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City of Seattle
Mike McGinn (former Mayor)

SUBJECT: City awards $19.5 million to construct and preserve permanent affordable housing

12/19/2012  10:00:00 PM

City awards $19.5 million to construct and preserve permanent affordable housing
Seven projects to provide 300 new affordable units for seniors, families,
homeless and veterans and preserve 270 existing units through preservation

SEATTLE - Mayor Mike McGinn and Councilmember Nick Licata today announced more than $19.5 million in capital funding for the construction of five new apartment buildings that will serve homeless individuals, low-income individuals graduating from high-service need housing, seniors, rent-burdened and homeless families and low-wage workers. The investment, primarily Seattle Housing Levy funds, will help create 302 new permanent apartments, including some set-aside to serve veterans. In addition, the funds will preserve 272 units of existing affordable housing.

"This investment will provide affordable apartments while creating living-wage construction and building operation and maintenance jobs," said McGinn. "We are a growing city. And projects like these help support a diverse and vibrant community. I thank Seattle voters for making these investments in affordable housing possible."

McGinn made the announcement with Office of Housing Director Rick Hooper and Councilmember Licata near the parking lot of Hirabayashi Place at 424 South Main Street. This project will help revitalize a block of boarded up commercial space into 85 units of low-wage housing.

"This project would not have been possible without funding from the Housing Levy," said Licata. "Seattle is the only city in this country where its citizens have repeatedly increased the taxes on their homes in order that others may have a home to live in."

Overall, the funding will create 157 apartments for low-income individuals and families earning between $23,800 and $47,520 for a three-person household, create and preserve 35 apartments for low-income seniors earning up to $30,800, 108 apartments for individuals who are homeless, mentally ill or who have "graduated" and are formerly homeless earning under $23,800.

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 the International District to South Lake Union, from Capitol Hill to Belltown, providing needed housing and 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."

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.

Compass on Dexter
Compass Housing Alliance will receive up to $4.1 million for Compass on Dexter, which will provide 72 units of housing affordable to homeless and rent-burdened low-income families. The project will also house Compass's office and community space. The development will be constructed on the parking lot of the Denny Lutheran Church.

Third and Virginia
Plymouth Housing Group will receive up to $3.5 million for Third and Virginia, which will provide 65 units of "graduation" housing for formerly homeless individuals demonstrating a long track record of successful and stable tenancy. Low level services will be provided on-site.

The Caroline W. Apartments
Community House Mental Health Agency will receive up to $1.85 million to develop 45 units of permanent supportive housing to homeless chronically mentally ill individuals with supportive services onsite. Tailored services will be provided to meet the individual needs of each resident.

Hirabayashi Place
InterIm Community Development Association will receive up to $5.6 million for Hirabayahsi Place which will provide 85 workforce housing apartments for households earning $39,000 - $47,000 (50-60% of the Area Median Income for a three-person household). In addition, InterIm hopes to develop a child care facility on the first floor of the apartment building in conjunction with the YMCA of Seattle. Hirabayashi Place will redevelop a portion of a City block with boarded up commercial space.

Leschi House
The Seattle Housing Authority will receive up to $1.6 million for the rehabilitation and expansion of Leschi House, one of the 23 buildings in the Seattle Senior Housing Program (SSHP). There are 34 existing apartments on-site serving seniors earning between $18,000-$36,000 (30% to 60% Area Median Income for a one-person household). In addition to the rehabilitation of the existing apartments, Seattle Housing Authority will construct 35 new apartments serving the same population. Seattle Housing Authority estimates over 80 people on the wait list for Leschi House, this expansion will help accommodate new residents in need of affordable housing.

Josephinum Apartments
Catholic Housing Services of Western Washington (CHS) will receive up to $2.1 million for the preservation and rehabilitation of the Josephinum Apartments. Originally developed as a luxury hotel, at the turn of the last century, CHS acquired the "Jo" in 1989 and converted all but 81 of the 222 units to affordable housing. With these funds, CHS plans a "gut rehab" of 50 residential units, allowing these units to remain affordable for decades to come. Plans for the rehabilitation of the remaining 150 units will be reviewed for rehabilitation in the coming years.

Julie Apartments
Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) will receive up to $500,000 to complete the rehabilitation of the Julie Apartments, a five-story historic concrete frame building located in the Denny Triangle neighborhood.

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