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Building community and creating affordable housing opportunities Steve Walker, Acting Director



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Community Cornerstones LogoCommunity Cornerstones implements the vision of the Southeast Seattle community for their future as detailed in recently adopted Neighborhood Plans. $3 million from a HUD Community Challenge Planning Grant and $5.9 million in local public and private sources are funding a new model for equitable development that supports the existing economically and culturally diverse residents and businesses while also welcoming new ones.

September 23, NEW Request for Proposal >

Success Through Partnership

The City of Seattle Office of Housing manages the Community Cornerstones Program in partnership with the Office of Economic Development, Department of Planning and Development, and the Department of Neighborhoods. Additional partners include: the University of Washington, Enterprise Community Partners, Impact Capital, and the Rainier Valley Community Development Fund.

Featured News and Events

  • UW Evans SchoolSecond Annual University of Washington Evaluation Report—The University of Washington Evans School of Public Affairs’ report describes the 2013 accomplishments and challenges faced in implementing the Community Cornerstones activities.
  • Wall Street Journal Story on displacement around transit-oriented development and what cities like Seattle are doing to tackle this issue.
  • Report on Challenges and Opportunities for Equitable TOD in Southeast—A final report from the Office of Housing and informed by research from Strategic Economics “A New Model for Development in Southeast Seattle: A study and proposal for an Equitable Transit-Oriented Development Loan Program”, describes trends in community demographics and the real estate market, and provides recommendations for achieving equitable outcomes with TOD.
  • First Annual University of Washington Evaluation Report—The University of Washington Evans School of Public Affairs’ report describes the 2012 accomplishments and challenges faced in implementing the Community Cornerstones activities.

Major Activities

  • Equitable Transit Oriented Development Loan Program—Improve the vitality of the community by helping housing developers purchase two to four vacant properties near light rail stations for mixed-use projects that include affordable and market-rate housing, and commercial space to accommodate small businesses and community facilities. Developments will provide 200 units of affordable housing. Specific sites have not yet been identified, and the program will begin making loans in 2013.
  • Commercial Stability Strategy—Help stabilize and grow small 15-30 businesses in the multicultural business district between Othello and Graham streets by providing a variety of technical assistance such as product marketing, lease education, or bookkeeping. Building owners will also receive technical assistance to activate vacant commercial space that is affordable and appropriate for local and ethnically owned businesses.
  • Building Community Capacity to Plan for a Shared Multicultural Community Center—Strengthen the existing culturally and ethnically diverse community by planning for a privately run and financed center. City staff and capacity building grants will support the formation of an effective, authentic, and durable multicultural steering committee. This steering committee will create the organizational infrastructure and preliminary feasibility analysis needed as the foundation of the center. A specific location has yet to be determined. Community meetings will occur throughout 2013 and 2014

Public Participation Plan

Department of Neighborhoods contracts with Public Outreach and Engagement Liaisons (POEL) and provides support to community-based organizations to engage communities in Southeast Seattle in each of the major activities. POEL outreach and support is ongoing throughout 2014.

Program Evaluation

The University of Washington is evaluating the major activities and provides annual performance reports as well as a report at the end of the grant term capturing lessons learned and recommendations for reproducing the activities in other areas. Read the 2012 evaluation here >

Schedule

2012
  • POELs begin community outreach
  • Multi-Cultural Community Steering Committee formed
  • Equitable TOD Loan Program is designed
  • Rainier Valley Community Development Funds hires business technical assistance staff
  • Homesight provides Othello business district marketing services
2013
  • First Equitable TOD loans are provided
  • Vacant commercial space technical assistance is provided
  • Othello and Graham businesses are served by program
  • Cultural center feasibility report in process
  • Multi-Cultural Community Steering Committee host community planning meetings
2014
  • Additional TOD loans are provided
  • Othello and Graham businesses are served by program
  • UW program evaluation report released
  • Cultural center feasibility report released



About

Full Report

Brochure

Budget

Organizational Chart

ETOD Loan Program Request for Proposals



Key Contacts

Program Manager
Ryan Curren, Office of Housing
(206) 684-0362

Cultural Center Planning
Nora Liu, Department of Planning & Development
(206) 233-7036

Commercial Stability Strategy
Theresa Barreras, Office of Economic Development
(206) 684-4505

Public Participation Plan
Cherry Cayabyab, Department of Neighborhoods
(206) 733-9982

Performance Evaluation
Dan Carlson, University of Washington
(206) 616-5815

 

 


Important Links

North Rainier Neighborhood Plan

Othello & Beacon Hill Neighorhood Plans

Rainier Beach Neighborhood Plan

Seattle Comprehensive Plan

Vision 2040

Growing Transit Communities

HUD Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities

 

 

 

 

 

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