The relocation of families from Westpark began in spring 2008. When the move of residents from this public housing complex began, it wasn’t clear if it would be a smooth transition.
Where would they go? How can all of these families be relocated?
With the last family successfully moved out this month, there is no doubt Bremerton Housing Authority staff completed this task with humility and respect. To move an entire community is no easy feat, but working to find homes for low-income residents can prove to be an even greater challenge. Finding new homes for each and every family through dedicated assistance and even a 20-hour course, and two months ahead of schedule, is a fine example of the dedication of BHA employees.
The start of the new Bay Vista neighborhood progresses the city’s effort to revitalize Bremerton. With so much focus on downtown, the outlying areas of Bremerton are starting to get a little bit of that attention. About a quarter of Bay Vista will be designated as affordable rental housing. As new developers come to town, it’s paramount they too realize Bremerton still needs to have areas dedicated to low-income housing.
Officials can improve the look of the city all they want, but if there are no homes for low-income residents, those efforts will prove futile.
The redevelopment of Westpark should stand as a viable example of how to complete such a project, while remaining realistic when it comes to the needs of many of the city’s residents.