Author: aaronl2015

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!

Announcing: Sand Point Cottage Community

The Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) is developing a Sand Point Cottage Community projected to open in the Spring of 2020 in Magnuson Park. This project will provide 22-25 studio and one-bedroom cottages of affordable workforce housing for families and individuals employed at low wages. The cottages will have living and sleeping areas, lofts, kitchens and bathrooms. The community will include a common building, community garden, outdoor recreation space and walking paths.

The vacant property is owned by the city of Seattle at 6343 NE 65th Street. It is zoned Low-rise 3 and is within the residentially zoned portion of Magnuson Park. LIHI will master lease the land from the Seattle Office of Housing. The cottages will be built modularly off-site by students in pre-apprenticeship and vocational training programs, and assembled on-site by a general contractor.

Community Meeting

Wednesday August 14, 6:30pm-8:00pm
Santos Place: 6940 62nd Ave. NE Seattle, WA 98155
Meeting is in community room: entrance around back.

At the meeting, Rep. Frank Chopp and LIHI staff will share information and answer questions about the Sand Point Cottage Community project.

Sandpoint Layout


GiveBig Now Through May 8

GiveBig for the
Urban Rest Stops & Tiny Houses
While GiveBIG is offically May 8th, you can GiveBig early today and help your friends give as well!
This year, there are 3 Ways to GiveBIG early:
1) Donate today direct to LIHI.
The Wyncote Foundation NW is matching up to $50,000 in gifts!
The Urban Rest Stops provide free showers, laundry, haircuts and other hygiene services to thousands in Downtown Seattle, U-District and Ballard. There is nothing like a hot shower and clean clothes. Your gift funds soap, shampoo, towels, hot water and other crucial hygiene items.

Tiny Houses are safe, sturdy structures that protect homeless individuals and families who are faced with sleeping on the streets in unsheltered and unsafe conditions. Your gift funds critical village amenities such as electricity, shower and laundry facilities, and case management to help residents find permanent housing and employment. 

Thank you for your support and GiveBig today!