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#1 Robert-in-Port-Townsend

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 11:59 PM

Greetings from Port Townsend.  We just received a four-plex identified as 1041 Oliphant Avenue in Victoria. See attached photo.  In researching this structure, I've discovered a "news story."  As a retired news director/researcher, I learned this property was being removed, with other structures, to make way for the Cook Street Village complex.  I have TWO questions, that perhaps one of your readers can help me understand:


1.  So my first question; is THIS an example of "gentrification" — heritage properties being eliminated — to make space for higher income potential properties?


Gentrification has decimated Seattle and Portland. No wonder "villages" are being established underneath freeways and bridges.


This is not the first structure to be moved from Victoria. Last fall, three houses were transported by Nickel Bros to Port Townsend. The cover story was, as with

1041 Oliphant Avenue, to provided low cost housing.


2.  So my next question is, why are you allowing structures to be sold to Port Townsend, when there is a high probably that Victoria has a need for "low cost housing?"


Thank you for your attention.  And if this message is "misfiled" please do a re-direct. I am first time on this board.


Robert in Port Townsend


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#2 Mike K.

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 05:42 AM

Hi Robert, welcome to VV.

You're correct about the building having been moved, but there are several points that need clarification.

First, this is not a heritage building, it is an older apartment building that reached the end of its useful life. If it can be used in the US for low-income housing on land already available, that's fantastic.

A private property owner can do what he wishes with his building. If he wants to move it, that's his prerogative. The government did not make land available for the building locally (as an affordable housing initiative) but Port Townsend did, so the logical choice was to have it moved rather than have it razed.

All cities have a need for low-cost housing, but Victoria also has a need for housing across the entire housing spectrum. And with the population growing as fast as it is (the population of the Capital Region grew by 23,000 people in the last five years, or 2.5x the entirety of Port Townsend's population, in fact), removing roughly 12 or so housing units to build over 50 in a busy commercial hub is a practical move that any city would welcome.

Victoria has quite a number of affordable and lower income projects underway or recently completed. Demand remains very high, but high demand for new-build subsidized or affordable housing is certainly not unique to this region. We can't cripple an entire housing industry because one side of the spectrum cannot deliver as many units as it wishes to (mostly) due to a lack of government subsidies and programs to make it feasible, but what we can do is rapidly densify which has an effect across the entire housing spectrum (even if that's not apparent at the outset).

PS: these posts will be moved to the thread for the actual project once you've had a chance to see this reply.
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#3 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 08:19 AM

We do not honour international borders when it comes to housing those in need.  If we did not send this to Port Townsend, likely someone there would be homeless.


You may or may not know, we take very good care of our homeless here.  So much so that the homeless flock here to be homeless.  388 new ones in 2015 alone!


Plus we have 3,540 houses sitting empty, so we are not short of structures.  Happy to throw a few your way, to our brother in need!  After all, when we buy housing for the homeless, we settle for nothing less than $178,000 per unit. Plus it needs to have a commercial kitchen, as we like to serve at least two hot meals a day to the homeless, right on site.  Bonus if it comes with a swimming pool and waterslide.  Can't do that with that crappy 4-plex we sent ya.

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#4 Robert-in-Port-Townsend

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 09:29 AM

Thank you for your timely and informative response.I have ties with Victoria, in that my sister and I stay with our grandparents at 1707 Bay Street many many summers, swimming at Crystal Gardens. My dad and his brother worked as caulkers at VMD as young men, and my late mom's husband — Denny — ran the Indian MC dealership, "Back in the Day."  Will notify the "board" when my Blog articles are published.

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