Author: beccafinkes

Seattle City Council Passes New Tiny House Village and Safe Parking Lot Ordinance!

Tuesday, Seattle City Council made history and voted to amend the original permitted encampment ordinance that allows for three city-sanctioned encampments, imposes various time regulations and zoning restrictions, and was set to sunset next month. The amended ordinance passed with a 6-1 vote just in time! Voting yes were Councilmembers Kshama Sawant (bill sponsor), Lisa Herbold, Debora Juarez, Andrew Lewis, Tammy Morales, and Dan Strauss. Councilmembers Lorena González and Teresa Mosqueda weren’t present, and Councilmember Alex Pedersen voted no.

The new ordinance will allow the continuation of the existing tiny house villages that would have otherwise sunset in March, and permit up to 40 tiny house villages, encampments, and safe parking sites to be authorized throughout the city. The language also mitigates zoning restrictions, allows annual renewals, and removes a sunset provision.

This is a zoning ordinance, not a funding bill, so the expansion of new sites will be gradual and dependent on the allocation of city funding. There is $2 million in the 2020 budget for new village funding.

Thank you to the many residents, volunteers, staff, faith leaders, and community members who emailed, called, and joined us at City Hall in support of villages over the past few months. Many heartfelt stories were shared that played an instrumental role in educating councilmembers about the importance of tiny house villages. We owe this monumental win to you.

Tiny house villages serve as a crucial stepping stone from homelessness to permanent or long-term housing. According to the 2019 Point in Time Count, 5,228 individuals were identified as unsheltered in King County, 68% of which were residing in Seattle. The eight city-funded tiny house villages provide shelter, safety, and community to 700 people in 2019, and have high rates of exits to long-term housing compared with other forms of shelter. Case managers work hard to help residents obtain housing, employment, education, health care, treatment, child care, and other services.

We are grateful to the City Councilmembers who supported this legislation, especially Councilmember Sawant who sponsored it and led the fight and Councilmember Lewis who chaired the Select Committee on Homelessness. Please reach out and thank them at council@seattle.gov!

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An Lạc Apartments Available to Lease

Building

The Low Income Housing Institute has apartments available to lease at its new An Lạc building located at 1253 S. Jackson Street Seattle, WA 98144.  If you are interested in leasing an apartment, please call (206) 324-1774 or visit https://lihi.org/an-lac/ for more information about this property.

An Lạc means tranquility in Vietnamese. An Lạc Apartments features 69 units, including studios, 1- and 2-bedroom apartments in a 6-story building in Little Saigon. The project serves lower wage households.

Each Residential Unit has full kitchen appliances, solid surface countertops, large windows, wood cabinets, vinyl plank flooring, and carpet in the bedrooms.  Shared Amenities include on-site laundry, an entry lounge, top floor community room with kitchen and exterior deck, plus a large roof deck with panoramic views.  At ground level, there are two retail spaces facing S. Jackson St. plus LIHI’s office space facing south.

Sustainable design features include an extremely tight air barrier enclosing the interior space, energy-efficient lighting, energy-efficient fresh air ventilation, rooftop solar panels, green roof areas to reduce site runoff, and native species of plants in the landscaping to reduce the amount of required irrigation.

The project site in Little Saigon is easily walkable to public transportation, schools, services, and stores.  It has a walk score of 97, a transit score of 96 and a bike score of 76.

Funding for the project came from City of Seattle, King County, Boston Capital, and Banner Bank.

Click here for more information on how to apply!

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