Monday Mayor Ed Murray announced $22 million for the development and preservation of affordable housing in Seattle. The long-term loans through the Office of Housing will aim to support the City’s priorities of reducing homelessness, supporting transit-oriented development and providing options for families of all incomes to live in Seattle.
“Through our partnerships with the non-profit community, we are building a better reality for hundreds of families and individuals,” said Murray. “Today we’re taking another step to reduce homelessness that is a biting reality on our sidewalks and we’re making families’ dreams of affordable homes come true.”
The $22 million announced Monday will be loaned to housing developers to build and preserve rent- and income-restricted apartments affordable to Seattle’s low-income residents:
- Mercy Othello Plaza:Mercy Housing’s project at the Othello light rail station will house 108 low-income families in a mix of units, including 62 two and three bedroom apartments. ($8.5 million in City funding)
- 7th and Cherry:Plymouth Housing Group will provide 77 homes for chronically homeless individuals with on-site supportive services. ($7.3 million in City funding)
- University Commons:Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) will build homes for 48 low-income and homeless neighbors, including 20 units designated for homeless young adults. ($3.2 million in City funding)
- Lyon Building:DESC will provide much needed safety and health improvements to this historic building which currently houses 64 formerly homeless individuals. ($1.7 million in City funding)
- Aloha Inn:Catholic Housing Services will make vital improvements to the building as well as critical health renovations to this transitional housing building, which has capacity for 66 homeless individuals. ($1.3 million in City funding)
“By creating 363 new homes, this investment will improve the lives of families, individuals and young adults across our City,” said Seattle City Councilmember Sally Clark. “Today we celebrate these new homes, while we continue to work on additional tools and to plan for affordability.”
“In the 30 years since the passage of the first housing bond, the Office of Housing has invested more than $400 million in the creation and preservation of nearly 12,000 units of affordable housing,” stated Steve Walker, director of the Office of Housing. “The 363 apartments we are investing in today ensure affordability for at least 50 years. This is a huge win not just for today, but for future generations.”
The investments announced Monday come primarily from the Seattle Housing Levy ($14.4 million), with additional funds coming from payments to the City through the Incentive Zoning Program ($3.8 million) and federal and other City funds ($4.2 million). City funds for these projects are leveraged with state, federal and private investments to create the greatest impact possible.
“The City is not only a funder, but an amazing partner to ensure that nonprofit organizations like ours can continue to provide homes for our community’s most vulnerable populations,” stated Sharon Lee, executive director of LIHI. “Everyone deserves a stable and affordable home, and University Commons will now be a part of that vision. We are also thrilled to include new space for the University District Food Bank in our project.”
“We want to keep Seattle a place where families of all incomes can thrive, said Bill Rumpf, President of Mercy Housing Northwest. “Mercy Othello Plaza will provide affordable housing for more than 100 families, and the location near light rail provides great access to jobs and educational opportunities.”
“Few people in our community take housing for granted anymore, but for over 2,000 people in Seattle just having a roof over their head is a dream,” stated Paul Lambros, director of Plymouth Housing Group. “The new 7th and Cherry building will provide homes for 77 of your neighbors that have been chronically homeless, giving them the stability they deserve.”
The Seattle Office of Housing provides support to low-income residents in Seattle through rental housing preservation and production, home buyer assistance, free weatherization services and home repair loans. For more information: seattle.gov/housing.