break ground to build the Plymouth project in 2025.

The Plymouth affordable housing project continues to be developed in Redmond following its rejection by the Kenmore City Council. The Redmond City Council’s decision to approve the Plymouth project comes as Redmond looks to expand its affordable housing options, with Redmond Mayor Angela Birney stating that affordable housing is one of the city’s top priorities.

 

On Jan. 22, Kenmore City Council voted against the construction of the Plymouth project following several months of discourse over safety and economic concerns about the project. Plymouth Housing External Affairs Manager Sarah Dickmeyer (she/her) said that Redmond quickly adopted the project following Kenmore’s rejection of it due to three factors: Redmond already had land intended for affordable housing; this land was suitable to host the building that was designed for Kenmore; and Redmond’s elected leaders were supportive of creating more permanent supportive housing in Redmond. On Feb. 13, Redmond City Council approved the transfer of public land to Plymouth Housing. 

 

“Kenmore was an opportunity for a lot of people to do a lot of reflection and think about what they wanted to support and what they wanted the future of their region to look like. And so with that in mind, the Redmond development is proceeding with a lot of community support, which we’re really happy about,” Dickmeyer said in an interview on June 5.

 

Despite this support, the project has also faced some backlash from Redmond residents. A group called Safe Eastside organized a rally, with their members claiming that the Redmond City Council is not being transparent about the process of developing the project. Over 50 people gathered in front of Redmond City Hall to protest the development of the affordable housing project on April 16.

 

“They did not announce this project to the public at all. There was no public comment opportunity prior to the council vote. They wanted to quietly pass it without the public taking notice. Despite the repeated asks from us and the public, the city still refuses to answer many critical questions. The public demands both transparency and public input,” Safe Eastside wrote in an email to Nordic News. 

 

Safe Eastside claims on their website that “most sex offenders and drug dealers will be eligible” to lease housing at the Plymouth project. Dickmeyer said that Plymouth follows the guidance of the Federal Housing and Urban Development Agency. HUD regulations state that individuals evicted from federally-assisted housing over drug convictions in the last three years, registered sex offenders, individuals currently using illegal drugs and individuals convicted of producing methamphetamine in public housing are ineligible for Plymouth Housing.

 

“There were a lot of people in Redmond in particular, who saw what happened (in Kenmore) and thought ‘I don’t want that here’ and  want housing solutions in Redmond and on the Eastside,” Dickmeyer said. 

 

The project will include 100 units of affordable housing for single adults making 30% or less than Redmond’s median income and/or are at risk of homelessness, and 100% of those leasing will have registered disabilities. The City of Redmond website states that many of these individuals will be seniors and veterans. According to the King County Department of Community and Human Services, over 40,000 individuals in King County experience some form of homelessness. The Plymouth project will begin construction in 2025. 

  

“There are a lot of cities in King County that have never had a permanent supportive housing facility in their city limits. And because of that, there is some lack of familiarity, some questions, opportunities for education and engagement,” Dickmeyer said. “You could see it, in a way, as a challenge or an opportunity.” 

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About the Contributors
Annika Wegener (she/they)
Senior Annika Wegener is beginning her first year on the Nordic News staff for the 2023-2024 school year. Following two years of leading a writer’s group for a youth organization, she is excited to join another community of writers! She looks forward to writing relevant articles that inform and engage the Inglemoor community. Outside of Nordic, Annika is pursuing her IB diploma and enjoys singing and creative writing.
Sofia Lapinski (she/her)
Sophomore Sofia Lapinski is a new Nordic News reporter for the 2023-2024 school year. With previous journalism experience in middle school, Sofia is excited to participate in Nordic and engage with fellow students passionate about writing. This year, she hopes to contribute insightful and meaningful content while further developing her journalistic skills. Aside from Nordic, Sofia participates in Model U.N, plays the violin, and enjoys spending time outdoors and with friends.

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