Bicycle Apartments

YAKIMA, WA - People in Yakima say affordable places to live are hard to find.

A new project approved by city council members just last week is meant to help, but several residents are not happy about where the project will be built.

Back in April of 2018 the first talks of a Next Step Housing apartment complex in West Valley were happening.

Neighbors back then told us they're worried about that type of complex in their community.

"I would say 80% of the people would say we're afraid of the impact on our little sweet neighborhood," said Leslie Shaw, concerned neighbor.

Aside from neighbors filling an appeal to the Yakima County, everyone else gave the green light on the project.

Yakima city council members have approved $1 million towards the 80-unit complex, which will be called the Bicycle Apartments.

"We have a vacancy rate that is extremely low in our city, around 1%...All areas of town have to be able to absorb affordable housing if we truly want to be able to have enough affordable housing to fit the needs of our city, that's almost 95,000 people said Dulce Gutiérrez, Assistant Mayor.

Gutiérrez also says she's heard negative comments from property owners, but she says the city needs to make sure every citizen is given an equal opportunity; especially when it comes to housing.

"The city is responsible for ensuring that new housing goes up, that developments are encouraged amongst the private sector and that we do our part to make sure that everybody has the opportunity to live where they choose to live without being discriminated against for their income level," said Gutiérrez.

The $1 million that will be going towards the project is money the city receives from the federal government to go directly to these kind of projects. If this money is not used Gutiérrez says its essentially lost.

Multi-Media Journalist

Recommended for you