A decade ago, Roxbury House and Village in West Seattle were among the city’s most undesirable places to live. Poorly designed and infested by gangs and crime, they were unattractive and unsafe.
The buildings were falling apart. Rot and asbestos contamination in Roxbury Village contributed to high maintenance costs and the closing of many units, while Roxbury House had infrastructure problems and an unsafe, poorly designed common area. Crime and drug use posed serious problems on adjacent blocks.
Change in the neighborhood was sparked in 1998, when Seattle Housing Authority secured a $17 million HOPE VI grant to revitalize Roxbury House and Village.
By 2007, Roxbury House was Westwood Heights, a senior preference Low Income Public Housing building for people 62 years of age and older. Roxbury Village had been rebuilt as Westwood Court and Longfellow Court, and Seattle Housing Authority had taken the lead in revitalizing the surrounding area to make it a safe and desirable neighborhood.
Redevelopment at Roxbury House and Village addressed site design problems and called for the creation of two communities—one for seniors and the other for families.
More than 200 units of low-income housing have been replaced at the former Roxbury House and Village, both on-site and off-site, by Seattle Housing Authority and its partners.
The most prominent piece of the redevelopment project, Westwood Heights has 130 units of housing for low-income seniors, along with services to help meet their unique needs.
Redevelopment at Westwood extended beyond Seattle Housing Authority's original Roxbury properties to include nearby buildings and a neighborhood park.
See the transformation of the community, from the old Roxbury House and Village to Westwood Heights and its neighbors.