In King County alone, approximately 12,000 people do not have stable housing. The city of Seattle is taking the next step in supporting this vulnerable population by purchasing three new apartment buildings on Capitol Hill.
The buildings were originally intended to be leased at market rates, and would have provided studio apartment housing to about 160 people, most likely younger tech workers in the area. Thanks to the Department of Commerce’s new Rapid Capital Housing Acquisition program, the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) was able to split the $50 million bill with the state, securing the sites to support the needs of the homeless population in the area.
These acquisitions are just the first round of Mayor Jenny Durkan’s efforts to address homelessness in the city. Over the next year, she has stated that about 1,300 homes will become available for those in need.
Of the three buildings purchased by LIHI, two will be run by LIHI, and the third will be operated by YouthCare and will specifically support young adults at risk of homelessness. The other two buildings will focus on housing unsheltered veterans and people with section 8 vouchers.
Each of the buildings offers modern amenities to residents. At 7 to 9 stories tall, the buildings are easy to spot in the neighborhood and are all located within a few blocks of each other, near the intersection of Broadway and John Street. All of the buildings will support their residents with resources including onsite management, 24/7 security and access to job training and other services. The buildings should be open to residents this fall.
These apartment buildings are more than the seizing of a last-minute opportunity by the city — they represent the potential offered by more flexible and innovative housing solutions. By accessing ongoing projects and underutilized resources within the city, there will be a better chance that those in need are able to find housing when they need it.
This article was originally posted on KUOW by Casey Martin.