Signs have popped up in the Port Gardner neighborhood against a proposal by the Everett School District and Housing Hope to build affordable housing on a playfield on Norton Avenue. (Lizz Giordano / The Herald)

Signs have popped up in the Port Gardner neighborhood against a proposal by the Everett School District and Housing Hope to build affordable housing on a playfield on Norton Avenue. (Lizz Giordano / The Herald)

Meeting tonight on a controversial Port Gardner housing plan

Housing Hope is partnering with the Everett School District to build 34 low- to moderate-income units.

EVERETT — Housing Hope is hosting a listening session Thursday to discuss a controversial proposal to build about 34 low- to moderate-income apartments in the Port Gardner neighborhood.

The meeting is set to begin at 6 p.m. tonight in the cafeteria of Sequoia High School, 3516 Rucker Ave.

The affordable housing developer is partnering with the Everett School District on the project aimed at homeless families with children in the school district.

The site, a 3-acre plot in the 3600 block of Norton Avenue, was declared surplus land by the district earlier this year. Single-family homes line three sides of the lot, with a handful of multi-story apartment buildings near the southern edge.

The project was halted in mid-June after the Everett City Council placed a moratorium on supportive housing in single-family residential zones.

Critics of the plan have said it would negatively impact the area and take away open space. They also felt the school district and Housing Hope blindsided the neighborhood with the proposal.

Supporters point to the more than 1,200 homeless students in the district and argue there’s plenty of green space already in the area. Doyle Park is about one block north of the proposed site.

Preliminary plans call for a two-story building that could also include an early childhood center as large as 10,000 square feet.

No formal presentation is planned at tonight’s meeting. Fred Safstrom, Housing Hope’s CEO, plans to briefly address a few questions about the project followed by public comment. Ed Petersen, chief strategic officer at Housing Hope and HopeWorks, also is expected to attend.

Lizz Giordano: 425-374-4165; egiordano@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @lizzgior.

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