Outlook Apartments off BHA’s table

The Bremerton Housing Authority on Oct. 25 rescinded its offer to purchase the Outlook Apartments in Silverdale for low-income housing citing bad timing. Officials said it would have lost some, if not all of its $300,000 earnest money while county officials considered the request.

Two days later, Kitsap County Commissioners issued a letter rejecting the purchase proposal and encouraged the BHA to look at property within Bremerton City limits for replacement housing for Westpark residents.

Of the 210 units at the Outlook Apartments, 53 would have been used for low-income housing.

In a Oct. 27 letter to Lynn Horton, chairwoman for the BHA board, the county commissioners stated several reasons for opposing the sale:

• The BHA has not shown there is a need for it to function outside of its boundaries

• There has not been enough public notice about the sale.

• Kitsap County has no oversight over the Bremerton Housing Authority.

• Any attempt to relocate families into the county should involve the Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority.

“We are all disappointed with their decision,” Horton said.

The BHA plans to continue with the $300-million redevelopment of Westpark and hopes to meet with the mayor and city council president to see “how best to interface with the council,” Horton said.

This decision does not affect the purchase of the Erlands Point Apartments located on Austin Drive, a 148-unit complex. Low-income residents will occupy 37 of those units.

“The citizens of Kitsap County have no oversight over the Bremerton Housing Authority,” said Central Kitsap Commissioner Patty Lent.

“As county commissioners, we are responsible and accountable to the citizens countywide. If the BHA purchase had been allowed to go forward, we would not have been able to address any citizen concerns that may have arisen.”

All three of the county commissioners, as well as the mayors of Bainbridge Island, Port Orchard and Poulsbo, sit on the KCCHA board.

“We have oversight over KCCHA’s activities, as well as quality control,” Commissioner Jan Angel said. “We are hopeful BHA will work with KCCHA for the betterment of our citizens.”

On Oct. 19 the Bremerton City Council voted 5-4 against consolidating the BHA with the KCCA.

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