Seattle Tent Cities Show Positive Outcomes

“The three city-supported encampments enable people to live in a safe place linked with services.”
Sharon Lee, LIHI Executive Director.

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City Authorized Encampments Moving Residents into Housing and Jobs

Seattle – The three City of Seattle-authorized homeless encampments that were established as a result of the City’s March 30, 2015 ordinance, which permitted three encampments on City or private land, have successfully moved 57 residents of the encampments into transitional and permanent housing and assisted 40 residents in obtaining jobs. The nonprofit Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) operates the encampments in partnership with Nickelsville and SHARE. LIHI employs two case managers, funded through the Seattle Human Services Department, to help families and individuals living in tiny houses and tents to access housing and an array of services and employment. “We have good news to report: in the month of June our case managers helped 13 people move into housing, seven into shelters and nine people got jobs. This frees up space for 20 other homeless people living in dangerous conditions on the street. The three city-supported encampments enable people to live in a safe place linked with services,” said Sharon Lee, LIHI Executive Director. No alcohol, drugs or weapons are allowed at the encampments.

The three encampments feature a mix of tiny houses (8’ x 12’) and tents on platforms. Most of the tiny houses have been built by volunteer labor, many through vocational training programs. Each tiny house costs about $2,200 for wood, insulation and building materials. Tiny houses recently added to Othello Village were built by the Tulalip Tribes TERO program, Sawhorse Revolution, Seattle Vocational Institute, Renton Technical College, and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters Apprenticeship Training program.

From October 1, 2015 to June 28, 2016:

57 encampment residents moved to permanent or transitional housing (majority into LIHI housing)
30 encampment residents moved into other shelter
40 encampment residents found employment
3 encampment residents were reunited with relatives (LIHI provided transportation)

Locations and populations of encampments:

Nickelsville Ballard Encampment at 2826 NW Market Street: 21 residents
SHARE Interbay Encampment at 3234 17th Avenue W: 63 residents
Nickelsville Othello Village* at 7544 Martin Luther King Jr. Way S: 47 residents
* Othello Village opened March 8, 2016.

The Low Income Housing Institute owns and/or manages over 1,800 affordable apartments in the Puget Sound region. For more information about LIHI, please visit


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