Author: aaronl2015

MLK Mixed Use Affordable Housing Project


Click for Flyer in in Vietnamese, Tagalog, Spanish, Amharic, Tigrinya and Somali.

LIHI will be hosting a virtual community discussion, inviting the public for questions and comments about the MLK Mixed-Use Affordable Housing proposal. All are welcome! Interpreters can be provided upon request. Please note that information gathered will be public record.

Date: August 10th, 2021
Time: 6:00-7:30pm

Zoom link: //
Zoom Meeting ID: 987 1924 5936
Zoom Passcode: 456149

Developer: Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI)       

Contact: Aisaya Corbray, Project Manager,, (206) 957-8052

Project Address: 7529-7544 Martin Luther King Jr. Way S. Seattle, WA 98118

For additional information on the project visit the Seattle Services Portal at SDCI Project #3037135


Progressive Skyway Village Opening!

Cherryl Jackson Williams, Chandler Gayton, Hannah Ferguson, La Tonya Horace and other members of the Skyway Coalition. “We are so happy to say welcome home to our community members that are coming here. We are so happy to say this is just the first stop of your journey, and we will ride that ride with you. We are not going anywhere, because again, this is for us, by us, and we stand by our community.

Construction of Progressive Skyway Village, located at 12431 56th Pl S, Seattle is nearly complete and an opening celebration ceremony was held on June 8th. The village, sponsored by the Seattle Word of God Church and sited on church property, has 33 tiny houses for families, couples and singles. The village features plumbed bathrooms, kitchen, laundry, community meeting space, case manager’s and staff offices, entrance pavilion, secured gate and surrounding fence. The village has separate groupings of tiny houses for families, family bathrooms and a children’s rec room.

Seattle Word of God Minister Kathy Taylor, speaking at the opening, said, “We’ve had this land for 2 years now, and we just wanted to be able to be of service to the community. Until we get to the point where we are building our church, we felt it necessary to be able to do something that would serve the community where we sit. And that’s what it’s all about. We are our brother’s keeper, we are our sister’s keeper.”

Rev. Curtis Taylor added, “The Bible tells us that how can you love God who you have not seen, and don’t love your brother who you see everyday. Part of that love is action. Since we’ve been blessed with this property, we found ourselves wanting to be a blessing and help somebody along the way. This is just the first phase of what our ultimate goal is, and that is to have low-income housing on the opposite side of this lot along with our Church.”

Fellow faith leaders were on hand to celebrate the opening, including Rev. Jeffrey of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, Rev. Lawrence Willis of Truvine Church, and Rev. Jesse Townsel of Garden of Gethsemane Church of God In Christ.

King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay said, “This just shows you the power of our community, the power of the Skyway community. If you give the people of Skyway the tools and resources they need, and the opportunity to succeed, they will achieve amazing things, and there has never been a better example than this today.”

Former True Hope Village resident Tracy Willams said, “When I walked in there, I had no self esteem, I had no hope. The tiny houses gave me hope and helped me get back on my feet and made me start loving myself all over again. The program does work.”

Mark Ellerbrook, Division Director for King County’s Community and Human Services Department, said, “I’m excited that we have our first tiny home village outside of the City of Seattle, in unincorporated King County, recognizing this is a solution we should be embracing, and I want to see more of this and have our Department and Division do more of this work.”

Sharon Lee said, “We are very happy to open Progressive Skyway Village as LIHI’s first tiny house village located in King County outside of Seattle. Given the large number of homeless people in King County, there is a great need for tiny house villages in north, east and south parts of the county. Thank you to the Seattle Word of God Church for offering their land to shelter people experiencing homelessness in the Skyway community. The Church has stated their interest in developing their land in the future for affordable housing.”

Great thanks to the commitment and generosity of Pastor Curtis Taylor and his wife Minister Kathy Taylor, the Word of God Church congregation, the Skyway Coalition, and King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay. King County provided capital and operating funding.

Heartfelt thanks also to all who donated and volunteered, with special thanks going to Sound Foundations NW, Trinity Construction Builders, JT’s Contracting, Walsh Construction, PACT Program, and other families, organizations, and volunteers who built homes, Dignity for Divas for organizing and donating welcome baskets for the new residents, the International District and Mercer Island Rotary Clubs for donating bedding and hygiene supplies, and the over 50 neighbors and volunteers who helped set up the village over several work parties.

Progressive Skyway Village will be accepting referrals from Skyway-based social service organizations that serve people experiencing and at-risk of homelessness in the Skyway community. The first residents will move in tomorrow, Friday, June 11.

Clockwise from top left: LIHI Staff; the daughters of Rev. and Min. Taylor sang a song of celebration; interior of house with furnishings and welcome basket of essentials; handicapped accessible houses; King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay (left) with Legislative Aide Chandler Gayton; enclosed village with secure entrance and 24/7 staffing; Mark Ellerbrook, King County Community and Human Services Department; mother and daughter Tracy and Audre’ona, who moved from True Hope and T.C. Spirit Villages into LIHI’s Jensen Block and Clay Apts; LIHI’s Theresa Hohman, Min. Kathy Taylor, Rev. Curtis Taylor, Senator Rebecca Saldaña (37th), and Ricky Winbush.

Port of Seattle to Expand Interbay Village

The Port held a press event on June 2 at Interbay Safe Harbor Tiny House Village to announce the expansion of the village by working with LIHI to add 30 new tiny houses to the existing 46 houses. This would make Interbay the largest tiny house village in the state with 76 tiny houses. The location is 1601 15th Ave. West. 

Port Commissioner Stephanie Bowman stated that the Port of Seattle is the only port in the country to host a tiny house village. The Port is expected to sign a new two year lease with the City of Seattle and will welcome the new neighbors. LIHI will add additional hygiene facilities, a new kitchen and increase staffing including case managers. Seattle Councilmember Andrew Lewis spoke about the desire to serve more homeless people in District 7 and throughout the city with his “It Takes a Village” campaign to create 20 tiny house villages in Seattle. 

Sharon Lee, LIHI Executive Director, thanked Commissioner Bowman and Councilmember Lewis for their leadership. 50 people currently live in the village including three children. Because of Mayor Dukan’s leadership in helping LIHI purchase the 76-unit Clay Apartments on Capitol Hill, six people from Interbay moved in recently. 
Ms. Lee introduced Bob Williamson who lived at Interbay Village since it opened and has now moved into permanent housing. Mr Williamson said he formerly lived in a tent at the Dravus tent city site before moving to Interbay Village. He is now very happy to be living in his own studio apartment at the Clay Apartments (see photo). He said the village saved his life. 

Magnolia, Queen Anne and Interbay community leaders, Janis Traven, Sue Olson, Jan Monti and Ellen Monrad and spoke about their support for the villagers and the expansion. 

Video of press event

Left to right: Port of Seattle Commissioner Stephanie Bowman; City Councilmember Andrew Lewis; Bob Williamson; Interbay Village

LIHI Celebrates LIHI Celebrates Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

LIHI’s proud commitment to racial equality and justice is demonstrated through the Asian American heroes we have honored by naming our buildings after them.

Denice Hunt Townhomes (1998)
620 N 85th St., Seattle

Denice Johnson Hunt

Born in Kingston, Jamaica to a mother of Chinese descent and a father of African descent, Denice Johnson Hunt (1948-1997), was an architect, urban planner, historic preservationist, and served as Deputy Chief of Staff to Seattle Mayor Norm Rice, in which role she was instrumental in the development of the Seattle waterfront, the downtown plan, Benaroya Hall, and the Northwest African American Museum.  Read bio.

Aki Kurose Village (1998)
11506 Stone Ave. N, Seattle

Aki Kurose

Seattle teacher and tireless peace and social justice activist, Aki Kurose (1925–1998) spent her life advocating on behalf of the neglected, the disadvantaged, and children. She helped establish Seattle’s Head Start program, crusaded for non-discriminatory affordable housing, and won numerous awards for her innovative work as an elementary school teacher. A Nisei, Kurose’s life’s course was altered when she, along with her parents and three siblings, was imprisoned in a World War II U.S. government prison camp. During and after the war, at a Quaker university in Kansas, she adopted a lifelong belief in the Quaker values of peace and nonviolent conflict resolution, which became the foundation for the rest of her life’s varied work.  Read bio.

Cheryl Chow Court (2015)
2014 NW 57th St., Seattle

Mark Chow, Catherine Danigelis, Liliana Marningstar-Chow, Sarahg Morningstar, Sharon Lee
Cheryl Chow

Cheryl Chow (1946-2013) spent her entire life dedicated to the children and families of Seattle. A proud graduate of Franklin High School and WWU, she became a well-known educator and administrator in many Seattle Public Schools. Cheryl sat on the board of various non-profits, volunteered for 30 years as a girls’ basketball coach and spent over 40 years as director of the Seattle Chinese Community Girls Drill team. In 1990 She was elected to the Seattle City Council and served two terms. She was also elected to the Seattle School Board where she served one term.  After retiring, Cheryl spent a decade working for the Girl Scouts of Western Washington. She was also elected to the Seattle School Board where she served one term.

Cheryl Chow was instrumental in the creation of the Urban Rest Stop in downtown when she was chair of the City Council’s Housing and Human Services Committee. She secured funding for LIHI to purchase the Julie Apartments and to locate the Urban Rest Stop on the first floor. She stood up to NIMBY opposition from a faction of the downtown business community.

Cheryl was also a visionary in getting the Seattle City Council to approve the development of housing for homeless families, youth and singles at the former Sand Point Naval Station at Magnuson Park. Cheryl worked diligently with housing advocates to ensure that homeless people have a place to call home.

The Tony Lee (2018)
2820 NE 127th St., Seattle

Pre-school on ground floor of the Tony Lee
Tony Lee

For over three decades, including 19 years as Advocacy Director at Solid Ground, Tony Lee (1948-2020) was the state’s leading lobbyist on issues impacting people living on low incomes.

Tony started his career as a lawyer with Evergreen Legal Services launching his work as a leader in the field of multi-racial organizing. In fairly short order, Tony shifted his focus to become a civil rights policy advocate. This was not an intentional career move; rather he explained that he “stumbled” into policy work “by luck.” Tony abandoned the practice of law to spend the bulk of his career as an advocate, focusing his efforts on how to make laws more just and equitable.

Tony readily took on the role of champion to those suffering inequities and injustices from poverty and racism. As Washington State House Representative Frank Chopp describes him, “Tony Lee [was] the conscience of Washington State when it comes to helping poor people.”  Read bio.

An Lạc (2020)
1253 S. Jackson St, Seattle

An Lạc, which means tranquility in Vietnamese, is located in the International District at the gateway to Little Saigon.  LIHI is proud to serve the ID and Little Saigon communities with the affordable housing that An Lạc provides and also thrilled to call this neighborhood home, having recently moved our administrative offices to the ground floors of An Lạc.

Thank You for Giving Big!

Henry McGee, Jr. with his GiveBig donation. Henry is a LIHI Board-
member and is Professor Emeritus at Seattle University School of Law.

Dear LIHI Champions,

You are amazing! Between donations made directly to LIHI and through the GiveBig website, plus fully leveraging the $30,000 matching gift from the Wyncote Foundation NW, you raised nearly $100,000 for Tiny Houses and Urban Rest Stops!

We are so grateful to you for helping provide our homeless neighbors the shelter and services they need.

Forgot to give? It’s not too late!

You can still GiveBIG:
Donate online direct to LIHI.
Mail a check to: LIHI Fund Dev. 1253 S. Jackson St. Seattle, WA 98144 (checks = no credit card fees taken out of donation)
Donate through GiveBIG site through midnight on May 10th.

Thank You!

GiveBig! Support LIHI’s 30th Anniversary!

Tiny House Purple

Help us raise $30,000 for our 30 years! Actually, let’s raise $30,000 twice: the Wyncote Foundation NW has generously agreed to match up to $30,000 in donations in honor of our anniversary! LIHI GiveBig fundraising supports Tiny House Villages and Urban Rest Stops.

Ways to GiveBIG:

  1. Donate today direct to LIHI online
  2. Mail a check to:
    LIHI: Attn: Fund Dev
    1253 S Jackson Street, Suite A
    Seattle, WA 98144
  3. Donate through GiveBIG. Early giving open now.
  4. Start a Facebook fundraiser with you and your friends and family.

DreamBig! — 600 Tiny Houses

Tiny Houses serve populations that are not served well by traditional shelter options, including families, couples, and people with pets. Tiny houses are preferred and accepted as shelter by many people who refuse space in other shelters. Why? Because in a tiny house village you get a house to yourself with a lockable door. You get privacy and your possessions are safe. A high percentage are able to obtain longterm housing from a tiny house.

There are over 3,000 unsheltered homeless in Seattle and nearly 6,000 in King County. We need 600 more tiny houses now to help reduce unsheltered homelessness.

DreamBig! — More Urban Rest Stops

Urban Rest Stops give homeless people a chance to refresh. You may take for granted being able to take a shower, do your laundry, and go to the bathroom. Many homeless people don’t have this option and resort to trying to get clean in public restrooms, which can be awkward and uncomfortable.

LIHI’s Urban Rest Stops help many of our region’s homeless get the personal hygiene services that they need in a dignified setting, but the demand for these services far exceeds the capacity. An Urban Rest Stop in every neighborhood is our Big Dream.

Join the team! GiveBig and DreamBig!

Martin Way Housing & Shelter Breaks Ground

Olympia, WA – The Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) in partnership with Interfaith Works have started construction on Martin Way Housing & Shelter, located at 161 Pattison St. NE, Olympia.  This 5-story, new construction affordable rental building includes 65 permanent supportive housing units for homeless people operated by Low Income Housing Institute and a 60-bed 24/7 enhanced shelter on the ground floor operated by Interfaith Works (IW). Construction broke ground on November 23, 2020 and will be completed December 2021.  LIHI is the owner/developer, the architect is Encore Architects and the contractor is Walsh Construction Co.

The apartment building will include 53 studio and 12 one-bedroom units, including one unit for an on-site manager. The affordability is targeted to households at or below 30% and 50% ($30,350 annual income and below for an individual) of the area median income.  Units are set-aside for homeless seniors, veterans and people living with disabilities.  The Interfaith Works shelter will serve 60 homeless individuals including singles and couples.

“Thank you to Olympia Mayor Cheryl Shelby and the City Council for selling city-owned property at a deep discount to LIHI so that we can start construction on critically needed low-Income housing and shelter for homeless individuals and couples. The 2020 Point in Time Count documents 995 individuals experiencing homelessness in Thurston County, which is a 24% increase over 2019.  People should not have to live in cars, tents or be left to survive on the street.  With winter and the pandemic here, it is truly heartbreaking to see so many people living unsheltered.  With completion of construction next winter, over 140 vulnerable people will have a warm, safe place to live and thrive,” said Sharon Lee, LIHI Executive Director.

Mayor Cheryl Selby said, “We are excited to bring forward the first project built with Home Fund Levy dollars that will add 24-hour shelter capacity for our most vulnerable neighbors and add 64 new units of housing for homeless adults.  Along with Home Fund dollars, this project would not be able to happen without funding partnerships including Thurston County, the state Housing Trust Fund, and the state Housing Finance Commission through federal tax credits.  These partnerships are helping the City of Olympia take a huge step in providing shelter to those in our community who need it most.”

Meg Martin, Executive Director of Interfaith Works, said, “Our relationships with the faith and spiritual communities who have shouldered the work of addressing homelessness in our County for three decades remain strong and active — especially with our beloved home at First Christian Church. However, our stay at First Christian Church was never meant to be permanent. We are ecstatic to partner with LIHI to design a safe, clean, beautiful, and accessible facility that will fully realize the dignity and respect our current and future shelter guests deserve. This development represents a pivotal moment in the progression of the Thurston County Homeless Response Plan and we are incredibly grateful to the community for making it possible.”

LIHI will be the owner/operator of the building and lease the ground floor to IW to operate the enhanced shelter.  Both agencies will work closely together through the construction, lease up, and ongoing operations of the facility. IW will be providing case management and support services.

Total development cost is $20.7 million. Funding sources for the housing includes the City of Olympia Home Fund, Thurston County, State Housing Trust Fund, Washington State Housing Trust Fund, Raymond James (tax credit investor), and JPMorgan Chase (construction financing).  Funding for the IW shelter includes State Department of Commerce and City of Olympia Home Fund.

Interfaith Works, founded in Thurston County in 1974, has been providing shelter in church and spiritual community basements, social halls, and sanctuaries for nearly 30 years. IW is a key provider in the Thurston County Homeless Response System. For decades, IW has advocated for meeting both the immediate emergency needs for survival for those living unsheltered, as well as creating more permanent supportive housing for people living with complex challenges related to their physical and mental health.  Those who have historically been screened out of the homeless response system tend to have higher interactions with emergency services and it costs significantly more to leave them out than it does to create permanent housing and support services tailored to their unique needs. The partnership between LIHI and IW aims to do just this — take a both/and approach to addressing the continued state of emergency of homelessness and affordable housing in Thurston County. IW helped to organize the passing of the City of Olympia’s Home Fund sales tax initiative in 2018.  For more info:

The nonprofit Low Income Housing Institute was founded in 1991 and has over 65 properties under ownership and management.  In addition, LIHI operates 12 tiny house villages in Olympia, Tacoma and Seattle as a crisis response to homelessness.  For more info:

Project Info:

Architect – Encore Architects, PLLC
General Contractor – Walsh Construction Co./Washington


Electric – Kirby Electric
HVAC – Emerald Aire
Plumbing – Herdman Plumbing
Civil Engineer – Hatton Godat Pantier
Structural Engineer – YT Engineers
Geotechnical Engineer – Geotechnical Consultants
Landscape Architect – Weisman Design Group
Waterproofing Consultant – JRS
Acoustic Consultant – A3 Acoustics, LLP
Accessibility – Studio Pacifica
Fire Protection – Patriot Fire Protection
Survey – Hatton Godat Pantier, Inc.

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An Lạc Apts. Win NAIOPWA Award: Affordable Housing Development of the Year!

Located in Seattle’s International District, An Lạc is a mixed-use property comprising 69 units of affordable housing above LIHI’s new main offices at a site well-served by transit. Runberg Architecture Group was the architect and Walsh Construction Co. was the contractor.

“We are thrilled to be honored by NAIOP and proud to have the An Lạc apartments serve as a gateway to Little Saigon and the Chinatown-International District,” said Sharon Lee, Executive Director of LIHI. “An Lạc will help counter gentrification and help the neighborhood retain its wonderful character and diversity.”Chosen to reinforce a unique sense of place, the project’s design was inspired by the “tube houses” found in cities across Vietnam – narrow residential buildings distinctive for their variety of window styles and balconies. Sustainable features include a 32-kW rooftop solar array and bioretention planters.

NAIOPWA’s Night of the Stars identifies outstanding real estate developments and activities in a variety of market types and the individuals who made the projects happen. The awards aim to honor the teams who build our landscape in this annual celebration of the industry. Each finalist project was evaluated for impact on the community, market adaptability, ingenuity and local contributions. 

LIHI Gala Cancelled – We Need Your Help

We regret to announce that the Covid-19 pandemic has forced us to cancel our October 30th Gala at the Four Seasons. However, while we must put off the festivities for a year, we still need your support. The Gala & Auction raises funds that fill funding gaps for LIHI’s programs—Tiny House Villages, Urban Rest Stops, Supportive Services.

Click to donate online

Without Gala and Auction funds, here are the impacts:
•    Fewer Tiny Houses and Villages to provide shelter to those with none.
•    Fewer case managers to help our clients find jobs, housing, and services.
•    Fewer days and hours we have the Urban Rest Stops open.

LIHI’s Tiny House Program is wonderfully effective shelter for pandemic conditions. Unlike traditional shelters, each resident has a separate space to sleep and live, helping to flatten the curve. We haven’t had a single confirmed case of Covid-19 in our villages! This year we opened our first village in Tacoma and are working to open three more villages before winter starts.

Pictured: New residents of Interbay Village

LIHI Supportive Services programs provide our residents with case management that helps them secure education, employment, permanent housing, and other crucial services.

Pictured: We hired a full-time teacher to set up a learning pod to help our students not fall behind at Meadowbrook Apartments in Seattle. Remote learning is difficult for many low-income families.

Our three Urban Rest Stops are operating at full capacity during Covid-19 while other facilities have closed around the city. We provide hot showers, bathrooms, laundry, and services that can make the difference between health and sickness, life and death, and getting a job or not. The city of Seattle covers only 77% of our costs.

Pictured: Client at downtown Urban Rest Stop

LIHI provides essential services during the pandemic and we have never been busier! Next year—our 30th Anniversary!—we’ll return to fun and friends and fine dining with our biggest Gala and Auction ever, but for now, we humbly ask for your support to get through this challenging time.

Gift of $2,500 pays for a tiny house
Gift of $1,250 pays for half a tiny house
Gift of $500 pays for the water and electricity at the Urban Rest Stops for a week.
Gift of $250 will fund case managers to secure housing for people living in tiny houses
Gift of $100 will pay for a learning pod for low income and formerly homeless students 
Gift of $50 Will help pay for emergency food and PPE for seniors and homeless people 
Any gift helps. We are grateful for your donation.

Click to donate online
or mail check made out to “LIHI Gala” to:
Attn: Fund Development
1253 S. Jackson St. Suite A
Seattle, WA 98144
Thank you for your support!