Local News

Plan to move residents out of Fairchild APZ hits snag

AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash. - The plan to move residents out of Fairchild Air Force Base's Accident Potential Zone and into new housing has hit a roadblock.

Officials just got word state legislators aren't setting aside money for the project in the 2013-2015 Housing Trust Fund Project List.

"We are asking our legislators to please give us some money so we can proceed with the project, protect the base and put those families into living conditions that are suitable even standard," Mayor of Airway Heights Patrick Rushing said.

For the last several years, several local non-profits have worked on a plan to relocate the people who live in this zone.

Fairchild APZ

"We want to make sure we give them a better option to live in, right now they don't have those options and they feel like they are really trapped," Rushing said.

Catholic Charities, Habitat for Humanity and Community Frameworks are working on the $31 million project that would build 180 homes just west of Northern Quest Casino.

People like Shawn Harris who live in the Accident Potential Zone, known as the APZ, said they would be happy to move out of the area and into a place that's not impacted by Fairchild's flight plan.

"You don't want a 747 or 757 or whatever the big ones are to come crashing through and ruin 800 lives," Harris said.

If families don't want to relocate, they can stay put, but they could move into those new homes for the same price or even less than their current homes.

There may be some good news for this story. While legislators haven't set money aside for the project, Gov. Jay Inslee did, putting $2.7 million toward the housing project.