I'm forwarding this from Grant Rosenberg in Knox County's Office of Neighborhoods and Community Development.

As has been discussed here and elsewhere, the Ten-Year Plan is committed to a scattered-site approach to developing permanent supportive housing options as part of our strategy to end homelessness in our community.

Southeastern Housing Foundation, a local nonprofit affordable housing developer, has a contract on a piece of property deep in west Knox County that is appropriately zoned for multifamily housing.

The proposed development is for 23 units of permanent supportive housing. The units will be small apartments configured for independent living. Residents will sign leases and pay rent, and will be able to keep their apartments for as long as they want to and can abide by the terms of their leases. They will also receive supportive services to help them remain successfully housed and to rebuild their lives in the community.

The meeting described below will be the second public meeting to address this proposed development. The first occurred last night at the regular meeting of the Council of West Knox Homeowners.

continued...

PUBLIC INFORMATION MEETING TO DISCUSS PERMANENT SUPPORTIVE HOUSING AT 125 DEBUSK LN.

WHO
Mayors’ Office of the 10 Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness
Southeastern Housing Foundation
Knox County Office of Neighborhoods & Community Development

WHAT
Public information meeting to discuss the proposed development of permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless individuals at 125 DeBusk Ln.

WHEN
Thursday, November 12, 2009 at 7:00PM

WHERE
Frank R. Strang Senior Center
109 Lovell Heights Road
Knoxville, TN 37922

BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Knox County, the Mayor’s 10 Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness and Southeastern Housing Foundation will host an informational meeting regarding a proposed development of permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless individuals at 125 DeBusk Ln. Funding for the acquisition of the site is on the November 16, 2009 County Commission agenda. Representatives will be on hand to answer questions about the 10 Year Plan, Permanent Supportive Housing, and the funding and development of the site. Several County Commissioners may be in attendance.

For more information contact: Grant Rosenberg Office 215-4751/Cell 755-3065

211
like
Rachel's picture

Well, THAT didn't take long

The Flenniken project was approved over the protests of south Knoxvillians. Gonna be interesting to see what happens in west Knoxville.

BTW, kudos to the TYP for keeping their promise to look for properties in other parts of the county.

And yes, Robert, I owe you an email. Still catching up on stuff piled up before the election.

bizgrrl's picture

Wow! That one got by me

Wow! That one got by me somehow. I did not know they approved the Flenniken project.

Anonymously Nine's picture

The Flenniken project was

The Flenniken project was approved over the protests of south Knoxvillians.

When? I thought that was under appeal.

(link...)

Rachel's picture

City Council approved the

City Council approved the appeal of MPC's denial of a Use on Review about 6 weeks ago.

bizgrrl's picture

Are they trying to pick

Are they trying to pick locations not convenient to any services, stores? As I recall there is nothing of much use close to either the Flenniken or Debusk locations? Of much use means grocer, drug store, convenience store, goodwill/salvation army, parks, Y, library, healthcare facilities. At least Flenniken might be close to a bus route. After looking at the KAT schedules, I couldn't find a route close to Debusk.

Up Goose Creek's picture

Stores & jobs

I never understood the argument that Flenniken wasn't close to stores & services.

grocer, drug store, convenience store, goodwill/salvation army, parks, Y, library

are all less than a mile away. The businesses on Chapman aren't huge job centers but they are something.

Debusk has convenience stores right across the pike, a thrift store at Lovell rd. It is about a mile and a half from the groceries at Turkey creek. I would imagine a supportive housing would arrange transportation to stock up on bulk purchases at least once a month. Its less that a mile from numerous warehouse & industrial jobs off Parkside E of Mabry hood.

____________________________
more construction, less politics

bizgrrl's picture

I wasn't thinking of job

I wasn't thinking of job opportunities. I was thinking of walking destinations for these people. A destination to buy a pack of gum, a t-shirt, a magazine. A destination to read a book or just walk in the park.
Will they be allowed to get out and about on their own? I'm assuming most of the residents will not have cars.

I know when I have been without a car for an extended period it was always nice to be able to still go somewhere on foot, just to get out if nothing else.

Ah, yes, I do see convenience stores close to Debusk. I don't know how walkable that area is, e.g. sidewalks, crossing Kingston Pike, etc. I also don't know how big of a deal it is for someone to walk 1 to 2 miles round trip to the store. Hah, I've got it. They should provide bicycles with baskets to residents.

Anonymously Nine's picture

probably not

I would expect the odds are slim to less than zero. I expect to see attorneys making the case in County Commission this presents a hazard to both the local community and the homeless residents.

Oddly, this location is closer to a liquor store than any grocery. How much thought went into this? A mile and a half through that kind of traffic to walk to Walmart for groceries isn't for the faint of heart. I don't think anyone expects people to go to the convenience mart and live off Slim Jims and Vienna Sausages. There are few sidewalks in this area and public safety to the homeless residents will be an issue. Pretty dumb location. But the pay back potential to those cocky West Knoxville people will satisfy some. This site seems to be more about payback than helping the homeless.

So far most of the comments on the KNS comment section supports this project. People wouldn't lie would they? When a comment starts off, "I am not involved in any kind of homeless activists groups", that might be a little bit of a tell.

michael kaplan's picture

it's a totally misguided

it's a totally misguided project, driven probably (i don't know the details) more by real estate interests than by concern for the homeless. one thoughtfully sited apartment building (or complex) could likely house the entire 'supportive housing' population, and should contain or be adjacent to basic shopping and support facilities.

"Southeastern Housing Foundation, a local nonprofit affordable housing developer, has a contract on a piece of property deep in west Knox County that is appropriately zoned for multifamily housing."

Interesting that the contract seems to have been concluded before, even, the first public meeting. Another done deal by the city administration, obviously.

Rachel's picture

I expect to see attorneys

I expect to see attorneys making the case in County Commission this presents a hazard to both the local community and the homeless residents.

You expect wrong. The chronically homeless are a protected class under the Fair Housing Act. Making the argument you describe is discriminatory.

Anonymously Nine's picture

The chronically homeless are

The chronically homeless are a protected class under the Fair Housing Act.

This plan endangers the very people it is supposed to help. Are you suggesting they have no protection? Who is it they need to be protected from?

Rachel's picture

Go look up discrimination,

Go look up discrimination, the Fair Housing Act, and protected classes. Once you have a minimal understanding of that, get back to us.

Anonymously Nine's picture

Go look up discrimination,

Go look up discrimination, the Fair Housing Act, and protected classes. Once you have a minimal understanding of that, get back to us.

Didn't Arthur Seymour represent South Knoxville people in front of County Commission on Flenniken? There is more than one way to use an attorney.

Rachel's picture

Flenniken didn't go to

Flenniken didn't go to County Commission and Arthur Seymour did not represent south Knoxville "people."

Geez. Is there nothing you don't know anything about but still have an opinion on?

Nelle's picture

Internet win

Geez. Is there nothing you don't know anything about but still have an opinion on?

And Rachel wins the internets.

CathyMcCaughan's picture

There used to be a Cherokee

There used to be a Cherokee facility sort of close to Debusk. The danger of walking the Turkey Creek area has already been discussed extensively, but there are very few retail type areas of Knoxville that are truly safe for pedestrians. I would expect the facility to provide shuttle services and KAT's special bus would probably be available to residents. I thought this would be closer to Cedar Bluff, but it seems to have become a popular area for property theft now and the SPMI population would be easy targets for criminals. The key to making this work would be a good relationship with the businesses nearby. Are they willing to have supervised employees? One of the best places in town for supervised employment, oddly enough, is Kroger.

Anonymously Nine's picture

One of the best places in

One of the best places in town for supervised employment, oddly enough, is Kroger.

Nearest Kroger is 4 miles in one direction and about the same in the other direction. Other than a liquor store, a Subway, the Dragon's Den and a Ken Jo's market, there is little retail employment in that area within walking distance and there are NO SIDEWALKS to get there.

When these people are described as "disabled", what does that mean? This would be a difficult hike for a disabled person to get to the bus stop.

CathyMcCaughan's picture

SPMI does not equal mobility

SPMI does not equal mobility issues.

Anonymously Nine's picture

SPMI does not equal mobility

SPMI does not equal mobility issues.

What does SPMI mean? Please tell me it does not mean "Serious Persistent Mental Illness" or "Severe and Persistent Mental Illness".

CathyMcCaughan's picture

Okay. I won't.

Okay. I won't.

Anonymously Nine's picture

unbelievable

Has that been disclosed anywhere? All the paper has is "disabled chronically homeless people". That is a far cry from SPMI. I assumed, obviously incorrectly, that disabled meant mobility challenged.

If that is the case, I am stunned they would consider this particular location.

CathyMcCaughan's picture

I don't spend enough time on

I don't spend enough time on KnoxViews to know anything about you, but I seriously don't understand why you are so freaked out that people need a place to live. This is just a place for people with a lot of needs to live in a supported environment. Would you be in a tizzy over assisted living for seniors? Come down off the ledge and give these people a chance. It will be okay.

Anonymously Nine's picture

My point is they should be

My point is they should be honest. Do you consider what has happened to be honest?

CathyMcCaughan's picture

Yes I do. This is not a bad

Yes I do. This is not a bad thing. Worry about how the money is spent in getting things built, not about giving people a place to live.

michael kaplan's picture

to live in a supported

to live in a supported environment

there's a difference between a supported and supportive environment. IMO it's downright perverse to place these folks in a suburban situation.

Bird_dog's picture

Knox County is just plain inaccessible...

except by car... and that's a shame. Walking to the store arouses so much suspicion that folks are ticketed (remember that recent story?). Riding a bicycle is hazardous. Greenways are a good start, but sidewalks would be great. The KAT stop by my house is in a ditch! I'm looking for an apartment for an elderly couple where they can safely walk to the grocery store - they are few and far between. Knox County has a challenging topography to be sure, but sidewalks are needed for accessibility - period.

michael kaplan's picture

sidewalks are needed for

sidewalks are needed for accessibility

i can't even safely walk to a grocery, except, perhaps the food coop on broadway. today i tried walking from my apartment on e. scott to the kroger via woodland avenue. half way there, the sidewalk disappeared and i nearly walked into a small sinkhole. to stay on the sidewalk, i would have had to cross woodland (heavy traffic) then cross back to the kroger. the walk was close to a mile and fairly easy. but the trek back wasn't, as it was all uphill.

Robert Finley's picture

A few extra points

Rachel,

Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you when you get a little time.

Anonymously Nine,

Nobody has been dishonest or tried to mislead anyone about anything. Your accusation just demonstrates that you haven't been paying attention. People who are chronically homeless are, by definition, disabled. "Disability" covers a lot of territory, and includes, but is certainly not limited to, serious and persistent mental illness (SPMI). It's possible that some of the residents of any PSH development housing people leaving chronic homelessness will face the particular challenges of living with SPMI. That's the single best reason I can think of to offer them the opportunity to get off the street or out of the woods for good, and to give them the support they need to stay housed. If you'd actually like to learn something about what disability means from the perspectives of several different agencies, here's a good starting place for you.

CathyMcCaughan,

Cherokee Health Systems still operates a facility at 10263 Kingston Pike. I am not sure, but I believe they offer behavioral healthcare there as opposed to the mix of primary care + behavioral care they offer at some of their facilities. Cherokee is a valued partner of the TYP. Also, the Kroger in Farragut is around two miles from the location of this proposed development, not four as AN estimated in his reply to your post.

Robert Finley
Ten-Year Plan
215-3071
(link...)

bizgrrl's picture

People who are chronically

People who are chronically homeless are, by definition, disabled.

Does this mean the chronically homeless non-recovering alcoholics and drug addicts are disabled? Do they get disability benefits? Do the disabled based on your definition get Social Security disability benefits? Will individual's Social Security benefits cover the rent for these units?

Update: after reading this again, I hope it is not considered adversarial. That is not my intention. I'm just curious after reading the referenced statement.

Robert Finley's picture

Sorry I took so long.

bizgrrl,

I'm sorry to have taken so long to respond. Lamentably, I couldn't get into KnoxViews until today. FWIW, you don't come across as adversarial at all. Yours are very good questions, and I hope I answer them well.

I'm not a lawyer or an expert on disability law, so please consider that as you read how I'm interpreting this very specific material. I'm going to point you towards Section 902 Definition of the Term Disability of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for further information. That Act, as you probably know, combats discrimintation based on a wide array of disabling conditions. Here's a link to Section 902. It's worth looking at because it really does a good job of unpacking a pretty complex topic. It presents very helpful examples.

Does this mean the chronically homeless non-recovering alcoholics and drug addicts are disabled?

I think the below answers your question better than I could.

"The ADA defines disability as a “physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities” of an individual. Congress recently passed amendments to the ADA to emphasize that this is a broad definition intended to include obvious physical impairments such as paraplegia, blindness and deafness, as well as physical and mental impairments and conditions and diseases that may not be so apparent, such as diabetes, epilepsy, tuberculosis, AIDS, alcoholism, drug addiction, mental illness (including depression, post-traumatic stress syndrome, and schizophrenia), developmental and intellectual disabilities, and learning disabilities. (Although recovering drug addicts are considered individuals with disabilities, individuals currently engaged in illegal drug use, including unlawful use of prescription drugs, are not protected by the ADA.)"

The ADA's application is indeed broad. It imposes nondiscrimination requirements on all of the “programs, services, and activities” of state and local governments and also covers non-government entities that provide goods and services to the public. The ADA applies equally to for-profit and non-profit entities. It obviously applies to entities that provide housing.

The two paragraphs above come from a document you can access at the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty's website. Paragraph 1 is a direct quotation and paragraph 2 is my paraphrase. The document is about domestic violence shelters, but the very accessible general discussion of disability law applies to permanent supportive housing.

You also mention active alcohol consumption. If you're just a person who drinks to excess, that by itself does not constitute a disability. Addiction, however, can be a disabling condition. Therefore alcoholism can be disabling. Of course, drinking alcohol is legal, so I don't think that a disabled alcoholic who still drinks is excluded from protection under the ADA.

I know you haven't suggested it, but I've heard said more than a few times something to the effect that, "We shouldn't pay to house people who are just going to sit around and drink."

Okay. But the thing is, some folks are going to drink no matter what. That's reality. Helping them get into housing reduces the harm they do to themselves because it's much safer for them to drink in their own home than it is for them to be doing it down by the railroad tracks. It also saves tax dollars because they aren't repeatedly arrested as public inebriates if they drink in the privacy of an apartment. We also know that many, if not most, people who leave chronic homelessness drink less, often far less, in housing than they did on the streets.

Remember, though, that if you are defined as chronically homeless, you are by definition disabled. To fit that definition, you would need to have some impairment, besides being drunk or high, that significantly limits major life activities.

Do they get disability benefits? Do the disabled based on your definition get Social Security disability benefits?

Yes. Their disabilities can qualify them for Supplemental Security Income benefits, or SSI, and they may also be eligible for other benefits.

Will individual's Social Security benefits cover the rent for these units?

They can be used for that purpose. HUD Housing Choice vouchers or project-based rental assistance might also be used to cover rent.

Keep in mind that one of a case manager's most important early steps with a person coming in out of the cold is to make sure they have access to all the benefits to which they're entitled.

This housing is both decent and deeply affordable. If you qualify as very low income, you will not pay more than a third of your monthly income in rent.

I hope all of that is helpful.

Robert Finley
Ten-Year Plan
215-3071
(link...)

Anonymously Nine's picture

poor location

Mr. Finely, based on the additional information disclosed it would seem that a central consolidated facility would give greater care for the people you are trying to help. I find it difficult to understand why you would suggest placing this facility next to a day care center and a liquor store. I would think either the day care center or the liquor store would have excluded this location from the beginning. It is surreal you are moving forward with this.

Is there not a place like Lakeshore that would provide a better benefit for all parties?

When I review the link you provided:

(link...)

I do not find much about SPMI.

However, there are reasons for concern:

(link...)

Drug and alcohol abuse by people with severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI) is one of the most significant problems facing the public mental health system.

In the meeting next week I hope you will address in detail the liquor store and discuss the screening process for prospective tenants. I would expect County Commission to require some sort of bond to even consider your proposal.

Anonymously Nine's picture

inadequate notice and flawed disclosure

Nobody has been dishonest or tried to mislead anyone about anything. Your accusation just demonstrates that you haven't been paying attention.

It was commented at the KNS that the day care center just learned of this last Thursday. Is there anyone who would consider that adequate notice? I seriously doubt that. Not disclosing that "disabled" actually meant SPMI is flawed and incomplete disclosure. You allege the problem is that we don't know what disabled means. I don't think anyone sees it that way.

Monday in the Finance Committee Jon Lawler disclosed the building would cost $1.955 million dollars. So this is actually a $2.5 million dollar project. Although that has not been reported in any of the five stories by Rebecca Ferrar in the KNS. That is more than a little curious. Maybe the KNS should pay more attention Mr. Finley?

Also mentioned in the comment section at the KNS is that the developer Southeastern Housing Foundation chose the Strang Senior center as the venue for the Thurday meeting. This center seats only 80. This should have been held at the Farragut High School. Also curious.

For someone who is concerned about being accused of misleading the public you people sure have had a problem with fair and adequate notice and fair and straight forward disclosure.

Today we learn there were other sites for this project.

(link...)

In an e-mail message to Commissioner Richard Briggs, Alex Schubert offered 14.78 acres on Hembolt Road in Northwest Knoxville for $1 million, as long as its used for the apartment complex.

A two-acre site at 125 Debusk Lane between Lovell Road and Pellissippi Parkway is being considered at a cost of $500,000 or its appraised value, whichever is less.

The plan for the Debusk property calls for 23 units. Schubert said 88 units could be built on the Hembolt Road property at a lower per-unit cost.

At $500,000 for the (Debusk Lane) property, the land cost per unit would be $21,740,” Schubert said, and that the Helmbolt Road property would have lower density and “still have areas for walking trails, parks, emergency services. … Land cost per unit on the Helmbolt Road property would be $11,364 per unit.”

So there is a site that will almost quadruple the number of units at nearly half the land price but you all couldn't find it?

This should be bidded in an open process. This looks to be another good ole boy sweetheart deal. People who pay attention know what it means when a vote is taken in the special Commission meeting for Thanksgiving.

I suggest you focus on process and procedure. The inadequate notice and flawed disclosure along with the fact there are other sites make this look very bad.

SnM's picture

Commission will review the plan

ShannonSz's picture

I need to agree....not

I need to agree....not suited for homeless. Don't think even they would feel comfortable there IMHO Seems like it would be out of the way for them to get any help and let's face it, it is unlikely any local business would thrive on their business.

there are better areas and they don't need the liquor store across the street

SnM's picture

Snark

Hopeless Politicians to Be Relocated to Nimbyville?
UT President's house also on list of possible sites for hopeless complex

From APB reports.
KNOXVILLE - Objections to a possible apartment complex to house chronically hopeless politicians in West Knox County have already arisen, as hordes of West Knox Countians descended upon the Knox County Commission's Finance Committee yesterday to rattle their jewelry at the commissioners in protest of the plan. Residents of the urban core also attended to voice support for the project.

Commissioner Richard Briggs, whose 5th District includes the property targeted for the project at 125 Debusk Lane between Lovell Road and Pellissippi Parkway, articulated the West Knox County horde's concerns about the project. Briggs noted the project first got public attention Nov. 3 when it was presented to the Council of Owners of the West Knoxville Neighborhood Association's People Pleased with Insular Exclusivity, Synecdoche (COWKNAPPIES). He said that "more time is needed for us to absorb the shock and awe of the brazenness of the suggestion that a project like that with people like those might go in a place like this among people like us."

"There are three to four concerns people have," Briggs said. "First of all, they're paying a high price for this plan, over $500,000 for the lot, which makes it a pretty ritzy neighborhood, which is in keeping with West Knoxville, so that is OK. But it prompts us to ask - can hopeless politicians afford that? After their political careers dead-end, don't they go be sales people or teachers or other low-paying jobs? Also, this is right near a daycare center and a liquor store - and those aren't the kinds of places politicians are accustomed to hanging out. OK, well the liquor store, maybe. But really, in our part of town there's not a lot of social centers such as the courthouses or county-provided vehicles like they like to frequent. Surely they'd be happier someplace else."

Briggs said the commission should look at places "where they can get the most bang for the buck - because although you can get a lot of bang in West Knox County, it takes more bucks than most anywhere else in the county."

The proposal by the Mayors' Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Political Hopelessness would direct $500,000 to buy a small lot on Debusk Lane. The price of the land would be $500,000 or whatever the owner can get for it, whichever is more. The contract will go before commission Nov. 16.

The commission has urged Ten-Year Plan officials to locate hopeless politician facilities throughout Knox County in hopes of preparing for the overflow of hopeless politicians soon to be leaving office.

Said COWKNAPPIES member Marvin Marvin, "Who would spend that much money to house a few hopeless politicians? Nobody out here - That's what we pay for a small single-family housing lot. Now, we're not saying they can't build it here, because we believe property owners have an absolute right to build whatever they want on their property. We just thought the really high prices out here would keep anything we didn't like from being built. But look, We don't even have any sidewalks for them to be out on, begging for votes or whatever it is those sorts of people do..."

KnoxCatLady's picture

bzgirl comments

bzgirl always seems to have something intelligent and interesting to say. I enjoy reading her posts and I think those are excellent questions, which deserve full and complete answers. I will confess I remain skeptical that West Knoxville will suffer the same fate as South Knoxville.

Bird_dog's picture

Why muddy-up the TYP with all these too-close connections???

Big Money spread among the same few players makes me question every construction project in Knox County. Is the project too expensive? Is the bidding process competitive?

Exerpt from KNS article about minn-villa in April of 2009

"Lawler previously served as vice president of the Lawler-Wood real estate and development firm before he was named director of the 10-Year Plan in May 2007 by city and county Mayors Bill Haslam and Mike Ragsdale.

"Wood Brothers was founded by brothers Jerry, Mike and Pat Wood. Pat Wood later co-founded Lawler-Wood with Jon Lawler's father, Rodney Lawler.

Jon Lawler said he has no business ties to Wood Brothers.

"My connection to Wood Brothers does not exist," said Lawler, who still holds an ownership interest in Lawler-Wood.

Volunteer Ministry Center Director Ginny Weatherstone, city spokesman Randy Kenner and Jon Lawler all said that neither Lawler nor any official with the city of Knoxville had any involvement in the bidding process last year.

As far as other connections, though, the Southeastern Housing Foundation - the designated developer for 10-Year Plan housing projects - was created by Lawler-Wood as a nonprofit entity eligible for government grants and other subsidies, Jon Lawler explained."

Anonymously Nine's picture

As far as other connections,

As far as other connections, though, the Southeastern Housing Foundation - the designated developer for 10-Year Plan housing projects - was created by Lawler-Wood as a nonprofit entity eligible for government grants and other subsidies, Jon Lawler explained.

All questions have been answered now. That explains the rush treatment on this.

michael kaplan's picture

yeah, that's the missing

yeah, that's the missing piece ...

but i've been assured (by a rep of SHF at yesterday afternoon's meeting) that there is no current connection.

jcgrim's picture

so glaring a conflict I'm blinded by the light

Of course SHF is going to say there's no connection. But the connection is right under our noses. The KNS article makes it clear.

Lawler, formerly of Lawler-Wood Real estate is appointed by Haslam & Rags to oversee the 10 year plan. A plan that was developed by a foundation created by Lawler-Wood Real Estate. The conflict is obvious.

If Haslam & Rags wanted an independent expert to manage the complex needs in housing the homeless, they could have appointed a director who has experience serving homeless populations. That is clearly not the primary incentive. The pretext that this project is independent of vested moneyed interests is laughable.

And how significant are the tax breaks the foundation receives? They'll make millions of dollars of profit from our taxes, pay little or no taxes under the pretext of a charity. Yet won't guarantee continued monetary support for the real charity (Vol Ministry) they are contracting with to do the hard work.

Shameless. This transaction was not transparent. jcg

michael kaplan's picture

it would be interesting to

it would be interesting to know who the architects, engineers and contractors are, and whether that is also an "open" process ...

talidapali's picture

What always strikes me about these kerfluffles...

is that all those West Knox folks that go to those giant mega-churches and openly display their "Christian virtues" for all and sundry to see are the ones that scream the loudest when it comes down to actually DOING something for the least of these, their brothers (like, you know, living next door to them and making them feel like a part of humanity again). I hear the refrain "are there no workhouses? Are there no prisons?" ringing from their hollow platitudes about helping the homeless every time something like this comes around.

They will find that they cannot sponge away the writing upon the stone, because for them it will be too late, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come will offer them no comfort at all.

It must be a terrible burden to live in such fear all the time that someone you view as less than your equal might actually be just as human as you, and just as deserving of a nice, safe place to live as you.

_________________________________________________
"You can't fix stupid..." ~ Ron White"
"I never said I wasn't a brat..." ~ Talidapali

Anonymously Nine's picture

why be informed?

is that all those West Knox folks that go to those giant mega-churches and openly display their "Christian virtues" for all and sundry to see are the ones that scream the loudest when it comes down to actually DOING something for the least of these, their brothers (like, you know, living next door to them and making them feel like a part of humanity again).

What a misinformed prejudicial viewpoint. If you care about homeless people with mental illness including drug addiction and alcohol addiction you would chose to place them 1.5 miles away from a grocery store but 100 feet away from a liquor store? You call that compassion?

There are no sidewalks and no bus service. To get to the restaurants across the Kingston Pike they have to cross five lanes of traffic with no traffic lights or cross walks.

How do you suggest they get food? Fly?

Your prejudice of West Knoxville and Christianity is duly noted. And it is people like you this plan is tailored for. People who don't think but just react from prejudice. You also don't care that four times as many people could be taken care of at a lower land cost at the alternative location in West Knoxville.

You are a real friend of the mentally ill.

talidapali's picture

What makes you assume...

they are drug addicted or alcohol addicted? What makes you assume that they are dangerous to children? Mentally ill could mean a number of things...perhaps even the label mentally ill is inaccurate, what if they were mentally handicapped (learning-disabled) and haven't been able to keep a job or a home because they had trouble adjusting to and learning tasks in a work environment and no familial support? You are making a lot of assumptions about the residents of this proposed project yet you know nothing about them, I do know however that the "not in my backyard" bunch is very widespread. My point is, it's all fine and dandy to support projects like this until YOU are actually called upon to participate in a way that gives more than mere lip-service to your "better nature".

Actually living shoulder-to-shoulder with "those people" is more than most of you want to do, but I notice that West Knoxvillians didn't seem all that upset when it was the 4th and Gill neighborhood or South Knoxville that was being looked at. Even though in the 4th and Gill neighborhood there is only one place to buy groceries, Three Rivers Market (which is moving farther away pretty soon although it will still be on a bus route). Public transportation for the project in West Knoxville can be arranged by the time that the project is actually built and move-in ready. Not to mention that KAT runs a special service for disabled people that comes to pick you up when you call, and ETHRA and CAC...so how is living a little farther away from a grocery store an excuse to deny people who have been kicked around by life a safe, nice place to live?

This has more to do with the value of the neighbor's property than it does any real concern over the inconveniences to the future residents of the proposed project.

_________________________________________________
"You can't fix stupid..." ~ Ron White"
"I never said I wasn't a brat..." ~ Talidapali

Anonymously Nine's picture

closed mind

What makes you assume...
Submitted by talidapali on Fri, 2009/11/13 - 9:26am.

they are drug addicted or alcohol addicted?

You may be the most misinformed person speaking to this. The reason we know that some tenants will be "drug addicted or alcohol addicted" is because that is what was told to people last night in the meeting at the Strang Center. It was also mentioned that there will be no lease restrictions on alcohol.

Your prejudice is again duly noted.

talidapali's picture

I know more about homelessness than you...

since I have no home or way to obtain a home without the kindness of family, who do not have to provide me with any place to live. I am disabled and haven't been able to work for 7 years now. I am not a drug user or an alcoholic or even mentally disabled...I do suffer from depression. A place to live that I can call my very own would be really nice, but there are people out there in shelters that need one even more than I do, so I will continue to accept the kindness of my family even though it galls me to have to feel like such a useless bit of nothing to have to depend on them. Right now with my cancer it is all I can do to make it through each day.

So take your condescending attitude and selfish self-righteousness and shove it where the sun don't shine.

_________________________________________________
"You can't fix stupid..." ~ Ron White"
"I never said I wasn't a brat..." ~ Talidapali

Bird_dog's picture

Who called this meeting and why?

The Strang was too small with limited parking. There were about 150-200 people there. Must have been required by the CDBG funding. All it did was give folks a forum to demonize the "others". The property is zoned PR for 12 units per acre. Neighbors don't usually have a say over anything permitted within the zoning. And we certainly don't have any say over who lives next door! So, to even call this meeting seemed pointless to me...

thorsanvil's picture

i wonder why...

would be neighbors always seem to be so strongly opposed to this kind of housing. every community reacts more or less the same way it seems. puzzle why that is; how can it be?

KC's picture

is that all those West Knox

is that all those West Knox folks that go to those giant mega-churches and openly display their "Christian virtues" for all and sundry to see are the ones that scream the loudest when it comes down to actually DOING something for the least of these, their brothers (like, you know, living next door to them and making them feel like a part of humanity again).

I don't believe that the opposition to these projects is centered in only one part of the county.

The opposition is pretty much widespread and increasing as those communities affected learn more about the residents of these proposed projects.

And while some believe that with proper support these people can get back on their feet, there's a strong distrust that those services will be adequate, or even forthcoming, to start solving the homeless problem.

Add to that the way this process has been, and is being, handled, and this issue is quickly developing into a "third rail" for elected officials.

Proponents would be smart to heed these warning signs and clearly address the people's concerns.

The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present.
President Abraham Lincoln 1862

michael kaplan's picture

this issue is quickly

this issue is quickly developing into a "third rail" for elected officials.

yes, candidates at the recent forums expressed support for the "scattered site" approach as long as there was "buy in" by the communities. so far, there has been nothing resembling "buy in." the opposite, in fact: strong disapproval.

thursday afternoon's meeting on the subject at time warp cafe was interesting. it seems the debusk site has sinkholes. no problem, that matter will be investigated as the project proceeds. i asked my usual questions, and all were answered, more or less, except for the issue bizgrrl brought up above: access to support facilities etc. there was no satisfactory answer ... is this site really appropriate for the homeless themselves?

jcgrim's picture

crony capitalism isn't service for homeless

'it's a totally misguided project, driven probably (i don't know the details) more by real estate interests than by concern for the homeless.'

That's the money quote. What seems magnanimous on the surface may in actuality be a means to enrich builders with guaranteed subsidies. Crony capitalism. Private contractors living off the government largess by exploiting the needs of the homeless.

Building a building does not in and of itself guarantee supporting the homeless. Kind of like building a hospital without staffing it with doctors, nurses, social workers, and support staff. (Remember, we did that in Iraq- private contractors built hospitals that were understaffed or empty.)

Once people move into the building how does Southeastern Housing Foundation plan for the continuous wrap around support for the homeless? This population is not homogeneous- they have complicated, diverse needs. Many are women with children escaping abused spouses. Many are disabled veterans.
They need access to transportation, medical services, money management, legal services, referrals for treatment, etc. If this foundation does not have a comprehensive plan to provide and manage these services, they don't deserve the subsidy.

michael kaplan's picture

how does Southeastern

how does Southeastern Housing Foundation plan for the continuous wrap around support for the homeless?

there will be a management contract, but the responsibility, as i understand it, shifts to the volunteer ministry. i asked whether funding for support services was a sure thing in the future, and received a "no" for an answer.

i voiced my opinion that "scattered site" approach in a sprawling, suburban environment does not make good sense, but apparently it's another "done deal." as you say, it does make good sense to the developers and their fellow travelers.

jcgrim's picture

one more thing

It is unfortunate that opposition to this project is centered around keeping "those people" out of a neighborhood, rather than examining the personal and business connections among the Lawlers, the Haslams, and Ragsdale.

Anonymously Nine's picture

the people don't have a say

Minvilla was $122,807 per efficiency apartment for 57 apartments. Roughly $706 per square foot. The taxpayers were outraged. They felt the process was flawed and it was a done deal.

This done deal project is approximately $140,000 per unit for only 23 apartments. Square footage is not available because amazingly there are no architectural plans. There has been no geological survey even though it is known that there is a sinkhole and a cave on the property. The infrastructure costs are a complete unknown.

This is how the “process”, and it is unfair to call it a process, works. First the Ten Year Plan (TYP) staff finds a piece of ground already zoned for apartments. The TYP staff said having apartment zoning was the most important criteria. More important than public safety and more important than transportation.

After the TYP staff secures an option on the property they write their applications for Federal and State funds. Still no architectural plans or geological survey. Once the funds are approved then due diligence occurs along with architectural plans, geological survey, EPA impact studies excreta.

So basically County Commission is buying a pig in a poke. They will vote blind on Monday on a project that will cost at least $3.25 million dollars for 23 apartments with no access to food and medicine within safe walking distance. But this could cost much more. When Commission votes they have no idea what the cost of the project is. And you thought Midway was a stupid blunder.

Another amazing thing disclosed Thursday night at the Strang Center was the commitment to on demand bus service. For an unknown price the TYP will contract transportation with Knox County CAC Transit or ETHRA Public Transit.

In no way does this diminish the public safety hazard of having these mentally ill people walking across five lanes of traffic without cross walks or traffic lights to get cigarettes or something to eat. To go to the nearest convenience store they must walk on a strip of pavement no wider than 18 inches across while cars and trucks go by at speeds up to 60 miles an hour. To the West the nearest store is the Rocky Top Market on the opposite side of Kingston Pike. The distance is about an eighth to a quarter of a mile. To the East the nearest store is the Ken Jo’s Market on the same side of Kingston Pike. The distance is also about an eighth to a quarter of a mile. This fiction that the contract minibus service will negate the public safety hazard is not truthful. El Charro’s is the closest restaurant but it is in the flats where speed is the greatest and is on the opposite side of Kingston Pike. Again, no traffic light or crosswalk and five lanes of traffic to cross.

So in the end what are we trying to do? The purpose is to help the mentally ill not put them in harms way. Doctor’s take an oath to “first do no harm”. Are we really helping these mentally ill people or using them as political footballs?

In the meeting Thursday night it was pointed out that there are properties that will help the mentally ill much more and are much less expensive. The TYP staff flatly said they did not care and refused to delay Monday’s vote for 30 days to examine other properties.

In you care about the mentally ill you will call your Commission and ask for a thirty day delay so other sites can be evaluated. Or you can punish these people and put them in harms way to score some political revenge against some middle class people living in small condos in West Knoxville. This isn’t in Farragut. It is in a Cedar Bluff like area where you take your life in your hands walking anywhere.

After two hours the TYP staff answered very few questions and conveyed an unwillingness to work with the community. When asked directly if they would voluntarily give a 30 day delay there was no reply. The developer David Arning flat out said that the people have no say in this project. When asked if it was a done deal Arning said, "You don't have any say in where they live just as you don't have a say in where African-Americans live," noting that homeless housing is covered by the Fair Housing Act.” In other words, go screw yourself. You can’t sue us and you can’t stop us.

This is the worst process I have ever witnessed in Knox County. It isn’t correct to even call it a process. The only thing that came out of last nights meeting is the message that the people have no say in these matters. Time and time again the TYP staff repeated the mantra “County Commission” is making us do this. There has been no resolution passed by County Commission to mandate what the TYP is doing. It is little surprise they refuse to accept responsibility. But someone will and that will probably occur in the next County Commission election.

michael kaplan's picture

i completely agree with

i completely agree with everything you've said.

edens's picture

Now, nine, you're just

Now, nine, you're just rehashing all the arguments and objections you made back when you vocally opposed Minvilla and Flenniken.

Oh, wait...

Rachel's picture

I'm glad I didn't bother to

I'm glad I didn't bother to write that post I was composing in my head. Edens beat me to it.

Anonymously Nine's picture

You were right about one

You were right about one thing, they have ten votes to make this happen. Unless a bunch of people show up Monday this will be approved.

edens's picture

First it was some guy in

First it was some guy in Bearden bitching that "downtown has everything," and now nine let's this slip:

"a Cedar Bluff like area where you take your life in your hands walking anywhere."

What a week. It's like my browser's getting the feed from Bizarro Knoxville.

KC's picture

i asked whether funding for

i asked whether funding for support services was a sure thing in the future, and received a "no" for an answer.

That may be the bigger deal-killer than transportation, convenience, and accessiblity, because basically what that means is that these people will wind up being warehoused.

And that is what those who are opposed to this are expecting to happen in all the communities affected by this plan.

The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present.
President Abraham Lincoln 1862

Anonymously Nine's picture

yes

That may be the bigger deal-killer than transportation, convenience, and accessibility, because basically what that means is that these people will wind up being warehoused.

That may be one of the most important points. They are being warehoused. Out of sight, out of mind. Is that helping them?

Put in harms way, warehoused, with no certain support services. Can anyone truly say this site and this plan is helping the people we say we want to help?

When things move this fast with this much uncertainty, it is about money.

michael kaplan's picture

Can anyone truly say this

Can anyone truly say this site and this plan is helping the people we say we want to help?

yeah, the developers, their politicians and apologists.

i personally don't see any problem housing these 300 "chronic homeless" at 5th and broadway, aside from the noise and pollution from the interstate (which we all have to contend with). living in north knoxville, i don't consider that area "my neighborhood." i drive by there everyday, share my space at the Y and the downtown library with homeless people on a regular basis, and have little problem with any of it. that said, i respect the opinions of those who might be offended or bothered by certain kinds of behavior, like panhandling or harassment.

jcgrim's picture

white men keeping their wealth

This project is about wealthy white men keeping wealthy white men wealthy.

SHF refuses to support a 10 year plan for wrap-around services for the homeless.

What kind of a foundation will not guarantee support for the group they claim to be helping? A foundation that was developed by a real estate company, NOT by a service organization.

Volunteer Ministries has a clear, demonstrated commitment to helping homeless families, children, men and women. So why didn't Haslam and Rags appoint someone from Volunteer Ministries to oversee this project? Because it's not about the homeless. It's about seizing an opportunity to keep the wealth in the country club family.

jcg

Anonymously Nine's picture

many better solutions

(link...)

How to save a million dollars for the homeless.

michael kaplan's picture

i don't know exactly where

i don't know exactly where these buildings are located, but from an economic point of view it looks like it makes sense. assuming renovations will bring the cost up to about $2 million, and that the buildings will accommodate at least 50 persons (one per bedroom) or up to 90 persons (two per bedroom), the cost comes to $40,000 per person maximum or $22,000 minimum.

when the mayor talks of "managing scarcity," this kind of solution seems eminently practical. and it could be ready for occupancy in under 6 months.

CathyMcCaughan's picture

THAT is warehousing. Your

THAT is warehousing. Your Lakeshore suggestion is warehousing AND segregation. Twenty people in every community is integration.

talidapali's picture

Exactly!

That is what I thought the TYP was SUPPOSED to be all about...re-integrating the chronically homeless population into the larger community by having small group apartment homes for them in a wide range of neighborhoods. The whole plan falls apart if you do not give the people who are trying to become part of society again a true opportunity to become part of their communities.

When the NIMBY crowd ramps up opposition to a small complex in their neighborhood it has more to do with THEIR property values and keeping "those people" out of THEIR neighborhood more than it does with any real true concern for the plight of the homeless and transportation needs or grocery stores closer to the complex or anything else.

_________________________________________________
"You can't fix stupid..." ~ Ron White"
"I never said I wasn't a brat..." ~ Talidapali

B Harmon's picture

Back to District 2....

You make the point very well, #9. Let us put all the permanent supportive housing in this area:

411 SHARP LN Precinct: 38
Inskip Elementary School
4701 HIGH SCHOOL RD

District: 2
Mark Harmon
Amy Broyles

Anonymously Nine's picture

Do Mark and Amy care about the homeless or politics?

B Harmon, the point is simple, this site helps the homeless much more than the site in District 5 in West Knox County.

So is it about helping the homeless or making them political footballs?

This site in District 2 has more positive features and saves over $1.96 million dollars which can be used for more homeless housing. Or we can keep Mark Harmon and Amy Broyles and their wedge politics happy. Which is more important to the homeless? Which is more important to the taxpayers?

This site is far away from Minvilla and the homeless Mission District downtown. All the two Commissioners from District 2 said was get these sites out of the Mission District. It was only a suggestion by Mark Harmon and Amy Broyles. No resolution by County Commission has ever been passed to distribute homeless housing in all nine County Districts. There is no mandate. And when the people in the TYP said County Commission is making them pick the West Knox County site that was not true. It is only two Commissioners who have their priorities mixed up.

This Rube Goldberg logic of putting people without cars and without access to affordable transportation in the suburbs does not help the homeless people we all want to help and it is a slap in the face of the taxpayers.

I would ask the District 2 Commissioners to think about the homeless and the taxpayers and not so much about their precious wedge politics.

The median price of a home in Knox County is $133,865. The cost of each homeless apartment in District 5 will be $140,000 and limousine bus service must be provided. How much does on demand bus service cost and why in the world should we pick a site that requires it? For people who cry Global warming at every turn it sure looks like a dumb idea to warehouse homeless people without cars in the suburbs. Those on demand mini-buses run on gasoline not rainbows.

It looks like the Commissioners in District 2 do not care that these small proposed homeless apartments in West Knox County cost more than the median price of a house in Knox County. Is that the reason this apartment complex in District 2 was overlooked?

I assure you, the taxpayers care. And if the choice is helping the homeless or keeping Mark Harmon and Amy Broyles happy we choose to help the homeless.

Bird_dog's picture

My objection to this project is the cost

Today's paper has a good article by Joe Hultquist. Knox County is not likely to have acreage available like San Antonio, BUT there are existing apartment complexes that could be bought for a lot less than the proposed new construction on DeBusk. Tenants could participate in the refurbishing - painting and other "sweat-equity" activities to become vested in their own apartment.

I suspect that the reason that new construction is even being considered is that there is BIG money to be made here - not so much on buying an existing complex.

So, while I support housing-first, and, as a practical matter, scattered sites, I object to the high price of this particular project. The too-close connections with Lawler-Wood are troubling. Would SHF be just as willing to do a low-cost refurb of existing apartments???

Compassion compels our community to help the less fortunate, but let's be sensible about using the resources available.

Just a pet peave of mine: our former minister once scolded the congregation about buying generic brand foods to contribute to the food for the hungry...!!!??? Heck, that's what I always buy for my family, Because I am frugal and the purchase was sensible.

Many of us live in old, refurbished houses that we can afford. SHF is just in this for the money. I know it's a "non-profit", but salaries and benefits in a non-profit can be pretty sweet.

michael kaplan's picture

I actually asked that

I actually asked that question on Thursday. "Are you guys getting salaries?" The answer, of course, was yes. A private corporation can be a non-profit and still make lots of money for lots of people. And, by the way, what real estate companies today are making profits?

Bbeanster's picture

I actually asked that

I actually asked that question on Thursday. "Are you guys getting salaries?" The answer, of course, was yes.

And this is opposed to most of us who work for free?
I'm pretty sure both Lawler and Finley actually could make better livings doing something else.
Although I agree with you about a lot of stuff, i swear, sometimes your arguments sound like gibberish. And you make so many of them (arguments, that is).

michael kaplan's picture

I'm pretty sure both Lawler

I'm pretty sure both Lawler and Finley actually could make better livings doing something else.

what exactly are their salaries? that should be public information, right? my point, which should have been obvious, is that there are lots of people poised to make lots of money on these "scattered site" projects. that includes the bureacrats running the program.

but that in itself is not the biggest problem - it reflects the structure of our society. what is a problem is the quality of the solution, which, for reasons stated too many times, seems socially inadequate.

and i can read maps. when i said i didn't know exactly where 9's site was located, i meant i hadn't been to the site, so, contextually, i didn't know exactly where the site was located.

R. Neal's picture

that should be public

that should be public information, right?

If they are a government or a non-profit employee, I believe that is public record. (Or in the case of non-profits, I think there's at least an aggregate of executive/management salaries on a public record report somewhere.)

Anonymously Nine's picture

look here

what exactly are their salaries? that should be public information, right?

Look up Southeastern Housing Foundation at:

(link...)

Anonymously Nine's picture

recommended reading

It took a while to find Joe's column. Here it is:

(link...)

The idea that Joe Hultquist speaks of could be implemented on the Standard Knitting Mills site. Why not use the Standard Knitting Mills site for a centralized facility?

For hundreds of years the best plan to help the mentally ill was consolidated centralized services. Commissioner Richard Briggs advocates a centralized plan.

Much of this problem was caused by Victor Ashe and his parks obsession. His constant park grabbing at Lakeshore is a big part of this issue. There is still plenty of land at Lakeshore that could be used to build a centralized facility. But some park land would have would have to be sacrificed.

What are the priorities?

Why not use Lakeshore for a centralized facility?

michael kaplan's picture

it's a thoughtful,

it's a thoughtful, informative, and persuasive article, and is definitely worth the read.

bizgrrl's picture

Today's paper has a good

Today's paper has a good article by Joe Hultquist.

I read Hultquist's article. It was nice that he visited the center.

It's quite amazing that the Haven for Hope is very near downtown, and the Alamo, probably less than a mile away.

I'm not sure Knoxville/Knox County have put their thinking caps on to try and see the big picture and a long term solution. Not that I think taxpayers want to send the powers that be to San Antonio, St. Louis, or Miami on fact finding trips.

alan swartz's picture

The motion failed

The spirit of the motion that was voted on in commission was to decentralize the mission district and spread the homeless around the community. The motion failed. What do Any Broyles, Mark Harmon and Tony Norman not understand about “the motion failed?” Are progressives so arrogant that they feel the majority should not rule if it conflicts with their agenda?

The location and the economic usefulness of the two acre site is the issue here. What is the best for these people is more important than a few commissioners that want them out of their district at any cost.

The spirit of the motion was to help these people integrate into the community and not exist in a concentrated central area that has been known for many decades as “the mission district.” It is apparent from her post that B Harmon does not want them in:

“District: 2
Mark Harmon
Amy Broyles”

The fact is it is easy to see the hypocrisy of screaming “you people out west don’t want them in your district“ and then when an economical existing location is found that furthers the spirit of placing the homeless in permanent supportive housing away from the mission district, B Harmon says “not in my district.”

Could someone explain to Amy Broyles that “we can just do a line item transfer” does not make money appear.

Bbeanster's picture

i don't know exactly where

i don't know exactly where these buildings are located,

You can't read the map attached to the listing?
This would dump another such yet facility in the Inskip community and is something one of Niner's Farragutian buddies pulled out of his/her butt.
I'm pretty sure, though, that Nine cares deeply about this stuff.

Rachel's picture

The TYP was looking at a

The TYP was looking at a site in Inskip at one time. Is this the same one?

Anonymously Nine's picture

Help the less fortunate or soak the taxpayers?

The apartment complex on 411 Sharp Lane is a solution that should have been considered. It is highly suspicious it was looked over.

Each person can have a private bedroom and it will still accommodate 50 people.

The specifics:

3 All brick buildings; 13 one bed/one bath units, 17 two bed/one bath units, and 1 three bed/one bath unit. There is an extra unit, not included in the 31, that could either be a laundry area or converted into another one bed/ one bath unit.

The apartment complex is up to code so it should require little renovation.

The cost figures are staggering. The West Knox site is a $3.25 million dollar expense for only 23 people. That does not include limousine bus service which costs extra. The cost per person is $140,000.

The Sharp Lane is a $1.295 million dollar expense for 50 people. It is within walking distance to the existing KAT 20 bus stop. The cost per person is $25,900.

What are the priorities?

County Commission should either vote no or abstain on the West Knox project. It appears to be much more about money than helping the less fortunate. After Minville, Southeastern Housing Foundation has proven they provide the least benefit at the greatest cost. They should be fired Monday. It is insane not to consider existing buildings and to mandate new construction. That has not been approved in a resolution in either City Council or County Commission. It is merely a suggestion from two Commissioners that have no practical sense about finance.

This idea that we should scatter permanent housing for the homeless mentally ill is unsustainable and unworkable. It is clear that there is much more than meets the eye here.

Commissioner Harmon and Broyles need to explain themselves Monday. Each of them supported hybrid vehicles for Knox County and now they demand on demand bus service and warehousing mentally ill homeless people in the suburbs. Those two ideas are polar opposites. It appears these two Commissioners are the nexus of an idea that makes no practical sense for either the homeless or the taxpayers.

Using an average of the Minvilla costs and the West Knox County project costs to implement the scatter idea for the 400 people the TYP wants in permanent supportive housing will cost $52 million dollars.

The representative David Arning from Southeastern Housing Foundation said Thursday night that the community has no say in the matter.

We will see about that on Monday.

B Harmon's picture

District 2 Constituents

As a constituent in the second district, I can assure you that Broyles and Harmon are working in our interest at our urging to have the issue of providing supportive housing for the homeless be a county wide effort.

Is that hard to understand?

So go find real estate in the many parts of the county and present your case to Commission on Monday.

Anonymously Nine's picture

oh we understand

As a constituent in the second district, I can assure you that Broyles and Harmon are working in our interest at our urging to have the issue of providing supportive housing for the homeless be a county wide effort.

Is that hard to understand?

No it isn't. It just doesn't help the homeless mentally ill as much as other plans. But it apparently gives Broyles and Harmon some perverse satisfaction of getting even with the people they despise.

Is the goal to help the homeless mentally ill or satisfy some political payback?

The distributed model is cruel and ineffectual to the people we are trying to help and it costs more than the median house price of a home in Knox County. You people should be ashamed. This is the lowest form of politics.

There is a reason the centralized approach has been used for hundreds of years. It works and is cost effective. This county does not have $50 million plus dollars to house 400 people anywhere.

In both the Finance and Intergovemental meetings Commissioners Harmon and Broyles both ran from discussing the total cost. Monday there will be no where to run.

Rachel's picture

when the people in the TYP

when the people in the TYP said County Commission is making them pick the West Knox County site that was not true.

You keep saying this, nine. But the TYP has as one of its stated objectives to scatter housing around the county, and both the City and the County have endorsed the plan. Commissioners all say they support it, BTW.

It's just when something is proposed for their back yards that they get all NIMBY. I said during the Flenniken discussion that if you wanted to see upset people, just try to put one of these facilities in west Knoxville.

But you're not a hyprocrite - you were out there helping south Knoxville speak about the deficiencies of the Flenniken site.

Oh, wait.

Anonymously Nine's picture

no, that isn't so

You keep saying this, nine. But the TYP has as one of its stated objectives to scatter housing around the county, and both the City and the County have endorsed the plan. Commissioners all say they support it, BTW.

Then show us the County Commission resolution Rachel. Show us the first and second reading.

There is no endorsement. Mark and Amy are not the deciders and neither are the TYP people.

Anonymously Nine's picture

so many places

(link...)

$3.5 million dollars. 194 per person units with private bedrooms.

That is $250,000 more than the West Knox County site that has 23 per person units.

Your choice, $140,000 per person per unit in West Knox County. Or $18,041 per person per unit on Tillery Road.

# 4501 Tillery Road, Knoxville, 37912
# Listing Number: 681241
# Square Feet: 107,282
# Age (years): 28
# # Units: 105
# Sub-Area: 110
# 105 units close to I-640 off Clinton Highway. Eight 3 BR, 2 bath townhouse units; Forty one 2 BR, 1.5 bath townhouse units; thirty two 2 BR, 1 bath garden units and 24 1 BR, 1 bath garden units. All units have central H&A, stove, frig and dishwasher. Vinyl siding, dimensional roofs, insulated windows all updated in last few years. Three laundry facilities. Nice kidney shaped pool. Office and maintenance building. Tennis court (needs work).

The tennis court is a nice touch.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

Wonder why...

Nine, do you have any theory as to why land (and existing apartment buildings) is so much less expensive in the Second District than in the Fifth District?

Also, have you ever wondered why the bus line covers the Second District so much more thoroughly than it does the Fifth District?

You should ponder these questions.

alan swartz's picture

Think about what you are

Think about what you are saying.

Are these homeless people too good to live in the second district?

Anonymously Nine's picture

the big hearted progressive

Nine, do you have any theory as to why land (and existing apartment buildings) is so much less expensive in the Second District than in the Fifth District?

Also, have you ever wondered why the bus line covers the Second District so much more thoroughly than it does the Fifth District?

I get it. You want them to see how it feels.

So because some people want to get even for whatever prejudices they have against West Knox County we should spend nearly eight times more on housing for the homeless mentally ill?

That translates into eight times less housing for the homeless mentally ill. Can we really afford your prejudice against the West Tamara? The same question should be asked of Mark Harmon and Amy Broyles.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

Topic is inclusive housing generally

No, Nine, I don't want anybody to "see how it feels," nor do I have any prejudice against west Knox County (particularly since I live in northwest Knox County, myself).

What I'm saying is that when we work to build inclusive, mixed-income housing of any sort, for any population, the savings will materialize over time.

For instance, think about the per pupil spending in some of our Second District schools relative to what is spent per pupil in Farragut's Fifth District schools. Think about the layers of Title I and Project Grad and magnet school costs at some Second District schools (namely the ones where 99% of students get two free meals per day off the school system), relative to the costs of educating Farragut's Fifth District kids. You're familiar with this discrepancy in costs, I know, because you've often cited it.

Well, this discrep is directly related to discreps in the housing stock between the two areas. We simply don't have affordable, inclusive housing throughout Knox County--not for the mentally ill, not for any disadvantaged population.

Right now, that causes us to have to spend way more on some of our schools than on others.

Very soon, it's going to cause us to have to spend more to locate this housing project out west than it would cost us to build it somewhere else.

But if we'll only absorb these earliest costs on the front end, we'll see fewer discreps in land values/construction costs for future mixed income projects of this sort over time.

Then too, this approach will ultimately be the one that best allows this "imported" population to assimilate into their new communities--communities of which we'd like to see them become a part, I mean.

I strongly support inclusive, mixed income housing as a "cure" for lots of societal ills. Maybe you and I differ on that topic, I don't know?

sobi's picture

Where do you get your figures on cost for this project?

$140,000 per person per unit in West Knox County.

You're making shit up. Obviously. Why are you so deranged about this project? It can't just be about cost, because you don't know what you're talking about when it comes to that.

What's your problem?

Anonymously Nine's picture

okay sobi

Where do you get your figures on cost for this project?

You're making shit up. Obviously. Why are you so deranged about this project? It can't just be about cost, because you don't know what you're talking about when it comes to that.

The figures come from Jon Lawler of the TYP.

Land $500,000 (per Jon Lawler)

Building $1.955 million (23 units times $85,00 per unit from Jon Lawler)

Infrastructure $545,000 (probably low, that is for the roads, parking lots, water, gas, cable, phone, sewer. But there are sinkholes and a cave so it is probably higher)

Architectural Fees, geological analysis, EPA impact study excreta $250,000

Add it up and tell us what you get.

That is $3.25 million dollars. How many units? 23. That is about $140,000 per unit. Actually $141,304.35.

Any questions?

alan swartz's picture

Actually $141,304.35

This proposal is too absurd to believe but it does come with limo service, at an extra expense.

sobi's picture

Oh. Okay.

But you left out groceries, dental care, clothing, deodorant, shaving cream, sunscreen, meds, art supplies, costs for furnishings, and other miscellaneous 'excreta' you could lump in there to make your ignorant railings even more hyperdramatic.

Do you also want to factor in the costs associated with feeding, clothing, educating and otherwise providing for the renters as they were growing up? You could really make those liberal assholes look dumb then.

You're laughable. Nobody but you and your fellow NIMBYists would price a real estate development the way you're doing it here.

If you're so concerned about costs to taxpayers, why aren't spewing your bloody froth about how much it costs to keep these people bouncing in and out of jail and all of that? That's been studied. Have you read that stuff?

If you had, you'd be living in a perpetual state of vaporlock. You'd never shut up. You'd be outraged, all the time, and rightly so.

Thus, twenty-five individuals repeatedly cycling through jail, detox and hospitalization will incur costs of approximately $929,103.00 in one year.

Let's just assume, since some of us seem to be so into making assumptions, that there are 500 people like this in our city. The Ten Year Plan says it's more, but stay with me. 500 of these undesirables (Come on, now, be honest!) should cost us $18,582,060 per year.

Per year. We've got the money for that, but we don't have the money to house them for much less?

That's exactly what you're saying. It's a joke, but it's not very funny.

alan swartz's picture

jail, detox and hospitalization

sobi, in your scenario you are saying all homeless people are “individuals repeatedly cycling through jail, detox and hospitalization.” How is housing these people in other locations going to change these types of habits? Will they be using the special transportation service to acquire their materials for substance abuse?

People with shelter don’t ever cycle through jail, detox and hospitalization? What kind of housing would people need to cure cancer?

Before you say it, I do not live anywhere close to the two acre property. I do not even live in the 5th district so don’t start the NIMBY rhetoric. This will be bad for these homeless people and they are becoming political pawns in an experiment of massive wasteful spending.

People housed on death row only cost $40,000 per year to support.

edens's picture

What's your problem? You

What's your problem?

You have to forgive Nine. He's the victim of years of discrimination.

Bird_dog's picture

Public Transportation is not much of a factor here...

because it is so useless. Even if you live on the bus line, to get anywhere that is off the bus line, like a job, is nearly impossible. The bus stop near my house is in a ditch on Northshore. And the timing makes using the bus very inefficient. I have worked with low-income families who keep track of their expenses, and using cabs to supplement the bus was actually cheaper than owning, insuring, and operating a car.

alan swartz's picture

In the late fifties

In the late fifties and early sixties people who did not want to live around the hassle and bustle of the city moved to the suburbs. They were escaping from the noise of the trains and busses, and the commerce and distribution that happened in the city. Bus stations replaced trolley stations. The University campus continued to grow. The communities outside the perimeter of the city also continued to grow.

In those days, people without any means would ride into town on trains and busses and they were called bums. They mostly lived in the mission district close to the bus stations and where people would feed and support them. When they would hear of places that gave more assistance and charity, they would move on to those places.

During the time Victor Ashe was Mayor it became stylish for some to move to the older less expensive neighborhoods and rehab older residences and create new residential housing where older distribution warehouses had boomed but now were decaying relics. It was during the Ashe period that the panhandlers and bums were called homeless.

The mission district has always been where the homeless hang out and always will be. If government places part of today’s population of homeless in other locations they will be replaced by more homeless migrating in to fill the void. The mission district is where their community is and where there are people they relate to.

KnoxCatLady's picture

Well

Well it is rather astonishing to read much of this discussion. As a South Knoxvillian, I was one of those who was terribly upset about the Flenniken Elementary School project. I do find it amazing we are NOW hearing from West Knoxville residents who, as I recall, uttered not a supportive word on behalf of the people in South Knoxville when we were faced with this project. I doubt any similar word of support was uttered by West Knoxvillians when that community was facing similar projects. Commissioner Briggs NOW supports centralized housing for the homeless. Where was he when we were facing those projects? I find fault with the Commissioners from South Knoxville for supporting their colleagues in West Knoxville. For those who remember, it was the West Knoxvillians on the City Council who forced the Flenniken project on the people of South Knoxville. Marilyn Roddy and Joe Bailey did everything they could to force that project on the people of South Knoxville. That hypocrite Joe Bailey smugly stated he wouldn't mind such a project in his own neighborhood, knowing very well there is absolutely no danger of one being cited in Sequoyah Hills, which is where Marilyn Roddy lives as well. I hate to say it, but it seems evident to me many of the folks in West Knoxville feel that such projects belong in North and South Knoxville. Either these projects should be centralized or every quadrant of the city and county should be equally blessed.

Anonymously Nine's picture

money is all this is about

Either these projects should be centralized or every quadrant of the city and county should be equally blessed.

Take some park ground at Lakeshore and build a new building there that can accommodate the 400 people the TYP says it wants to "help". That way Federal dollars can still be used. Southeastern Housing Foundation won't have to prey on suburbs. And the mentally ill that need services can be helped.

Up North this is a common occurrence. Establish a beach head with a complex for the mentally ill. Then as property values decline buy whole neighborhoods and use Federal grants to raze the neighborhood and built low income housing apartments. Repeat until ghettoization is complete. Instant Cleveland, just add government grants. And because you can't sue, you really don't have a say.

This is about the money. It isn't about helping anyone. If you think that these homeless complexes will be the only thing placed into these neighborhoods you aren't paying attention.

If this was really about helping then any of these apartment complexes could be purchased for a fraction of the cost of the Debusk Lane project:

MLS numbers:

675217
675400
680073
681821
674257

If they really wanted to help they would help as many mentally ill as possible. It isn't about helping.

This site could help 194 mentally ill people instead of 23 for only $250,000 more.

(link...)

# 4501 Tillery Road, Knoxville, 37912
# Listing Number: 681241
# Square Feet: 107,282
# Age (years): 28
# # Units: 105
# Sub-Area: 110
# 105 units close to I-640 off Clinton Highway. Eight 3 BR, 2 bath townhouse units; Forty one 2 BR, 1.5 bath townhouse units; thirty two 2 BR, 1 bath garden units and 24 1 BR, 1 bath garden units. All units have central H&A, stove, frig and dishwasher. Vinyl siding, dimensional roofs, insulated windows all updated in last few years. Three laundry facilities. Nice kidney shaped pool. Office and maintenance building. Tennis court (needs work).

This will pass because some foolish people want to teach West Knoxville a lesson. Look out for that Karma when it comes to your neighborhood. What goes around comes around.

Rachel's picture

If you think that these

If you think that these homeless complexes will be the only thing placed into these neighborhoods you aren't paying attention.

I do believe it's you who hasn't been paying attention. Are you aware of how saturated south Knoxville is with subsidized, low income housing? That was one of the reasons MPC voted against the Flenniken project.

I don't believe Cedar Bluff/Farragut has the same problem.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

Exactly, Rachel

"Are you aware of how saturated south Knoxville is with subsidized, low income housing?"

Exactly, Rachel--and so is the Norwood Elementary/Northwest Middle area where Nine wants to locate this project. Christenberry Heights, Cassell Ridge Apartments, and Virginia Walker Apartments are three such subsidized complexes I know are in this general area--then there's the plethora of trailer parks and motel-rooms-by-the-week littering Clinton Highway for miles.

All we have to do to size up the problem with Nine's suggestion is to look at the population of Economically Disadvantaged kids in the two area's schools, as follows:

Norwood Elementary: 80%
(link...)
Farragut Primary: 13.2%
(link...)
Farragut Intermediate: 11.5%

Northwest Middle: 80%
(link...)?
p=200:1:3095706463202027::NO:::
Farragut Middle: 11.8%

This community is already carrying its fair share.

SnM's picture

But that's the point

...it's centralized. ;-)

Tamara Shepherd's picture

Links

Sorry 'bout messing up those links to school data for the two areas, Norwood vs. Farragut.

Look 'em up ((link...)), if you're inclined.

Gotta run.

edens's picture

look at the population of

look at the population of Economically Disadvantaged kids

It's 85% for Inskip Elementary. Which, btw, is perhaps 1,000 yards from Nine's preferred site.

Joe328's picture

When was the last time you

When was the last time you check the Cedar Bluff/Walker Springs area? Section 8 housing is available in most all apartments in that area and all along Gleason. Both areas are also have a high number of violent crimes. Section 8 housing is also in Sequoyah Hills. Gene Monday purchased property in Sequoyah Hills years ago and the residents made few objections.

I don't have a problem with the housing being located on the west side, but the property is overpriced. Someone is being bailed out with taxpayer's money.

edens's picture

If you think that these

If you think that these homeless complexes will be the only thing placed into these neighborhoods

Nine, it's been fun watching you crap your pants shouting that the inner city is coming to get you.

But, proving the old adage about broken clocks, you have hit upon one thing. When it comes to discussing issues of homeless housing in Knoxville, Lakeshore is the elephant passed out drunk in the middle of the room (or North Broadway, whichever...)

Anonymously Nine's picture

When it comes to discussing

When it comes to discussing issues of homeless housing in Knoxville, Lakeshore is the elephant passed out drunk in the middle of the room (or North Broadway, whichever...)

Oh but what about the parks Edens? What about the parks? People have to have parks.

Lakeshore is the simple answer. But probably too simple.

SnM's picture

LVG weighs in

Got to scroll past trustee's office incompetence and threats from Bill Phillips supporters, but some interesting observations from the meeting:

(link...)

BTW: "..For hundreds of years the best plan to help the mentally ill was consolidated centralized services..."

WTF? Ohhhh, I get it. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

SnM's picture

15-4 against

(link...)

...The vote, just a few minutes ago, came after more than 90 minutes of discussion, during which several commissioners took homeless advocates to task for fast-tracking the proposed development.

"I want to show you the way you did it this time isn't going to work," said Commissioner Greg "Lumpy" Lambert, who voted against the proposal.

Lambert's comment drew loud applause from the crowd of about 80 people, most of them opponents to the west Knox homeless facility...

Rachel's picture

Well, so much for the county

Well, so much for the county taking their fair share of homeless housing.

metulj's picture

But. But. But. Homelessness

But. But. But. Homelessness is only an urban problem! Or not.

True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

Stimulating the economy as best we can!

Further stimulation with Yoga Wear!

michael kaplan's picture

Rural areas constitute all

Rural areas constitute all “territory, population and housing units not classified as urban”. Because urban and rural classifications crosscut other geographic hierarchies, rural pockets can be located in both metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas.

The study you cite (and quoted above) itself has difficulty defining "rural," and differentiating between "urban" and "rural." It's particularly difficult in Knoxville, which has a low density of development outside its downtown core and 'close-in' neighborhoods. Did you happen to read my article in the Knoxville Voice entitled "Rural Urbanism"?

metulj's picture

That's as good a definition

That's as good a definition I have ever seen for urban/rural and sure as hell beats the Census definition. I didn't read your article. I am a rural geographer by graduate training and I haven't seen a perfect definition of rurality, ever. I just say that it is one of those things that goes without saying. You know that Tarklin Valley is rural. You know that Happy Valley isn't.

True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

Stimulating the economy as best we can!

Further stimulation with Yoga Wear!

rocketsquirrel's picture

From a community relations

From a community relations perspective, what a bungled job. First meeting (Nov 3) with the community was two weeks before a commission vote on funding with the block grant money (Nov 16)? Are you kidding? Way to go guys...way to really build credible support in a serious manner.

And then there's this:

Arning answered, "You don't have any say in where they live just as you don't have a say in where African-Americans live," noting that homeless housing is covered by the Fair Housing Act. (source: Knoxnews.com)

Way to shove a stick in the hornet's nest, Arning. Someone needs to work on their people skills. You're at a public meeting, trying to build support, and instead of calmly explaining the relevance of the Fair Housing Act, you tell people, "you don't have a say in this..."

That was all they heard, and all they needed.

Bottom line: Cost matters to taxpayers, and by failing to contain/address costs, the folks from the TYP are doing the chronically homeless no favors. This recent episode makes me wonder if the TYP folks were serious about this location or were just trying to throw a poison pill at west knox @ $250k an acre so that when it failed they could say "see, we tried."

Too bad the TYP has chosen to become a massive building program instead of a lean, efficient homeless housing program. Why is it that someone like Step House (nonviolent drug/alcohol halfway houses) can be so successful at using existing buildings, but the TYP seems so opposed to existing buildings that aren't a huge historic retrofit, like Minvilla and Flenniken?

My worst fear is that the money that will be spent on program and case management will be a tiny fraction of what they're spending trying to build these units. These people need care and support, not just a housing project that takes their disability and social security checks in rent and offers them little to no support.

A different approach is in order for providing permanent supportive housing. One that uses existing buildings at a much lower cost (unused churches, apartments, etc.) with apportionment across each of the city and county sectors, or alternatively, a campus-like approach like Austin, Texas, where all of the service providers are coordinated under an umbrella service provider, with representatives on site. Such a campus can't be a cloister. It has to allow the residents access to the community, but without exposing them daily to the worst of the street element.

I really liked Joe Hultquist's column in the Sunday paper. Makes a whole lot of sense, and proves that our Ten Year Plan folks may not have all the answers they claim to have.

michael kaplan's picture

very well stated. i think it

very well stated. i think it would be appropriate for hultquist to make a public presentation on what he saw and heard.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

A different approach is in

A different approach is in order for providing permanent supportive housing. One that uses existing buildings at a much lower cost (unused churches, apartments, etc.) with apportionment across each of the city and county sectors...

Sounds reasonable, but Nine says all such existing buildings are in the 37912 zip code.

Anonymously Nine's picture

the grant game

There are a lot of apartment complexes for sale in the 37912 zip code. That is because there are a lot of apartment complexes in the 37912 zip code.

There are some apartment complexes for sale in 37918. But that won't satisfy the need to stick it to West Knoxville.

If there are no listings there are no listings. It isn't some vast West Knoxville right wing conspiracy. It is just the local real estate market.

But that isn't the point. No apartment building will be used for homes for the mentally ill because Southeastern Housing Foundation cannot make money that way. This non-profit cares about the bottom line.

Think of it this way, does the Federal Government have grants to purchase apartment buildings and convert them into housing for the mentally ill or homeless? You have to either build new construction or do renovation to justify the grants don't you?

The Debusk Lane project had a total cost of $3.25 million dollars. For $3.5 million dollars an apartment complex in the dreaded 37912 zip code could have been purchased. It has 105 separate apartments. That is more than four times the number of apartments at the Debusk Lane site. It would have been a little wasteful because many were two and three bedroom apartments. But the rules are that the mentally ill must live alone without roommates. The only way Southeastern Housing Foundation could make money is to convert the two and three bedroom apartments to really big one bedroom apartments. That would be an interesting grant application.

The tail is wagging the dog. Southeastern Housing Foundation requires Federal Government grants. The simplest solution is to let Southeastern Housing Foundation build a large enough building at Lakeshore to house the 400 mentally ill people they say need services. Sadly, it seems what is good for Southeastern Housing Foundation is more important than the actual goal of helping the mentally ill.

Knox County cannot afford this non-profit nor can it afford the rules that come with the Federal Government grants. Would we have this problem if Victor Ashe and Bill Haslam had any vision? Taking land at Lakeshore and converting it into parks was a foolish idea. But if these mentally ill people are so safe as they could be next to a day care then they should be safe enough to walk in the parks at Lakeshore. Right?

It is time for a renaissance at Lakeshore. There has to be a cost effective solution to this problem or it will never be addressed.

Rachel's picture

If there are no listings

If there are no listings there are no listings. It isn't some vast West Knoxville right wing conspiracy. It is just the local real estate market.

That's the argument that's been used to stick subsidized housing in the inner city for years. I would have thought you could have been more original.

Two things, without arguing the merits of this particular site since it's been rejected anyway:

The TYP has as one of its objectives to scatter homeless housing around the county. This may cost more than putting it all in Vestal, but it makes sure that we all share in taking care of this problem. And there's a social cost to putting more of such housing in neighborhoods that are already fragile.

Many exisiting apartment houses won't do for homeless housing because the apartments have separate, outdoor entrances. The TYP wants buildings with one entrance, so that all residents have to go through the lobby to get to and from their residences.

Anonymously Nine's picture

...

Rachel, why not revitalize Lakeshore for the mentally ill?

As a member of MPC I would like for you to consider this simple solution that makes much more sense than distributing to all corners of the county a need that is better served in a centralized consolidated facility that can give the care and medical attention these poor mentally ill people need.

There has been no vote anywhere about scattering homeless housing or housing for the mentally ill in either City Council or County Commission. The people from the Ten Year Plan are not either elected or accountable to anyone. The taxpayers have had no say in this matter. Jon Lawler is not the decider.

Also, the way the Ten Year Plan group uses the terms homeless and mentally ill interchangeably is not honest. Not all homeless people are mentally ill. It is a disservice to not be specific. Call the homeless what they are, people without homes. Call the mentally ill what they are, people with medical problems that need specific help and services.

After what the Ten Year Plan group pulled on this Debusk Lane proposal serious thought needs to be given to disbanding this elitist group of people who rely on fast tracking and deception.

County Commission sent a loud message yesterday. Was it heard in MPC?

Rachel's picture

As a member of MPC I would

As a member of MPC I would like for you to consider this simple solution that makes much more sense than distributing to all corners of the county a need that is better served in a centralized consolidated facility that can give the care and medical attention these poor mentally ill people need.

MPC has no dog in this fight unless property in question has zoning issues, or the use requires a use on review. Flenniken had both; my understanding is that the DeBusk Lane site had neither.

metulj's picture

First, they came for the

First, they came for the civics teachers....

True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

Stimulating the economy as best we can!

Further stimulation with Yoga Wear!

michael kaplan's picture

It is a disservice to not be

It is a disservice to not be specific.

That's why there needs to be comprehensive plan for all 300 units (if that's the target number). Such a plan does not need to be site specific, just district (or area) specific, with details of how many and what kind of homeless are to accommodated in each project.

sobi's picture

You're a professor, so you should know the answer to this:

...with details of how many and what kind of homeless are to accommodated in each project.

Do developers have to do this sort of thing for all apartment complexes? Can you give some examples? Maybe describe which zones require this kind of disclosure of information?

michael kaplan's picture

i don't believe there are

i don't believe there are legal constraints, but such "disclosure" would be helpful if the "developer" - in this case, the city and county through SHF - wanted some consensus (called "buy in" by politicians) in favor of the "scattered site" approach.

rocketsquirrel's picture

Hey Rachel, I'm not an

Hey Rachel,

I'm not an architect, but I know an existing apartment building can have a new front exterior wall added to enclose the old apartment entrances into a common hallway with a controlled entrance.

Try again.

Rachel's picture

I don't need to try again.

I don't need to try again. I'm not taking any particular position on this one. I'm just pointing out that the TYP says they can't use apartments with individual exterior entrances.

Yes, I suppose such buildings could be modified. The cost of that would be > zero, tho. How much greater, I have no idea.

Again, I'm just sharing info. Don't shoot the messenger.

Anonymously Nine's picture

I'm just pointing out that

I'm just pointing out that the TYP says they can't use apartments with individual exterior entrances.

Is that from TYP or a grant requirement? I have difficulty understanding why that would be a requirement.

sobi's picture

Finally!

I have difficulty understanding

We can agree on something!

michael kaplan's picture

yes, there are ways of doing

yes, there are ways of doing this. that's why i added $800,000 to the $1.2 million - for "renovations" required to make the complex appropriate for its new use.

but i've now been to that site and don't think it's a great location. the neighborhood is fragile and local amenities are minimal. there is a KAT route on central avenue pike (20B) and a "food mart" and gas station on dutch valley road, within walking distance of the complex.

as mentioned, the neighborhood is full of small apartment buildings. many are for lease or sale. the complex is (literally) in the shadow of the HD antenna on sharp's ridge.

Anonymously Nine's picture

apartment killer clause

Michael, you may not have seen the apartment killer clause.

Somewhere there is a requirement that there be a common entrance. The question is where that requirement comes from? Does it come from the government grants, or from the wishes of the TYP staff?

It seems this is about making money.

When quizzed as to who would collect rent and what would be done with the money, Arning said the project would belong to Southeastern Housing Found-ation and rents also would belong to the company.

“I’m not going to apologize for making money,” he said.

So why does a non-profit or not for profit care so much about making money?

michael kaplan's picture

So why does a non-profit or

So why does a non-profit or not for profit care so much about making money?

Well, they do need to pay salaries. And some non-profit CEOs earn $$$.

You're right, there are two "requirements" that, together, pretty much eliminate existing housing types. The first is the single entrance with surveillance. You'd think you could buy a used Super 8 motel for take care of that requirement. But ... you also need one bedroom apartments. Can't figure out why. Anything wrong with a studio or efficiency? With secure storage units for all that "stuff" these residents will want to keep?

Anonymously Nine's picture

the mystery deepens

But ... you also need one bedroom apartments. Can't figure out why. Anything wrong with a studio or efficiency? With secure storage units for all that "stuff" these residents will want to keep?

The more this unravels the more fascinating it becomes. This is the new NRR.

Take the one bedroom requirement. The Tanglewood Apartment complex is for sale for $3.5 million dollars. Roughly $250,000 more than the proposed and now failed Debusk Lane 23 unit project.

Tanglewood has 105 units. But most units are two and three bedroom apartments.

So what?

You could still put one person per apartment and they could have a study and a sitting room. The per unit cost would only be $33,330. That is a far cry from the $140,000 per unit cost of the Debusk Lane project for only 23 units. And a far cry from the $122,000 per unit for the little tiny apartments at Minvilla.

But the Tanglewood Apartments fails the apartment killer clause of having a common entrance. Who is it that makes these rules that rule out affordable housing? How very curious.

How is it only new construction or historic renovation fits the formula?

Tanglewood Apartments:

# 4501 Tillery Road, Knoxville, 37912
# Listing Number: 681241
# Square Feet: 107,282
# Age (years): 28
# # Units: 105
# Sub-Area: 110
# 105 units close to I-640 off Clinton Highway. Eight 3 BR, 2 bath townhouse units; Forty one 2 BR, 1.5 bath townhouse units; thirty two 2 BR, 1 bath garden units and 24 1 BR, 1 bath garden units. All units have central H&A, stove, frig and dishwasher. Vinyl siding, dimensional roofs, insulated windows all updated in last few years. Three laundry facilities. Nice kidney shaped pool. Office and maintenance building. Tennis court (needs work).

rocketsquirrel's picture

For the record, Minvilla in

For the record, Minvilla in its raw state did not have a common entrance.

Anonymously Nine's picture

more questions

For the record, Minvilla in its raw state did not have a common entrance.

This really illustrates how puzzling this whole thing has become. The rules appear to be quite arbitrary. For all we know the TYP is just making it up as they go.

I just learned today that Flenniken was a $6 million dollar project for 48 units. $125,000 per unit. Even more per unit than Minvilla. It doesn't look good. $13 million dollars gone to help only 105 people. And the question is whether they are really helped.

In today's Metro Pulse Ginny Weatherstone declares war on anyone who opposes their jihad. It is a sidebar ad on page 21 in the Bill Haslam story. It is very shrill, biased, divisive, and one sided.

This idea that communities don't have a say is a serious issue. More than once David Arning has threatened Federal lawsuits.

There should be public meetings and the community needs to have a voice in this. This is too one sided and it is out of control. Based on the tactics from the TYP I don't support scattering these facilities. The tone and the attitude of these people is not a good sign. They are not asking, they are telling people how it is going to be.

Elaine Davis's picture

Minvilla are efficiences and

Minvilla are efficiences and so were the proposed Debusk 4-plexes. (I'm not sure whether the Flenniken project is efficiencies or not.) But, this was one of the reasons folks were so aghast at the cost per unit--approximately $140,000 for an efficiency for one person. Also it was not made clear how all of the 4 buildings were to be monitored by one case manager. Now with the one door policy mentioned here, I'm assuming they would use some sort of closed circuit t.v. to monitor individuals.

Lakeshore seems to be a reasonable solution for both TYP and Sheriff Jones' building mentioned in the News Sentinel the other day. We already own the land and could build both the supportive housing along with Sheriff Jones'. Since it is west it may very well satisfy the "scatter site" approach.

R. Neal's picture

Somewhere there is a

Somewhere there is a requirement that there be a common entrance. The question is where that requirement comes from?

Which is in odd contrast to the uproar from community residents about these homeless mentally ill alcoholics and drug addicts being able to just come and go as they please without any monitoring or supervision by case managers and such.

michael kaplan's picture

There are several condo

There are several condo complexes off Northshore where you have to enter through a gate of some kind. It seems entirely feasible - if the single-entrance + surveillance is a must - to build a wall around an apartment complex and require entry/exit past a reception desk, just as it's done in a "gated" community of the kind that are all over, say, Florida. No one ever suggested that those places were prisons, only secure domiciles.

Bird_dog's picture

It's a cliche', but...

when you've got a hammer in your hand, everything looks like a nail...
I believe that historic preservation is Arning's specialty: (link...)

SnM's picture

another snark

County Commission Votes Against Homelessness
Commissioners say vote reflects "shock and awe" at very notion of people being homeless

From APB reports. KNOXVILLE - Knox County Commission voted 15-4 Monday to kill homelessness in West Knox County after taking officials to task for allegedly fast-tracking the project to introduce the idea of "the homeless" to the West Knox area.

While most commissioners said they want someone to help homeless people and in theory support a Ten-Year Plan to Fund Chronic Homelessness, they would prefer someone do it somewhere else where they don't have to see it.

Additionally, they were incensed at having the concept of homelessness sprung on unsuspecting West Knox Countians in such a forward manner, in defiance of good manners and taste.

"What, homeless people?" gasped an astounded Commissioner Mike Hammond, whose 5th District includes the property. "You honestly expect us to believe there are homeless people in Knox County? Stop pulling my leg...Wait, you're serious? There are? Well, I'll be...Whoda thunkit?"

Commissioner Mark Harmon said, "Oh come on. West Knox Countians never conceived of the possibility that there might be homeless people here? That is so bogus."

"Nope, never," replied Hammond sympathetically. "I'm shocked, shocked, I say, at the very notion. 'Homelessness' never crossed our minds - it's inconceivable to us. At the very least, it's not been properly vetted. If you truly want us to ponder the idea of 'homelessness,' give our book club the novel. Then we'll have a roundtable discussion on it over coffee and donuts."

The proposal would have allowed the county to relocate as many as two dozen homeless individuals into West Knox County - albeit with close supervision.

Commissioner Colonel Doctor Richard M. Briggs, M.D., also of the 5th district, gently criticized the location, the potential price tag and the timing.

"This is not the right place, the right price, or the right time" he said, his face full of compassion for his constituents. "You can't just spring something like the idea that there are people without homes on a home-full community and not expect to have a little disbelief."

Asked what the right place, time, and price would be, Briggs generously replied, "Well, obviously, you can't say exactly where or when or how much is the right time to think about a concept like this. But, equally obvious, the right place is someplace other than here, the right price is something other than the cost to our psyches and the right time is a long, long ways from now..."

knoxvegas99's picture

Scott, absolutely classic

"This is not the right place, the right price, or the right time" he said, his face full of compassion for his constituents.

You captured the humeur with one phrase. Beautiful.

Larry Van Guilder

Anonymously Nine's picture

...

I don't get what you said on Gene Patterson's show LVG. You said that Thursday night meeting at the Strang Center was ugly. The only thing that was ugly was the arrogance and dismissiveness of the TYP people and David Arning.

Those people in the audience were well behaved considering how they were baited by Arning. I also don't get your column this week. I really don't see how you saw what you say you saw. I have been to heated meetings and that simply wasn't one. And the people who did respond to Arning's ridiculous statement that they had no say in the matter had been standing up for almost 45 minutes. You also overlooked that Jon Lawler and David Arning did not answer many questions. They just played rope a dope. They were disrespectful of the people asking questions. You also left out that many people who wanted to ask questions never had the chance.

You might have had a different perspective if you had been standing up in the back for two hours. For the guy we rely on for investigative reporting you were AWOL on this one LVG. I can't agree with much of what you wrote or said on this story.

Bird_dog's picture

I didn't see the Patterson show,

but I read your article. I thought the meeting was "ugly" in a restrained way. There was no rock throwing or anything. The location was a poor choice. I thought Arning was condescending to "the public", but the public comments were insulting to "the VMC Members" - who were right there in the room!

Ginny W did a very nice job stating the case for housing first and advocating for her constituents. It was clear the residents just didn't want "those people" in their neighborhood. If the project had had a reasonable per unit price tag, none of the "we know what's best for you" or "they just wouldn't be comfortable here" arguments would have gained any traction.

The per unit cost and some SHF issues (who are the beneficiaries? how do tax credits apply to a non-profit? are they a 501(c)3? are they tax-exempt? why was SHF "transferred" to KLF?) were the only objections I had.

SnM's picture

Thank you, sir.

Depressed me to write it, though.

knoxvegas99's picture

I can't argue that David

I can't argue that David Arning needs to polish his presentation skills. Although legally correct (i.e. FHA, ADA issues) his "you have no say in this" comment was disastrous. I can't go further than that, however. The atmosphere was anything but cordial from my perspective, and the 5th District commissioners were quick to embrace the mood and carry it right on to Monday's commission meeting, where the pandering may have sunk to new depths. (e.g. Lumpy's "Let's send them a message!")

I didn't perceive Lawler (and certainly not Ginny Weatherstone) as dismissive. And I believe the 2-hour cutoff on the meeting was the center's call, not the TYP group.

I never thought for a moment that what I wrote about the meeting and the general plan to place permanent supportive housing in West Knox County was going to win friends or do much to persuade the opposition. But when I stop writing what I believe to be true, I need to back away from the keyboard permanently.

Larry Van Guilder

Anonymously Nine's picture

counter point

I can't argue that David Arning needs to polish his presentation skills. Although legally correct (i.e. FHA, ADA issues) his "you have no say in this" comment was disastrous. I can't go further than that, however. The atmosphere was anything but cordial from my perspective, and the 5th District commissioners were quick to embrace the mood and carry it right on to Monday's commission meeting, where the pandering may have sunk to new depths. (e.g. Lumpy's "Let's send them a message!")

I didn't perceive Lawler (and certainly not Ginny Weatherstone) as dismissive.

Commissioner Lambert is from the 6th District but I understand the point. However, the "Let's send them a message!" could have to do with the very short notice and the lack of complete disclosure. I can't recall such a short notice on anything voted on in County Commission. Couple that with an off schedule Commission meeting due to the Thanksgiving holiday and it is reasonable for people to be concerned they were being fast tracked.

That meeting last Thursday was only eight days after the local community found out this was happening. The bigger problem was disclosure. The notice that was given referred to housing for the disabled chronically homeless. No mention was made of mental illness or drug and alcohol addiction. So what is the problem with the "send them a message" train of thought? It just doesn't happen like that. People felt they had been misled. A message needed to be sent.

I cannot say I saw every single moment. It was difficult to hear standing in the foyer. If someone was rude to Ginny Weatherstone that is unfortunate and undeserved. I thought she was sincere and open and answered the questions she was asked. But I differ on Jon Lawler. He did not answer people's questions and in my opinion he was dismissive. Not answering questions is inherently dismissive.

But David Arning was more than dismissive, he was confrontational. And that is my main criticism of your Monday column. You wrote, "Jon Lawler outlined the Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness. David Arning, representing the Southeastern Housing Foundation, and Ginny Weatherstone, CEO of the Volunteer Ministry Center, fielded questions. Neither had a chance with the crowd whose collective mind refused to be muddled by facts."

No where in your column did you write the most significant statement made that evening that David Arning made, "You don't have any say in where they live just as you don't have a say in where African-Americans live," noting that homeless housing is covered by the Fair Housing Act."

I just don't know how you can leave that out LVG. It was the focal point of the evening. And it had everything to do with your criticism of the people in that meeting. It is what ignited what you referred to as the "crowd whose collective mind refused to be muddled by facts." When there is cause and effect you need to report both the cause and the effect.

You didn't. And that single statement did close a lot of minds very quickly and it was made very early in the questioning.

I would have expected you to flush that out. That is what you do for us. And why you are so appreciated. Was it made intentionally to rile up the crowd for a photo op showing the closed minded people that some locals love to hate. The uppity West Knoxville snobs. Or was it a really dumb gaffe from a smart man who was frustrated by a large crowd of reasonable people demanding answers to questions they cared very deeply about?

You closed your column with, "Few of the questioners gave their names. We should leave them that way, anonymous. Some day they might be glad we did." Oh please LVG, you make them sound like anonymous bloggers. There was no instruction to give names and addresses like in County Commission. I don't know of many meetings at this level that require that.

I liked it much better when you didn't inject so much satire into your writing. I have always thought you are our primary investigative journalist and I do not care for the snark writing that has become popular of late. While Scott McNutt can be humorous his take on this meeting is uninformed and misleading and quite frankly wrong. But then again, he did not attend did he? Nor does McNutt have any idea what the people of this community think. But when you write satire the details get in the way of the snark. Too many people locally are attempting to mix reporting with satire. You should stick to what you do best. You had the perfect formula before. This was not your best work.

edens's picture

Scott McNutt can be

Scott McNutt can be humorous

He often does it on purpose, too.

alan swartz's picture

agree with counter point

I do not live in the area of the proposed project. I was however so offended by Van Guilder‘s use of the word “Westies” that I will never buy another ad in the Shopper-News. I am disappointed in the recent attempts by Van Guilder to substitute satire for news. The disrespect for the truth like Scott McNutt posts on Snark Bites is wearing thin and losing the KNS subscribers. One would think Van Guilder would know better. I used to look forward to reading his articles because I had faith he was investigating and presenting the truth. You wonder now if you are just reading his sarcastic opinion, like in the case of Scott McNutt. A total disrespect for anything that represents “established authority” by satirical blabber is offensive and undermines civilized society.

The many times Van Guilder has followed a McNutt satirical post with praise, tells me Van Guilder, like his co-worker Bean, has taken the road of personal agenda, ending a career of good sound investigative journalism.

Rachel's picture

You wonder now if you are

You wonder now if you are just reading his sarcastic opinion, like in the case of Scott McNutt. A total disrespect for anything that represents “established authority” by satirical blabber is offensive and undermines civilized society.

This is satire, right?

SnM's picture

good heavens

i read it totally straight. i hope you're right and it is satire. i don't wish lvg to get in trouble for disrespecting established authority and undermining civil society like ferris bueller or tom sawyer or other subversives

Rachel's picture

I was hoping he was trying

I was hoping he was trying to emulate The Onion. But I fear you are correct.

Elaine Davis's picture

Can someone explain?

David Arning in the meeting the other night stated that the residents could not have overnight guests but COULD have alcohol. Are they more worried about a resident getting an STD than relapsing?

SnM's picture

geez

somebody doesn't report things as you like and now that reporter is no longer trustworthy? y'all are silly. you haven't had any problem with LVG until...

edit: and swartz, you're doing bean a disservice. she's been unabashed about having a perspective in her reporting in recent years. there's no deceit there at all - you know where she's coming from and you still get the news. what's the issue, exactly?

sobi's picture

The issue.

Van Guilder's report was way more than fair. He called some people out on their prejudice. He is right, their feelings are hurt and they don't like it.

knoxvegas99's picture

So there's no

So there's no misunderstanding, I too am a "Westie." We live maybe 4 miles west of Debusk. I'm no less appalled at what I witnessed beause I live in the area.

An opinion column, which is the target of the above hand-wringing, is just that. It makes no pretense to objectivity. Analysis and investigative reports are a breed apart. The former is more often informed by the heart, the latter by the intellect. Both have a legitimate place in a newspaper.

Larry Van Guilder

Anonymously Nine's picture

Opinion column?

I'm no less appalled at what I witnessed beause I live in the area.

An opinion column, which is the target of the above hand-wringing, is just that. It makes no pretense to objectivity. Analysis and investigative reports are a breed apart. The former is more often informed by the heart, the latter by the intellect. Both have a legitimate place in a newspaper.

It is a little shocking you are using the Rush Limbaugh Bill O'Reilly "it's just opinion" defense. Who thought that day would ever come?

Neither of your columns have the word "Opinion" in the title. One column has "Analysis" and the other "Government/Politics". Readers have to guess what those titles mean? Your advocacy journalism is showing. Been hanging around at the KNS? It might be the advocacy virus that's been going around. You should take something for that. Us dumb readers like our opinion on a page that clearly states it is the opinion page. Not in the reporting. Keep the chocolate out of the peanut butter please.

If you want to report on something next week that actually was appalling you could report what David Arning implied during the vote Monday when he alluded "that commission was “one vote” away from a lawsuit for violating the Fair Housing Act by not passing the funding resolution."

The people you keep defending were not wearing white hats. The people you keep running down were not the bad guys. No one disputes the cause is noble. But defending the tactics used is a poor reflection on you. Has anyone tried to sandbag a community any worse than this? Those people had every right to stand up to a fixed game. How can you be appalled at that?

edens's picture

has anyone tried to sandbag

has anyone tried to sandbag a community any worse than this?

However, when it comes to writing howlers, you could teach McNutt a thing or two.

sobi's picture

So what?

Neither of your columns have the word "Opinion" in the title.

None of your comments have the phrase "Specious Psychotic Rant" in the subject line either.

That article you linked to in the Farragut paper has your daffy $3.25 million mantra in it. Some guy in Farragut is stealing and improving some of your best work. He says it could even be more than what you say. Many now believe that this project would have cost taxpayers $17.63 million. Minimum. And that's before they put in roads and sewers and light rail. Just to house 23 dangerous lunatics right beside a liquor store and a daycare center.

knoxvegas99's picture

Don't know how I missed it

Don't know how I missed it earlier, but I just learned from the above that I'm undermining civilized society. Now I'm off to introduce foreign substances into our precious bodily fluids. Yee-haw!

Larry Van Guilder

Anonymously Nine's picture

Sunday wrap up on the Debusk Lane show down

The misinformation disinformation beat goes on. Sunday was wall to wall propaganda about the Debusk Lane war. Both talking head television shows and another slanted editorial in the KNS told us how bad the people of West Knoxville are.

(link...)

(link...)

(link...)

The new news is Jon Lawler know wants 700 additional units scattered through Knox County. The prior number was 400. The average cost per unit between Minvilla and Flenniken is $123,809. So 700 units will cost around $86.6 million dollars.

At the density Lawler wants of around 25 persons per unit there will be 28 sites for the mentally ill drug and alcohol addicts scattered across Knox County. So the process, okay that word is a oxymoron, the disinformation war will be reenacted 28 times. 28 County Commission meetings. 28 crap editorials in the KNS. Next year will not be fun for whoever draws the short straw.

There has not been a single public meeting for the people of Knox County to discuss the scattered concept for housing these mentally ill homeless people. This is somewhat like Obama's Czars. They just do what they want and it doesn't matter that they are unelected and unaccountable.

When Ginny Weatherstone told the people of West Knoxville that eighty percent of the homeless are from here it should have been a warning this would not be a straight up discussion. The Nooe study has the figure at 51% having their State of origin as Tennessee. That is the nexus of the problem. We have become a dumping ground for other states. Proof that if you build it they will come.

(link...)

Page 60

So if half the local homeless are not from Tennessee, can the problem be solved locally?

You would think that Mayors Haslam and Ragsdale along with City Council and County Commission would insist public meetings be held so the actual government, the people, would have a voice in these decisions.

But they chose the Czar approach.

Robert Finley's picture

Foul.

The new news is Jon Lawler know wants 700 additional units scattered through Knox County. The prior number was 400. The average cost per unit between Minvilla and Flenniken is $123,809. So 700 units will cost around $86.6 million dollars.

I'm not sure where you're getting this. Maybe I've missed something really significant, but to my knowledge nobody but you is talking about building 700 units in connection with the Ten-Year Plan. Here's what Jon actually said in the interview on Inside Tennessee.

Becker: "How many chronically homeless do we have, and let's define what chronically homeless means, and how much supportive housing do we already have in place?"

Lawler: "When the plan began its implementation, we estimate we had 900 chronically homeless individuals. Right now we have 700 chronically homeless individuals who have not been housed up to this point. Those 200 have been housed in a combination of existing affordable housing properties and other new permanent supportive housing that's been developed in the community. So 700 chronically homeless still on the street."

Becker: "And the goal is to get them all off the street."

Lawler: "That's right. It's not off the street, but into permanent supportive housing, which is the key operating strategy around the Ten-Year Plan. And I should say, you asked me this in the beginning, a chronically homeless individual is a disablded individual who's been homeless for more than a year or had four serious bouts of homelessness over a three-year period."

Lawler didn't speak to our goals in this interview nor in any of the other materials to which you link. He said that a couple hundred people who used to be chronically homeless have moved into permanent supportive housing in housing stock that already exists in our community (the progress to which McElroy alluded at the end of the show). There are an estimated 700 people who are still chronically homeless. Our goal has been to develop approximately 400 units by 2016. We continue to operate in the belief that existing housing stock can offer housing options for the remaining 300. We may learn something that causes this calculus to change, but that has not happened yet.

Your extrapolation of cost via an analysis of Minvilla's and Flenniken's projected costs might be valid if we were committed to developing PSH only in the context of rehabilitating blighted buildings of historic and/or architectural significance. That is not the case, and average development costs should be quite a bit lower than you infer.

Robert Finley
Ten-Year Plan
215-3071
(link...)

Anonymously Nine's picture

no foul was intended

Lawler: "When the plan began its implementation, we estimate we had 900 chronically homeless individuals. Right now we have 700 chronically homeless individuals who have not been housed up to this point. Those 200 have been housed in a combination of existing affordable housing properties and other new permanent supportive housing that's been developed in the community. So 700 chronically homeless still on the street."

Becker: "And the goal is to get them all off the street."

Lawler: "That's right. It's not off the street, but into permanent supportive housing, which is the key operating strategy around the Ten-Year Plan.

I was surprised when I heard that exchange as I thought the number was 400. Like I wrote, "the prior number was 400".

I hope the number is 400. I will take your word that I misunderstood that exchange between Becker and Lawler.

Thank you for clarifying an important point.

alan swartz's picture

Lawler and Arning both said 700

You were not imagining the 700 number. Both Mr. Lawyer and Mr. Arning have used the 700 figure in public meetings. It was the number used at the meeting held at the Frank R. Strang Senior Center and led people to believe that there were at least 700 homeless people on the streets in Knoxville, and the 10 year plan was going to provide permanent supportive housing for those individuals.

Robert Finley's picture

Right. But "provide" isn't the same as "build."

Our goal is to make appropriate housing available for all people who are chronically homeless in our community. That does not mean that we intend to build new, or rehabbed, housing for all of them. At this time, we don't believe that will be necessary.

Our community has a limited supply of housing that is appropriate for utilization as permanent supportive housing for individuals who are chronically homeless. If you would like to know what I mean by "appropriate for utilization as permanent supportive housing," I'll be happy to go into that in another comment.

Of the approximately 200 of our neighbors who've traded chronic homelessness for housing so far, the majority have taken up residence in existing public housing, privately-owned affordable housing, permanent supportive housing operated by area agencies, or other already-existing housing stock.

A tiny minority of the 200 have come to reside in new permanent supportive housing. The 16 new units built by Helen Ross McNabb on Cox Street is an example of that.

We still need to provide appropriate housing opportunities for the estimated 700 people who remain chronically homeless in Knox County. We believe that can happen in existing housing stock for about 300 of those. For the other 400, we believe housing will have to be developed. Built, if you prefer.

That development is underway. Minvilla's 57 units of permanent supportive housing will add a net of 41 units because the 16 units at the Jackson Apartments will close and its residents will relocate, or will have the opportunity to relocate, to Minvilla. Flenniken Housing, the rehab of the old Flenniken Elementary School, will add 48 new units. At that point, according to our present assumptions, we'll still need to build approximately 311 new PSH-appropriate units in Knox County.

I hasten to add that as we move further along in the implementation of the TYP, we might find that there are more opportunities to to some good work with existing housing stock. We also might find that we've underestimated the quality and/or quantity, and that we have to develop more than what is stated in our present goals. We also might discover that there are more, or fewer, people in our community who need permanent supportive housing than we have estimated.

But right now, as regards development of new permanent supportive housing in Knox, our goal stands at 400.

Robert Finley
Ten-Year Plan
215-3071
(link...)

buttorfly's picture

meeting

I attended the public meeting at the Strang Senior Center to hear discussion on the proposed development of permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless individuals at the DeBusk Lane site. I was amazed at the cost of the land. The meeting was not a discussion but was more like we were being told that this was going to happen on this site and Arning said, the government would sue us if we tried to stop it. I remember Lawler using the goal of 700 homeless housed in permanent housing.

What is so interesting is the meeting remained calm and although many were offended by the arrogant presentation by Lawler and Arning. The meeting did not become heated, as people who apparently were not there, are writing about on the internet. The officials were acting as if this meeting with the area citizens was just a necessary step that had to be completed to move the process along.

Most in attendance were in shock and awe over the cost and the short notice. Most had never heard of the Ten Year Joint Mayor’s Plan. Have the Knox County Commissioners voted to spend this much money for this plan? Did I miss something? These are very expensive beds.

Bbeanster's picture

"Most had never heard of the

"Most had never heard of the Ten Year Joint Mayor’s Plan.."

That bumfuzzles me.
I suppose these might be the West Siders I run into who don't know where the courthouse is?
Guess as long as you consider this is somebody else's problem you don't have to think about it.
The 10 Year Plan has been in the news for years, as a quick Google search would tell you.

http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=Knox+Mayors'+10+year+plan+to+end+homelessness&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

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