Opportunity Fund grant recommended to fund destruction of 33 homes
The Opportunity Fund board of directors made a recommendation to the county commissioners to grant almost one million dollars for the destruction of 33 perfectly good homes.
Quoting from a letter written To Clallam County Commissioners from Alan Barnard, chairman of the Opportunity Fund Board, “Recommendation, to the Clallam County Commissioners, to approve a grant from the Opportunity Fund in the amount of $901,200.00 to fund the Mount Angeles View Phase 1 Redevelopment, Lots G1/G3 site Development”
If this opaque procedure is allowed the county taxpayers will pay to have 33 homes, in which low-income people are now living, crushed by a backhoe, loaded onto a dump truck and hauled to the city dump.
The Opportunity Fund is sales tax money sent to the state and then refunded to the county for the sole purpose of economic development infrastructure. For this fund to be used to destroy perfectly good homes is indefensible.
There has been no effort by anyone in city or county government to re-purpose these homes for low-income residents. For the amount of the grant to destroy these homes they could be moved to privately-owned lots or even city/county owned lots and made available for struggling families in the community. Of course this would require some out of the box thinking which is in short supply hereabouts.
A study done by the local Elwha Tribe shows these homes could be moved and repurposed for approximately $20,000 each. There would be some other expenses getting utilities hooked up but still someone can spend $25,000 for a perfectly good home that, when relocated, would be worth four times that amount.
This would keep these homes on the tax rolls and allow a family in need of a good “starter-home” to get a toe-hold on the American Dream.
We hope the commissioners will send this one back to the drawing board until a better, less wasteful plan can be adopted to re purpose these homes. Rumor has it these homes could be purchased for one dollar if the buyer is ready to move it from the site.
Anyone interested in purchasing one of these homes should contact the Peninsula Housing Authority at:
http://peninsulapha.org/ Peninsula Housing Authority. 2603 S. Francis Street. Port Angeles WA 98362. 360-452-7631. firstname.lastname@example.org
If you think it unwise to use Opportunity Fund money for such destructive purposes contact your county commissioner and let them know your feelings.