Catholic Charities asks Pasco to salvage homeless project, says $2M grant is in jeopardy
Catholic Charities of Eastern Washington stands to lose a $2 million grant after the Pasco City Council voted 4-3 against selling the site it wanted for a 52-unit apartment-style complex to serve chronically homeless Tri-Citians.
The Spokane-based nonprofit has asked the city to help it salvage its plan to build the $13.2 million project on Heritage Boulevard in east Pasco.
Pasco spokesman Jon Funfar confirmed the city is reviewing the letter.
The council voted Jan. 21 against selling the city-owned property to Catholic Charities in January after neighbors raised concerns about crime and drugs.
The city’s hearing examiner had previously ruled that Catholic Charities had sufficiently mitigated the potential impacts on the neighborhood.
“We were disappointed,” said Jonathan Mallahan, Catholic Charities’ vice president for housing. Mallahan said losing the site jeopardizes a Housing Finance Commission grant it received for the project earlier this year.
The organization intended to apply for federal tax credits to complete the funding package this winter. Those plans are on hold.
The Pasco apartments would be modeled on Catholic Charities’ “Father Bach” series of residences in Spokane and Walla Walla. It marries apartments with support services to treat the underlying causes of homelessness, such as drug addiction, mental illness and other issues.
It intended to call the Pasco version “Haven House.”
Catholic Charities had offered $127,000 for the vacant site.
Mayor Pro Tem Blanche Barajas and Councilmembers Craig Maloney and Zahra Roach voted to sell the property in support of the project.
Mayor Saul Martinez and Councilmen Dan Milne, Ruben Alvarado and Pete Serrano opposed the land sale.
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