History of High Point
WWII to 2001
The High Point community was originally constructed to meet the housing needs of World War II factory workers and their families. The buildings were never meant to be permanent; nevertheless, they were converted into public housing in 1952.
Over the next few decades, the community declined into one of the most heavily concentrated pockets of poverty in all of King County. Less than half of High Point residents had earned income from employment, and many cited lack of English as a major barrier to success.
In 1965, Neighborhood House started its first service —
a youth tutoring program —
and a few years later opened both a medical and a dental clinic that were run by the High Point community itself. (These clinics later became Neighborcare Health
.) Community and social programs in High Point continued to expand but by the year 2001, services were scattered in cramped and inadequately designed buildings that were hard for clients to access.
In response to the worsening situation, the Seattle Housing Authority (SHA), in partnership with residents, service providers and private businesses, created a plan to transform High Point's impoverished and troubled public housing into a thriving mixed-income community. In 2001, SHA applied for and received $35 million in seed money from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) HOPE VI Program to redevelop High Point.
Together with other funding sources totaling over $550 million, the redevelopment plan is to house 4,000 residents in nearly 1,700 affordable and market-rate units across 120 acres.
By the fall of 2006, over 825 new units were completed for Phase I and are already occupied by approximately 2,000 residents. Phase II construction of units, services and amenities is well underway and scheduled to be completed by early 2010.
Visit SHA's website for photos
of High Point over the years.
High Point Today
The High Point redevelopment created an entirely new neighborhood that mixes low-income and market-rate housing into a healthy, engaged and environmentally sustainable community. In fact, High Point has won a variety of local, state, national and international awards
for its quality design.
Yet while the physical environment of public housing changed, the underlying causes of poverty will persist without the resources, services and support to empower low-income residents to lift themselves out of poverty. Thus, the idea of the High Point Center
In partnership with a variety of organizations and individuals, Neighborhood House began construction in 2008 and completed the High Point Center in November of 2009. The center will be home to a variety of critical social services while doubling as an environmental education center for the low-income community of High Point.