Neighbors still fighting affordable housing

A handful of neighbors held up signs to cars passing along Dempster Street during this morning's rush hour to yet again demonstrate their opposition to a 16-unit low-income housing development under construction on the northeast corner of Dempster and Pitner.

The project, from Housing Opportunities for Women, is designed to provide supportive and transitional housing for families -- mostly women and their chidren -- who earn between 20 and 50 percent of the median area income.

The project, first announced 16-months ago, meets zoning standards for the site and, after several community meetings, has received all the necessary city approvals, including submission of a construction management plan.

City inspectors say foundation work is already underway at the site. 

The neighbors argue that the development will adversely affect their property values. They've also argued that if additional affordable housing is to be built in the city, it should be placed in more affluent areas.

In one victory for the neighbors, the City Council last fall declined to spend some of its affordable housing funds on the project, but HOW was able to finance the development largely through state housing funds.

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