Fact Check: Fears about low-income housing unfounded

Prosser, WA —

One of the most common objections to a proposed low-income apartment complex here is that it will breed crime in an otherwise safe place.

“If the low-income project is built, Prosser will be in the news as frequently as Grandview and Sunnyside for gang activity, drive-by shootings, knife attacks and violent crimes,” one resident wrote to the city’s planning commission last year.

That’s a common perception but not an accurate one, at least if local history is any indication. In neighboring cities, such apartments have not caused problems, police say, and crime statistics bear this out.

In Grandview, Prosser’s neighbor to the west, Police Chief Dave Charvet admitted he was a little worried in 2005 when Catholic Charities Housing Services, the same nonprofit agency backing the Prosser proposal, built its 26-unit Juan Pablo II apartment complex.

But his worries were unfounded.

“We actually have had no problems over there,” Charvet said. “They built nice, clean units. They have good management and they keep it under control.”

Charvet said many Prosser residents have bent his ear about the issue, some demanding statistics.

Well, stats seem to back to him up.

Read remainder of the story at Yakima Herald

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About Bob Voelker

Head of the Munsch Hardt (Dallas law firm) Hospitality & Mixed Use Development Group, and former developer of affordable housing. I'm i
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