forestlawn.jpg
Flickr: Slightlynorth
Does this really prove the safety of High Point?
High Point, one of three low-income clusters the Seattle Housing Authority has redeveloped as

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High Point Advocates Point to Increased Number of Burials as Sign of Progress

forestlawn.jpg
Flickr: Slightlynorth
Does this really prove the safety of High Point?
High Point, one of three low-income clusters the Seattle Housing Authority has redeveloped as mixed-income micro-neighborhoods, has had its share of violence lately. In the past two months, 22-year-old Marcos Combs, a resident of High Point, stabbed a 40-year-old woman without provocation; a 33-year-old High Point man was arrested for allegedly kidnapping, beating, and robbing a woman near (or in) his apartment; and a 16-year-old boy was assaulted at a basketball court by the High Point Neighborhood Center. The residents implicated in the crimes have had their leases terminated since their arrests.

It's no surprise some public projects work better on paper than they do in reality. What is surprising is the example SHA is using to declare High Point a high watermark for urban redesign.

When we called Tom Phillips, the senior development program manager for the SHA (who has been using federal money to fund projects like High Point), to see how the community has been doing recently, he said High Point is a success not just because of who lives there, but because of who is no longer living there as well.

Said Phillips: "Another thing to help measure the impact of High Point is the cemetery just to the east of High Point. The head of the cemetery told me the number of burials since High Point redeveloped doubled. People must have felt OK with burying their relatives [after the redevelopment]."

However you want to interpret that morbid fact, it's a pretty strange way to try to persuade the public that these mixed-income living arrangements are getting better with time.

 
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