November 10, 12:36 PM click here to comment > 9
City awards $27 million to construct 476 affordable housing units for seniors, families, homeless and veterans
Mayor Mike McGinn today announced more than $27 million in capital funding for the construction of seven new apartment buildings that will serve homeless individuals, low-income families and seniors. The investment, primarily Seattle Housing Levy funds, will help create 476 new permanent apartments, including some set-aside to serve veterans.
“We continue to see the impacts of the economic recession as more individuals and families are finding themselves struggling to afford housing,” said Mayor Mike McGinn. “The City’s investment will provide affordable apartments while creating living-wage construction and building operation and maintenance jobs.”
McGinn made the announcement with Office of Housing Director Rick Hooper in the parking lot of the Thunderbird Motel on Aurora Avenue, which closed in 2010 after the City declared it a chronic nuisance property due to frequent criminal activity. Catholic Housing Services has acquired the site, and will receive City funding to construct permanent housing with supportive services for chronically homeless individuals, including veterans. The new apartments will provide a stark contrast to the current graffiti-covered, boarded-up building.
Overall, the funding will create 206 apartments for low-income families earning between $23,000- $47,000 for a three-person household, 70 apartments for low-income seniors earning up to $37,000 for an individual, and 200 apartments with supportive services for formerly homeless families and individuals.
Additionally, the funded projects include an estimated total of more than $100 million in public and private capital funding representing a major investment in Seattle neighborhoods from Fremont to Sand Point and Capitol Hill to Rainier Beach, revitalizing the communities and providing living-wage jobs.
“This investment continues Seattle’s long commitment of providing affordable housing,” said Hooper. “These housing projects help our vulnerable neighbors and create living-wage jobs.”
Although the economy has made efforts to expand the city’s stock of affordable housing that much more necessary, it also has offered opportunities to stretch dollars further because of lower costs for land and construction. Projects funded in recent years have come in on time and under budget, meaning funds initially reserved for those developments have been returned to the City and are being invested in additional affordable housing.
The Seattle Office of Housing awards multifamily funds annually to support the development of affordable housing. The long-term, low-interest loans are highly competitive, with applications carefully reviewed for financial feasibility, affordability, organizational capacity and how they meet the City’s priorities. The affordability of the housing is regulated by the Office of Housing for a minimum of 50 years.
THE HOUSING DEVELOPMENTS
12th Avenue Arts
Capitol Hill Housing will receive up to $7.7 million for 12th Avenue Arts, which will provide 88 units of housing affordable to low-income families as well as retail and community arts space. The development will be constructed on what is currently the parking lot for the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct.
4251 Aurora Avenue
Catholic Housing Services (CHS) will receive up to $1.6 million for 4251 Aurora Ave., which will provide 71 units of permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless individuals, including eight apartments set-aside for veterans. CHS will provide residents with services onsite.
Delridge Supportive Housing
The Downtown Emergency Service Center will receive up to $4.5 million for Delridge Supportive Housing to be constructed along Delridge Way. With 75 studios, this permanent housing will serve highly vulnerable homeless individuals onsite with supportive services—such as mental health and medical support or substance abuse counseling—tailored to residents’ needs.
Impact Family Village
Mercy Housing Northwest and Urban Impact will receive up to $5.9 million for Impact Family Village, 61 units of permanent housing for low-income families in Rainier Beach. The units will offer a mix of affordability levels – from families earning minimum wage to those earning about $40,000 a year (family of three at 50% area median income). Also, 12 units will be set aside for households with a member who is disabled. The ground floor commercial space will be home to Rainier Health and Fitness, a nonprofit fitness facility run by Urban Impact, which is currently housed on the site in a mobile structure.
Mt. Baker Lofts
Artspace will receive up to $3.7 million for the Mt. Baker Lofts to be constructed at the former site of a Firestone Complete Auto Care next to the Mt. Baker Light Rail Station along Rainier Avenue South. The project will include 56 units designed to meet the needs of artists and their families with annual incomes ranging from about $18,000-$36,500 for an individual and about $21,000-$42,000 for a two-person household. The project will include set asides for large families and disabled individuals.
Rainier Court III
SouthEast Effective Development (SEED) will receive up to $2 million for Rainier Court III, 70 units for low-income seniors in the Rainier Valley. This is the third phase of SEED’s mixed-use, multi-phase residential rental housing development known as Rainier Court. The previous Rainier Court developments, which are located on Rainier Avenue South between South Spokane and South Charlestown Streets, include a family housing project known as Dakota and an senior project known as Courtland Place.
Sand Point Phase 2b
Solid Ground will receive up to $2.3 million for Sand Point Phase 2, 54 units of permanent supportive housing with on-site services for homeless families and individuals. This project represents the final stage of Phase II of the homeless housing component of the Sand Point Reuse Plan, which was adopted in 1993 with much neighborhood input. In the late 1990s, Phase I saw the creation of 94 units of transitional housing in renovated Navy buildings. Solid Ground opened Brettler Family Place, the first stage of Phase II, in early 2011. With this final development, the 200-unit total outlined in the plan will be completed by 2012.
Posted by: April Thomas