The city of Port Townsend has announced an outreach and education event to connect people experiencing homelessness with near-term services as well as future opportunities for affordable and …
The city of Port Townsend has announced an outreach and education event to connect people experiencing homelessness with near-term services as well as future opportunities for affordable and workforce housing within the planned Evans Vista neighborhood.
The event will be located at the site of the future Evans Vista neighborhood, which is the wooded area west of the Department of Social and Health Services building and just southwest of the Rainier Street roundabout on Sims Way.
The event will connect people with city staff working on the city’s affordable housing project. Safe housing, mental health, and substance-abuse treatment providers will also be there.
The outreach event is set for noon Monday, April 17.
The city has received more than $5 million in state, federal, and county funding to prepare the site for the development of a mix of 100 to 150 affordable and workforce housing units on the property. Multiple groups in the community prioritized the project to deliver urgently-needed housing.
City staff aim to make Evans Vista a place where people live, work, and play – a home for young families who can walk or ride to school or individuals who can walk to nearby jobs; a destination for those seeking services, a coffee with friends, or childcare; and a community asset that nests into the existing trail and parks network.
Over the next several months, the city will work with Thomas Architecture Studios on outreach efforts for a master plan design for the new neighborhood.
The event is the first phase of the city’s engagement work. The focus of the event is to provide information and resources to those currently living at the site. Free pizza and drinks will be provided.
The city will also provide a dumpster for people living at the Evans Vista site to dispose of unneeded or unwanted items. The event is open to anyone, and those interested in attending should meet staff at the end of the cul-de-sac located at 2507 Evans Vista.
To make sure site occupants have access to resources and support services over the next month, service providers will directly contact those camping in the woods. The objective is to encourage people to relocate to safe emergency and/or transitional housing. Camping at the site is unsafe and presents sanitation challenges, according to the city.
It is important to share the housing development vision for a mixed-income neighborhood, officials noted, so service providers will survey people experiencing homelessness who also could live in Evans Vista about potential amenities and housing types.
In May, there will be more activity to prepare for construction, including brush clearing, survey work, and fencing.
One of the goals of the
April 17 event is to make sure people living in the woods are aware of an increase in activity at the Evans Vista site. City officials said the project’s success depends on initiating the site investigation work such as surveying and critical area studies.
Public tours of the future housing site will start after the site investigation work is complete.
“We are excited to connect with the community and offer resources to those in need while we also look to the future to codevelop a vision for safe, affordable housing with the people living there now,” said City Manager John Mauro. “This is a housing project for all incomes and we want those currently living in unsafe situations to feel included in the process.”
The city is seeking feedback on the project and encourages everyone to stay engaged.
“We are committed to making sure that everyone knows about the upcoming affordable and workforce housing project in the Evans Vista neighborhood,” said Emma Bolin, planning and development director for the city.
“We are also committed to engaging our community on our strategic approach to housing, which includes Evans Vista, but also zoning code changes, long-range planning, housing assessment and needs projection, streamlining of processes, and a range of creative approaches that we will undertake and stay focused on in the coming years,” Bolin added.