The Freedom Foundation, a conservative organization, filed suit on July 18 to stop the construction of a tiny house village in South Lake Union claiming that it will negatively impact quality of life in the area.
The suit, first reported by Erica C. Barnett, further alleges that the city should have undergone an environmental review of the site and that establishing another tiny house village violates the city ordinance restricting the number of authorized encampments to three.
Opponents of tiny house villages and other stopgap solutions to the homelessness crisis have leaned on Washington’s environmental laws as a way to stall or constrain the city’s attempts to move people out of tents and into insulated shelters with access to electricity, hygiene services and case management.
Assertions that the tiny house villages are magnets for criminal activity are belied by facts and data. An analysis by The Guardian newspaper found that in most cases, crime either held steady or dropped around tiny homes. The Seattle Police Department reviewed its own data and found that it couldn’t draw a direct line between crime and the tiny house village in Licton Springs.
That community is low-barrier, meaning residents are not prohibited from consuming drugs or alcohol in their personal spaces. That is not the case at the South Lake Union site.
Ashley Archibald is a Staff Reporter covering local government, policy and equity. Have a story idea? She can be can reached at ashleya (at) realchangenews (dot) org. Follow Ashley on Twitter @AshleyA_RC
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