White Center survey finds safety, health and affordable housing top priorities

White Center community members identified safety, health and access to affordable housing, among other topics, as top community priorities in the 2017 White Center Community Survey completed in July. A total of 505 community members completed the survey from March to July 2017, including 195 middle and high school students.

When asked what community organizations should focus on to improve White Center, 55% of adults and 43% of youth identified safety as a top priority. Suggestions to improve safety included a dedicated police force, more access to drug treatment centers, and more neighborhood watches and street lights.” About 73% of youth agreed that their school is safe, and the percentage of youth who felt safe traveling to and from school increased from 73% last year to 81% this year.

Health emerged as a number two priority for 36% of adults and 49% of youth respondents. Many stated that reducing the prevalence of drugs and alcohol was a health issue as well as a safety issue. Suggestions to address health concerns included implementing policies to help youth stay active, increasing access to healthy foods, and opening a farmer’s market, cooperative farm or p-patch. As one youth respondent wrote, “We would like to have more community potlucks with healthy food choices and cooking classes…”

Lack of affordable housing in White Center was also identified as an area of concern. The number one challenge that 61% of adults reported regarding housing in White Center was the cost of rent or mortgage, which many felt needed to be “stabilized so low income families can own a home.” Other suggestions included “more sliding scale and fair housing practices.”

For the full survey report and infographic, visit the White Center webpage at www.wccda.org.

The White Center Community Development Association (CDA) is a community-based nonprofit organization that promotes a vibrant neighborhood and high quality of life for White Center residents and stakeholders through neighborhood revitalization, family development, and community building. Learn more at www.wccda.org or the WCCDA Facebook page.

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