Southend Village Celebration

Reverend Lawrence Willis of Truevine of Holiness Missionary Baptist Church opens the celebration. “The Truevine Church is committed to supporting our new neighbors who will soon be moving into Southend Village. We see it as part of our mission to help alleviate this humanitarian crisis of people living without shelter.”
On May 5th, LIHI, supporters, and the Rainier Beach community joined together to celebrate the opening of Southend Village located at 9101 Martin Luther King Jr Way S., Seattle.
~
Thanks to a last minute $250,000 grant from the Lucky Seven Foundation to LIHI, the King County Regional Homelessness Authority agreed to fund an additional $500,000 in operating costs for this year enabling the village to open. Southend Village is sponsored by Truevine of Holiness Missionary Baptist Church (Truevine) on private land. The Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) will operate the village in partnership with Truevine. Refugee Women’s Alliance (ReWA) will provide wrap-around case management and behavioral health services.
~
Southend will serve up to 60 homeless people at a time. The first residents will move in next week.
~
The village has 40 tiny houses with insulation, heat, and a locking door for families, couples, individuals and people with pets locally experiencing homelessness. Each house is 8’ x 12’ and is fully furnished. The village has 24/7 staffing and includes bathrooms, showers, laundry, kitchen, community gathering spaces, and case manager and security offices. A cedar fence surrounds the village keeping people safe with one entrance and an emergency exit.
~
Refugee Women’s Alliance case managers are on-site to help residents obtain permanent housing, employment, health care, getting IDs, and other services. Case managers have a direct pipeline to over 3,000 units of LIHI permanent housing including many units in South Seattle.
~
Thank you to the donors who paid for the materials to build the tiny houses at Southend Village: Volunteers from AWS, 83rd & 84th Street Cares, Eva & Friends, Lake Forest Park Rotary Club, Mercer Island Rotary Club, One Eighty Foundation, Leisure Care, Sally Bagshaw & Friends, University Sunrise Rotary Club, Students of Risdon Middle School, Clara Bachelder, The Hill Team, Target, Rotary District 5030, Members of the Mercer Island Tennis Club, The John and Shari Behnke Family, James Tjoa & Associates at RE/MAX, Walsh Construction, Wyncote Foundation NW, Umpqua Bank, and Lucky Seven Foundation.
~
Thank you as well to Sound Foundations NW and the many volunteers who built the tiny houses: Volunteers from AWS, Sno-Isle Tech Skills Center, 83rd & 84th Street Cares, PACT Program, YouthBuild – YouthCare, and Interlake High School.
~
News Coverage:
Gregory Davis from Rainier Beach Action Coalition said, “We welcome LIHI and the Southend Tiny Homes to Rainier Beach. They join a growing base of new neighborhood amenities in Rainier Beach.”
City Council Member Andrew Lewis said, “Tiny houses are a proven strategy to offer our neighbors experiencing homelessness a safe and dignified place to live.”
Barb Oliver of Sound Foundations NW and Dave McCann, a gifted and amazing volunteer from AWS
Maryanne and Tom volunteer every Thursday at the Hope Factory building tiny houses. They live on Queen Anne and want a village there.
John Backus (2nd from left) of the Lucky 7 Foundation and family. The Lucky 7 Foundation provided crucial support that enabled the village to open.
Sharon Lee showing a house that was funded by donations from Walsh Construction and built by Volunteers from Sound Foundations NW and AWS. Plaques honoring hundreds of donors and volunteers adorn the houses in the village.
State Rep. Frank Chopp and Sharon Lee

GiveBIG for Tiny Houses

“Please Give big and help us open Southend Village!”
-Andrew Constantino
~
Tiny House Villages are the most effective form of homeless shelter we have in our region. Over 50% of villagers move on to stable housing within 6 months. No other type of shelter comes close. Why? Wraparound services: experienced and effective case management, including mental health counseling, within an organization whose main business is permanent housing.
~
Tiny Houses are preferred and accepted as shelter by many people who refuse space in other shelters. Why? Because they serve populations that are not served well by traditional shelter options, including families, couples, and people with pets. Because in a tiny house village you get a house to yourself with a lockable door. You get privacy and your possessions are safe. Because it’s the next best thing to an apartment.
~
~
Thanks to the generosity of the John & Shari Behnke Family your gift will be matched, up to $75,000 total for the duration of GiveBIG, from now until May 4th.
~
 
Tiny house at Southend Village

Community Meeting Announcement: Aurora Affordable Housing

12245 Aurora Affordable Housing

12245 Aurora Affordable Housing offers 214 to 264 units in two 7-story buildings on the site that was formerly the Black Angus Motel. Our design aims to meet the housing needs of a variety household sizes through a range of unit types including Studios, 1BRs, 2BRs and 3BR units. Some units will be for seniors. Common areas and amenities include a community room, classroom, fitness room and on-site property management office. Like all LIHI developments, we will meet the rigorous Evergreen Sustainable Design Standard for energy efficiency and long-term durability. At one of the buildings, at street level, there will be an Early Learning Center with five or six classrooms that we be operated by Refugee Women’s Alliance (ReWA).
~
LIHI will implement affirmative marketing to make sure that neighborhood residents, facing increasing rents and risk of displacement, are aware of the rental opportunities the buildings offers. We will provide pre-leasing assistance about four months prior to building opening, to ensure that those qualified can apply to live at 12245 Aurora.
~

WE WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU!
12245 Aurora Affordable Housing Community Meeting

~
LIHI will be hosting a virtual community discussion, inviting the public for questions and comments about the 12245 Aurora Affordable Housing design. All are welcome! Please note that information gathered will be part of the public record.
~
Date: May 11th, 2022
Time: 6:30-7:30pm
Zoom Meeting ID: 868 7520 1003
Zoom Passcode: 805682
~
Developer: Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI)
Contact: Victoria Chow, Development Associate, victoria.chow@lihi.org, (206) 957-8076
Project Address: 12241 & 12245 Aurora Ave. N. Seattle, WA 98133

Sand Point Cottage Housing breaks ground

The Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) is pleased to announce the groundbreaking of Sand Point Cottage Housing located at 6343 NE 65th St. This 22-cottage development will serve singles, couples and families exiting homelessness. The project is expected to be completed in November.
~
LIHI is the owner/developer, the architect is Karen DeLucas Architecture and the contractor is Buchanan General Contracting. Six of the cottages were built in part by students in construction trade pre-apprenticeship programs, including the Seattle Skills Center at Ingraham High School, Rainier Beach High School, Rogers High School, Tulalip TERO Pre-apprenticeship Program, Marysville Regional Apprenticeship Pathways (RAP) Program, and the Seattle Sand Point Summer Construction Training Program run by LIHI. The plans originally called for students to build all the cottages, but this had to be curtailed due to pandemic restrictions.
Each cottage features one-bedroom, a living room, kitchen, bathroom, a loft and a front porch. The Community House features community living space and community kitchen, property management office, a bathroom and a laundry room. Extensive landscaping, gardens, children’s play space, pathways and parking complete the design.
~
Sharon Lee, LIHI Executive Director said, “Sand Point Cottage Housing is an innovative program to provide attractive cottages in a beautiful park setting. I am thrilled that the State Housing Trust Fund is supporting permanent affordable housing on city-owned land in Magnuson Park for families, couples and singles who have been homeless. We appreciate the mayor and city council providing the long-term lease to make this cottage housing possible.”
~
Seattle City Council Budget Chair Teresa Mosqueda said, “This innovative project is the result of strong partnership with our State partners, LIHI, construction trades pre-apprenticeship programs, and the City of Seattle to provide over 36 new neighbors with a warm, affordable place to call home. Through a long-term lease on the land to LIHI at a deep discount of $1 a year, this City-owned property will help provide critically needed low-income housing in the community, with a community garden and outdoor space, and common spaces to gather.”
~
LIHI Board Vice President Melinda Nichols said, “Sand Point Cottages will demonstrate the value of a village setting and the viability of a green, low impact, nontraditional housing option. LIHI has developed over 700 tiny houses and building individual cottages with bathrooms and kitchens is a logical next step. We thank the Department of Commerce, City of Seattle, KeyBank, Lucky 7 Foundation, NeighborWorks America and other funders for the vision to make this project a reality.”
~
The Community House was donated by the Lucky 7 Foundation. Extensive infrastructure work was required on this 84,500 SF site. The cottages average 450 SF. The construction contract is $5,167,000. Funding sources include the Washington State Housing Trust Fund, KeyBank, Enterprise, NeighborWorks America, Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, and Lucky 7 Foundation.
LIHI thanked John Backus of the Lucky 7 Foundation for funding the Community House

Governor & Trudi Inslee visit True Hope Village

Yesterday, Governor Jay Inslee toured LIHI’s True Hope Village as part of a look at the State’s investment in homelessness solutions. Said the Governor, “These are tiny houses but they are big dreams. This is a fantastic investment for the people of Washington. This is both compassionate and successful.”
~
“For our neighbors who are living unsheltered in doorways, parks and greenbelts, tiny house villages are a life saving intervention,” said LIHI ED Sharon Lee, “Last year in King County alone LIHI provided more than 700 people with a safe, warm, dry tiny house to call home. Tiny house villages are the most effective shelter program we have to help people stabilize; they are a direct bridge to permanent housing. Thanks to Governor Inslee’s leadership, we will soon be able to expand the number of tiny house villages serving families and adults who today are trying to survive in the cold and rain.”
~
~
Case Manager Corey Hart, Rev Jeffrey of New Hope Church and Rev Willis of Truevine Church talk about Village services with Governor and Trudi Inslee. New Hope and Truevine churches together are the faith sponsors of True Hope Village.
LIHI Village Organizer and former tiny house village resident Tracy Williams shares her experiences with Gov. Inslee.

Southend Village Breaks Ground

Truevine of Holiness Missionary Baptist Church, the Refugee Women’s Alliance of Washington (ReWA), and the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) are partnering to develop the Southend Tiny House Village at 9101 MLK Way S. in Seattle to provide shelter, safety, and community to individuals, couples, and families experiencing homelessness.
~
The Village, which just broke ground, will feature 40 heated, powered, secure tiny houses along with case management offices, bathrooms, showers, a laundry facility, a kitchen, and community spaces.
~
“LIHI is excited to work with Pastor Lawrence Willis of Truevine of Holiness Baptist Church to develop a new Tiny House Village in South Seattle. There is an urgent, unmet need for shelter in the BIPOC, immigrant, and refugee communities in Rainier Beach,” said Sharon Lee, executive director of LIHI. “A key partner will be Mahnaz Eshetu, the executive director of ReWA, whose agency will provide culturally relevant wrap-around case management services to our villagers.”
~
Truevine of Holiness Missionary Baptist Church and LIHI hosted community meetings to get feedback from neighbors, Rainier Beach Action Coalition, African Community Housing & Development, and other community members.
Site plan for Southend Village
~
“I am distressed by the number of people I see sleeping in doorways, parks, and in their vehicles during this freezing weather here in Rainier Beach,” said Pastor Willis. “Southend Village will be a critical resource in our community in getting our unsheltered neighbors inside, warm and safe, and on a path to permanent housing. By working together, teamwork will make the dream work.”
~
LIHI and Truevine Church will provide people living unsheltered in South Seattle with safe, warm and dry tiny houses instead of sleeping in tents, cars, doorways, or other uninhabitable places. This tiny house village program is not meant to be permanent housing and people are expected to stay under six months. The village will provide shelter to vulnerable families, immigrants/refugees, and others focusing on the BIPOC community. With this in mind, we believe our tiny house villages can pave the way for additional affordable housing in the area. As with our Othello Tiny House Village site, we ultimately want to convert our tiny house villages into affordable housing.
~
Lee said, “At Southend Village, we will be able to provide more than 40 families, couples, and single adults who are living unsheltered with a place to live with privacy and dignity. What’s even better, the village will serve as a bridge to permanent housing.”

Senator George Fleming Passes at 83

LIHI was sad to learn of George Fleming’s passing this week. Executive Director Sharon Lee said, “We honor Senator George Fleming, a remarkable hero who was decades ahead of his time. Long before the current housing and homelessness crisis, he recognized the importance that affordable housing plays in the everyday well-being of people and the communities we live in. He established the State Housing Trust Fund which became a national model for enabling people to access housing they can afford. This is why we named LIHI’s new building George Fleming Place.”

*
*
George and Tina Fleming at the newly opened George Fleming Place in September. George toured the building with family and friends. He said, “I am honored and wish to thank LIHI for naming their new apartment building after me. Setting up the State Housing Trust Fund was a top priority and achievement for me. I am pleased to know that George Fleming Place will continue to serve the 37th District and the community in perpetuity. Affordable housing is closest to my heart. There is no nobler work and there is no clearer sign that a society is working than when our neighbors have a place to call home.”
*
Fleming Family
Frank Chopp, Sharon Lee, George and Tina Fleming
Daughters Sonja Fleming Schuett and Yemi Fleming Jackson speaking at George Fleming Place
Norm Rice making a tribute to George during building tour
George Fleming looking at an apartment

Happy Thanksgiving! What We are Thankful for

Sharon Lee, Yemi Jackson Fleming, Tina Fleming, Nate Miles, and Melinda Nichols, at the opening of George Fleming Place.
*
Dear Friends of LIHI,
*
Happy Thanksgiving! We have much to be thankful for:
*
This year, thanks to our flexible and creative funding partners, we have achieved the goal of 3,000 affordable units under ownership or management. We have also added six new Tiny House Villages, for a total of 16 villages, including first villages in Bellingham and Skyway. With our recent purchase of a hotel, we also operate over 300 enhanced shelter beds.
*
We recently celebrated the opening of 106 units at George Fleming Place. Tomorrow, we start construction on Nesbit Family Housing, 104 units for families, singles and veterans, including 12 units for homeless households. This north Seattle location is on the rapid ride bus line, close to Greenlake, North Seattle College, employment and amenities.
*
I am thankful to you, our wonderful supporters, who have been amazingly generous even as your own lives continue to be impacted by the pandemic.
*
I am thankful to our tremendous staff, who have adjusted and improvised well throughout the pandemic, so that we can continue to serve our residents and unsheltered neighbors whose lives have gotten even more challenging.
*
I am thankful to our dedicated volunteers who have also adjusted and improvised in finding ways to have safe work parties building and painting tiny houses. Some groups are building tiny houses in their driveways!
*
I am very thankful to our public and private sector partners who have embraced and supported our work as vital to the health and housing needs of people in Washington.
*
Please consider a gift on Giving Tuesday or any time during the holiday season.
*
or mail check made out to “LIHI” to:
*
LIHI Fund Dev.
1253 S. Jackson St. Suite A
Seattle, WA 98144
*
Warmest wishes of the season to you and your family,
*
Sharon Lee
Executive Director

LIHI’s 30 Years: Reaching 3,000 Units Milestone!

Join LIHI’s Virtual Gala Now through Nov. 14!

Dear Friends,
~
30 years ago, Frank Chopp and I decided to create LIHI, a new organization that would focus on innovative solutions to the housing and homelessness crisis. We saw an opportunity for a new housing nonprofit that would tackle situations that were too complicated, too cutting edge (or controversial), or not a good fit for traditional housing organizations. In 1994 we “spun off” the housing development department from Fremont Public Association (which later became Solid Ground) to merge with LIHI. I became LIHI’s founding Executive Director.
~
From acquiring our very first building in 1991, LIHI has grown to own 3,049 affordable units (70 properties) serving a multiracial and diverse population of families, singles, seniors, BIPOC, immigrant/refugees and formerly homeless people. We are now one of the largest nonprofit housing organizations in Seattle and the region. We work in seven counties.
~
Locally, LIHI is the second largest provider of enhanced shelters for homeless people with 630 tiny houses in 16 villages plus 235 shelter beds. If not for LIHI’s permanent supportive housing and enhanced shelters, over 2,000 people would be homeless on the streets.
~
The first building LIHI purchased was the Aloha Inn on Queen Anne. We converted a motel into 57 units of self-managed transitional housing in partnership with Catholic Community Services and SHARE, a grassroots organization comprised of homeless people. The Aloha Inn resolved a political problem for former Mayor Norm Rice of where to relocate a large group of homeless people who were sleeping in a Metro bus barn by Seattle Center.
~
After a group of housing activists, Operation Homestead, and homeless people occupied and took over a vacant SRO building in downtown Seattle to protest the loss of low-income housing, LIHI worked with Uncle Bob Santos to broker a deal with the building’s owner. We turned the vacant dilapidated building into Arion Court, providing permanent housing for 36 homeless veterans and other homeless people.
Arion Court while occupied by Operation Homestead
These early experiences helped shape a philosophy for me, the Board, and staff to fight for Housing as a Human Right. LIHI’s greatest strength is our commitment to social justice through our housing development, our many partnerships and our advocacy work. We continue to serve as a catalyst for change in preserving low-income housing; fighting against gentrification and displacement; working for racial justice and equitable development; and developing housing for people that are not being served by the market.
~
Our innovations—where we push the envelop—include tiny house villages, which have become a national movement. Our Urban Rest Stops, which provide essential hygiene facilities, enriches the lives of thousands of homeless people each year. LIHI’s many award winning buildings, close to transit and amenities, show that low-income housing can be assets in the community and great places for our residents to call home.
~
One thing homeless people want is to be clean, so we opened an Urban Rest Stop (URS) downtown in 2001 for restrooms, showers and laundry and other services for people experiencing homelessness like foot care and vaccinations. With clean clothes and a shower you can get and keep a job, you can be successful at an interview for an apartment. Until recently we operated a second URS in the University District, and we opened a third URS in Ballard in 2015.
~
LIHI’s model of Tiny House Villages have grown by leaps and bounds. We should have thought of tiny houses sooner! We now pursue more villages with a passion as these are a crisis response to homelessness and the pandemic. We share our knowledge of tiny houses with others, and to our delight, many villages have been set up across the country!
~
Tiny houses are great for people currently living in tents, in parks and cars. The villages provide people with a safe and restorative place to live. Tiny houses provide a place to rest, to heal, to take a breath, to think and make a plan. The villages have case managers who help with life’s basics, housing placements, employment, and more complicated things like getting a new ID when you have no documents.  The villages also provide an important sense of community.  We have the highest rate of placement into long term housing compared with other forms of shelter.
~

~
So here we are at 30 years! We are very proud of our history—yet there is so much work still to do to create a future where thousands more have a home.
~~
We are celebrating LIHI’s 30th Anniversary with a Virtual Gala to raise funds for the future of Urban Rest Stops and Tiny House Villages so we can continue and expand these programs. The Gala is virtual and runs through November 14, so attend at your convenience. There are some fun items to bid on and an opportunity to donate. View the short video on LIHI that includes Rep. Frank Chopp, King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay, Melinda Nichols of the LIHI Board and villagers.
~
Please join us!
~
In Solidarity!
~
Sharon Lee
Executive Director
~

Join the Virtual Gala Now!

Bidding Open! LIHI Virtual Gala & Auction

Join the Virtual Gala Now!

We are excited to invite you to attend our Virtual Gala & Auction right now! Watch our short Gala Video, bid on fun and exciting auction items (see pics below), and donate from now through November 14th.
 (Rocking Harley)
The Virtual Gala & Auction is LIHI’s main fundraiser for 2021. It supports Tiny Houses, Urban Rest Stops and Supportive Services. These crucial direct services help homeless people right now.
(Bowl by Artist Matthew Patton)
Tiny House Villages in Seattle, Skyway, Tacoma, Olympia, and Bellingham provide homeless individuals and families with safe, private, warm shelter in a secure village setting. Case Managers have a great record of moving villagers into permanent housing.
(Tuxedo Cake from Macrina)
The Urban Rest Stops provide a clean, safe and welcoming facility in downtown Seattle and Ballard where individuals and families can use restrooms, showers, and laundry facilities at no cost to them. A shower and clean laundry is basic human dignity and can help homeless people obtain and keep jobs and housing while improving their health.
(El Gaucho and AQUA gift certificate)
Supportive Services are critically needed (with winter and the pandemic) to keep people safe and to ensure that families and individuals can access the necessary services.
(Dooney & Bourke Bag)
If you are unable to attend the Virtual Gala & Auction, you can donate now or send a check made out to “LIHI” to:
LIHI Gala
1253 S. Jackson St. Suite A
Seattle, WA 98144
(Harry & David’s Gift Basket)