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City of Seattle
Gregory J. Nickels (former Mayor)

SUBJECT: Habitat begins renovation of City-donated home

4/19/2006  6:15:00 AM
Todd Burley  (206) 684-5081

Habitat begins renovation of City-donated home

Partnerships and land trust arrangement ensure affordability for families in need

Habitat for Humanity of Seattle/King County breaks ground today on the renovation of a home that the City transferred to Habitat at no cost. The rehabilitated property at 1321 26th Avenue South will remain affordable to all future purchasers because it will be part of a land trust.

"Seattle isn't the most livable city for those who can't afford to live here," said Mayor Greg Nickels. "Working together, we are creating opportunities for people to call Seattle home now and for generations to come.

The City of Seattle partnered with Habitat and Homestead Community Land Trust to place the land into a trust. This means that the land will be maintained and held separately from the home, resulting in a greatly reduced home cost. Funding for the cost of the rehabilitation is being provided by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.

"The City’s innovative partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Seattle/South King County, Homestead Community Land Trust and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans means that a hard working, low-income family currently living in unhealthy, substandard housing will have the opportunity to help renovate and purchase a simple, decent home of their own," said Habitat for Humanity of Seattle/South King County Executive Director Dorothy Bullitt. "At the same time a house, otherwise destined for demolition will be salvaged and reborn."

The former City property was originally slated for Washington State's I-90 redevelopment plan. The City bought the surplus property and the land next to 1321 26th Avenue South with future affordable housing in mind. The adjoining property is set aside for another Habitat home, the house the Seattle Mariners and Mayor Nickels helped frame earlier this year.

The renovated house will soon be home to the family of Nurri Omer and Ayalnesh Gesese. "We are grateful to the City of Seattle for giving the home to Habitat. We look forward to renovating our Habitat home, working with Thrivent, and providing a safe and healthy home for our 4 children," said Nurri Omer.

Today’s ground breaking ceremony begins at 3 p.m. with an informal reception and tours immediately following. On-street parking is available in the area of 26th Avenue South and South Irving Street.

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