Vacant affordable housing to be torn down . . .

. . . for a playground and parking.

By Brenda Konkel (re-posted with permission from Forward Lookout, http://www.forwardlookout.com/) — I get notifications of demolitions – and yesterday I got this:

“Dear sir or madam,

“Please be advised that Doug Strub will be filing a demolition permit application on February 1, 2016 for Plan Commission review that calls for a apartment building located at 3014 Worthington Ave Madison, WI 53714 to be demolished. For more information regarding this forthcoming application, you may contact the applicant, Doug Strub, Future Wisconsin Housing Fund, Inc., 2249 Pinehurst Drive Middleton, WI 53562 at dstrub@zmeridian.com or (608)836-2911.

“Applicant’s Comments:
“Additional green space to be provided and density to be reduced at apartment development. Building constructed approximately 50 years ago.

“If you have any questions about the Plan Commission demolition permit approval process, please contact the City of Madison Planning Division at (608) 266-4635.”

So I inquired as it seems odd that we would want to tear down a building that is affordable. We’re already losing 54 affordable Ray Peterson Properties (yeah, it sucks, but slumlords are sometimes the only housing people can get — or they go back to homelessness — and what have we solved). So, we’re losing another six units, which means the 60 units being built at Rethke is basically just standing still, no progress.

The building is standing there VACANT! Six vacant units. VACANT. To be torn down for parking spaces and a playground, when its right by a park. Worse yet, I’ve been informed its vacant because Meridian bought it from Porchlight and they “did a bad job screening their tenants”

My brain is screaming, “HOUSING FIRST! HOUSING FIRST!” Our community has a long way to go before we actually start doing it, for real.

Sigh . . .