MLKHDA Looking to the City for Help

The Martin Luther King Housing Development Authority is in a bit of financial trouble. At this week’s Economic Development Committee meeting, the organization’s executive director, Felix Flannigan, presented their situation and asked for … a bit of money.

How much? $1.9 million. Why? There’s an issue of a downturn in the economy and an impending foreclosure on a property purchased in 2005 that used another property for collateral. Plus, they’re trying to get their new mixed use building at South 11th and MLK built.

According to The News Tribune, there wasn’t a whole lot of enthusiasm in the room to help an organization that is already behind on some payments to the City. Especially when there isn’t much left in the contingency fund.

What will happen next? We’ll keep our ears and eyes open.

Link to The News Tribune

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Erik B.

<span class=“caps”>MLK</span> states on their website that they own 4 percent of the housing on Hilltop.

Now might be an opportunity to assist some first time home buyers to purchase some of the houses they are renting to create affordable home ownership.

This would supply some affordable home ownership opportunities, increase the percent of owners of property on Hilltop, provide <span class=“caps”>MLK</span> with some income and keep the City from having to subsidize <span class=“caps”>MLK</span>.


April 17, 2009 at 11:05 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Great idea, Erik!

April 17, 2009 at 12:41 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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crenshaw sepulveda

Actually <span class=“caps”>MLK</span> does sell off some of its housing stock from time to time.  Some really good deals in the mix.  A couple of years ago they had quite a few that could be had for a song, a long song, but a song none the less.

April 17, 2009 at 12:48 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Erik, I love that idea!

What would be really great is if sales could somehow be restricted to first-time buyers so that we could avoid out-of-town landlords from picking them up and neglecting them.

I know I know, now is not the time to be picky about home buyers. But who knows? It seems like the only attainable mortgages out there right now are <span class=“caps”>FHA</span> loans for first-time buyers anyway.

April 17, 2009 at 1:44 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Increasing the ratio of owner-occupied housing in the Hilltop will do nothing but help stem the rising tide of crime due to early offender releases at the State & every other level as municipalities seal their budget gaps.


I would venture a guess the idea would even fit nicely into <span class=“caps”>MLKHDA</span>’s by-laws & mission statement.

April 17, 2009 at 7:06 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Yes, if it can be done, sell some properties to first time home buyers. It’s better to have a family in a home who intends to stay there and raise their kids than a landlord who cares about nothing more than his rent.

April 18, 2009 at 8:34 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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crenshaw sepulveda

Wouldn’t increasing the ratio of owner-occupied housing on the Hilltop simply provide the criminals with better stuff to steal?  Lots of clueless yuppies on hilltop would be like shooting fish in a barrel.

April 18, 2009 at 10:23 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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When did home ownership equate to yuppiness? There’s a big difference between a neighborhood where people own homes and one where each home comes with 1.8 kids, a golden retriever, and a Volvo.

April 18, 2009 at 10:31 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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crenshaw sepulveda

When did being poor or being a renter equate to being a criminal?

April 18, 2009 at 11:42 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Just for clarification:

<span class=“caps”>MLKHDA</span> primarily owns multi-unit housing. Meaning if they wanted to sell that housing they would have to go through the condo conversion process. They do own other properties and buildings but most (if not all) of their affordable housing is in the form of multi-unit buildings. Not easy to just sell them off.

April 18, 2009 at 11:53 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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crenshaw sepulveda

Would the <span class=“caps”>MLKHDA</span> be forced to go through the “condo conversion process” before it would be allowed to sell their properties?  Are we no longer living in America?  Is selling property these days like marrying someone of a different religion where you have to convert to their religion?  Why does everything have to be a condo these days, hasn’t recent history taught us anything?  There are other forms of ownership besides condos, coop come to mind.

April 18, 2009 at 1:29 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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J. Cote

I’ve been a renter in Tacoma for over 25 years. My home is well maintained (by ME) and the best looking house on the street. Because of MY efforts and a landlord that helps with expenses when planting season comes. It may be <span class=“caps”>HIS</span> house, but it’s MY home. I have to live here, entertain guests here and raise a family here. I’m a responsible renter.

I haven’t made a late rent payment in over 6 years which means that my taxes are paid on time too.

I know that I’m the exception and that there are some terrible renters out there. But, there are some equally terrible landlords.

Please don’t assume that since someone rents, they are more likely than not to be involved in criminal activity. Most renters are law-abiding, hard working, tax paying citizens. (that’s right, just because the landlord rights the checks, doesn’t mean that he’s the one paying the taxes. Every time taxes go up, so goes the rent.)

Eric B. is right. They should sell some of those homes to first time buyers. As for this increasing crime, I don’t see the correlation. Crenshaw makes a great point as well: what’s with having to “condo-ise” everything? What’s wrong with a little 2Br, 1Ba apartment with a play area outside for the tots? Who needs more condos on the market that won’t sell?

April 19, 2009 at 9:19 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Thorax O'Tool

My parents rented a house through <span class=“caps”>MLKHDA</span> from 1999 to 2006. In late 2006, the decided to sell and told my parents (who make under $25K) either move out or buy it for $265,000.

So my parents, first time buyers, went the way of the subprime arm.

By the end of 2007 they were so far behind they couldn’t keep up. The house took until July 08 to sell at auction, for a full $150K less than my parents bought it from <span class=“caps”>MLKHDA</span> for.

I tend to not have a favorable opinion of how <span class=“caps”>MLKHDA</span> handles first-time buyers.

April 19, 2009 at 11:57 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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