Friday, May 29, 2009

Bethesda office building to be converted to house the homeless

The post reports that a five story office building was purchased by Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless (with a low-cost 5.25 million dollar loan from the county) and will be converted into single room housing for men and women in need of inexpensive housing. The ground floor will be leased out as retail. The building is on the corner of Woodmont Ave and Cordell Ave in downtown Bethesda, MD.

Supporters of projects such as these say that finding housing for the homeless quickly makes it easier for them to focus on finding jobs. Residents will lease month to month and as long as they meet eligibility requirements will be allowed to renew the leases indefinitely.

Not everyone is happy about this project, the post quotes Jack Alexander, a former Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce president and a partner in a Bethesda real estate brokerage firm, said a per-unit price of about $170,000 is too high. "For a 10-foot-by-12-foot room, that is just beyond comprehension," he said. Others are upset because they have been having trouble getting information about the project from the county.

I wonder how people who take the bus to Bethesda because they can't afford to live here feel about their tax dollars loaned to make really convenient housing for the soon to be former homeless.

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