Seattle is taking advantage of a new state program to donate surplus city land to build affordable housing, Mayor Jenny Durkan announced recently.
Standing in a vacant Seattle City Light lot in the Phinney Ridge neighborhood, Durkan said the land is slated to be converted into eight family sized town-homes.
Another 19 condominiums are planned on Seattle City Light property in Loyal Heights. The land is being donated to non-profit developers Habitat for Humanity and Homestead Community Land Trust to build permanent, affordable housing.
“While this is a small project, it is a big start,” Durkan said. “For everyone of those families it will make a life changing difference.”
The projects cost a combined $2.2 million and are expected to be approved by the Seattle City Council. Durkan said Seattle is the first city to use a new state law that allows cities to use surplus utility properties for affordable housing.
ICYMI: @MayorJenny announces new investments in affordable homeownership opportunities on City-owned properties & further actions on housing affordability. @OfficeofMayor @seattleoh WATCH: https://t.co/YISS04KmNS pic.twitter.com/iNjWNUwFaG— Seattle Channel (@SeattleChannel) September 6, 2019
“One of the things we have to do is to put our public lands to work for the public,” Durkan said. “To make sure that when we have lands that are available and suitable for housing, we find a way to use them for that.”
The announcement came amid a series of recent summer proposals that are part of Durkan’s “Housing Seattle Now Plan,” including the recent sale of the so-called “Mercer Mega Block,” to build a mixed-use health science campus. That development would include 175 affordable housing units.