Many of our readers have been asking – now that DESC’s new Bloomside supportive housing location is set to start accepting residents in Burien this week – what does their “Good Neighbor Policy” that tenants must sign look like?

Signing this agreement is a component of the lease, and violations can result in eviction.

“Being a good neighbor is important to us,” DESC says on its website. “We know the value of a connected community for DESC’s tenants, and we want you to be able to ask questions, to comment or share concerns with staff.”

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DESC adds:

“Project Manager and/or designated program staff attend all local neighborhood and community meetings. Additionally, the Project Manager develops direct relationships and lines of communication with neighbors to address concerns outside of neighborhood meeting forums.

“All neighborhood complaints are documented via a designation “neighborhood complaint” in DESC’s internal information system. The Project Manager is responsible for following up with complainant and address concerns. If the concern is not satisfactorily resolved by the Project Manager, the complaint is referred to relevant Senior Program Manager or Housing Director.

“All shelter guests review rules and expectations at the time of registration. Violations of these rules are subject to disbarment.

“At neighborhood meetings and other community events, community members are welcomed to get involved with the program. Tenants are educated on available programming and events in the community, with project staff facilitating involvement when necessary and/or appropriate.

“All visitors to DESC tenants are required to sign in at the front desk.”

We got a copy of the agreement from DESC, and below is an image as well as text from it:

“Addendum C to Lease

“In order to be a good member of our new neighborhood, all DESC Burien Supportive Housing residents agree to abide by a few specific rules. The DESC Burien Supportive Housing good neighbor policy states specifically:

  1. “I will not litter or loiter in the neighborhood.
  2. “I will not yell or fight on the DESC Burien Supportive Housing property, sidewalks, or in the neighborhood.
  3. “I will not bring in unauthorized guests through any entry that is not the main entrance.
  4. “I will not hassle neighbors, store vendors, etc.
  5. “I will not aggressively panhandle in the neighborhood.
  6. “I will not purchase or sell drugs or drug paraphernalia in the neighborhood.

“The DESC Burien Supportive Housing neighborhood is defined by these parameters:

• “East of 12th Ave SW

• “West of 1st Ave SW

• “North of SW 156th St.

• “South of SW 146th St.

“I understand that this agreement is a component of my lease.

“Resident Signature/Date:


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Good Neighbor Boundary Map

Below is a map showing the boundaries for DESC’s Good Neighbor Policy:

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  1. I don’t understand why, if it is Burien’s responsibility to provide supportive housing, the neighborhood defined in this contract doesn’t encompass all of Burien then. I think the definition of neighborhood is too small.

  2. Ya’ll in Burien have no idea what is coming your way. DESC purposefully houses the most mentally ill, severe substance users, many of whom have multiple medical issues (and criminal records), in our county. These are the people who are just barely not eligible for prison or civil commitment. They are still committing crimes regularly. The drug use is rampant. They call it “harm reduction” but the clients/tenants are allowed to use drugs as much as they want. Drug deals are everywhere, and drug overdoses become so common it takes longer than usual for 911 to respond. This is not your typical Section 8 housing, or low income, capped rent. This is literally for the people you see standing off the freeway exits or road sides with cardboard signs begging for money, or those sleeping in tents under overpasses. Good luck, Burien. Too bad you weren’t able to prevent it.

  3. I don’t see the problem. One of the hardest things about getting people off the streets and into shelter is finding an area that will allow it. Setting an expectation for tenant behavior, and following through with consequences if needed will help those communities trust that the facility isn’t going to destroy their neighborhood and negatively impact businesses. If they can make it work, the successful model could be shown as an example to other areas considering such housing.

  4. I saw how DESC ran its housing in downtown Seattle. The thing is, DESC will not kick violators of their “good neighbor” agreement that their tenants have to sign if it is ran like the one in Seattle. Remember people, it was or is across the street from the courthouse and people that worked in the courthouse would go up a block to avoid 3rd Ave. to avoid the lovely people of DESC and their friends. It was a mess. I am going by what I saw when I had to go into Seattle. Burien should never have bought into DESC’s sales pitch. You should know by now “actions speak louder than words”. Good luck Burien.

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