New Tiny Houses for 60 Homeless People Opens on April 15

Seattle, WA – In response to Seattle Mayor Durkan’s Proclamation of Civil Emergency in the fight against COVID-19, the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) is opening a new tiny house village located at 612 22nd Ave (22nd & E. Cherry) in the Central Area on land owned by The Christ Spirit Church. In addition, LIHI is doubling the size of Lake Union Village (LUV) located at 800 Aloha St. in South Lake Union. A total of 50 new tiny houses will shelter up to 60 people experiencing homelessness including singles, couples and people with pets. 

The new village, T.C. Spirit Village, and the expansion at LUV opens on Wednesday, April 15, and provides shelter, safety, hygiene, food, and on-site case management for vulnerable individuals at risk of exposure to the Coronavirus. T.C. Spirit Village will receive referrals of Native Americans, Alaskan Natives and African Americans who are underserved and over-represented in the homeless population. LUV provides shelter for homeless individuals including those living with mental illness, alcoholism and/or chemical dependency. Lifelong provides behavioral health services at LUV. 

Important: Press are invited to visit the two villages on Thursday, April 16, 10am – 1pm, on a first come first serve staggered basis to ensure small groups and physical distance between persons. If interviewing, please bring boom mic to ensure minimum 6-10 feet distance during these. No footage allowed of persons without prior consent. RSVP required to Josh Castle along with confirmation – (206) 334-0508 / josh.castle@lihi.org. 

T.C. Spirit Village includes 28 tiny houses; a community kitchen, a hygiene building with restrooms, showers, and laundry, staff and counseling offices, and a security pavilion. There is 24/7 staffing and case management on-site to help up to 32 residents obtain housing, employment, health care, education, and other services. Members of The Christ Spirit Church will provide donations, services, food and other support. The village is receiving operational support from the Seattle Human Services Department. “We The Christ Spirit Church are our brother’s keeper. We have been longtime advocates for ending homelessness, and this is an opportunity to continue in collaboration with LIHI and the City,” stated Rev. Willie Seals. 

The pre-apprenticeship students in the Tulalip Tribes TERO Program constructed 13 tiny houses at T.C. Spirit Village. Art completed by artist Ty Juvinel decorates the doors. “We applaud the significant contribution of the Tulalip Tribes TERO Program. The students have built over 10% of all the tiny houses in Seattle,” said Sharon Lee, LIHI Executive Director. “The partnership with LIHI has not only allowed us to build tiny houses for the homeless, but has helped us navigate lives and futures. Our students have been honored and grateful to contribute to helping those in need,” remarked Summer Hammons, Tulalip Tribes TERO Program Director. 

Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner donated funds to build 9 of the 22 new tiny houses at Lake Union Village. Burrard, a real estate development company, donated funds to help construct both T.C. Spirit Village and LUV. LIHI staff, neighbors and volunteers worked together to set up the villages quickly—and with careful adherence to social distancing—in less than a month. See below for a list of volunteer groups, students and businesses who built and contributed tiny houses. 

“Thank you to Mayor Durkan for declaring a Civil Emergency and providing resources quickly to stand up new villages. There are too many unsheltered homeless men and women who are vulnerable and sleeping outside in the cold. Many are in the high risk group for Covid-19 and have compromised health and weakened immunity. We appreciate the generous contribution of Burrard who made a donation of $250,000 to help build 41 tiny houses,” said Sharon Lee. The gift of 41 tiny houses symbolizes the 41 stories of Burrard’s new NEXUS tower in downtown Seattle. 

LIHI operates 12 tiny house villages in Seattle, Olympia, and Tacoma sheltering over 1,000 homeless individuals each year. Villages offer a safe and dignified place for those living outside. Each house is 8 by 12 feet, costs about $2,700, and has insulation, electricity, heat, windows, and a lockable door. The villages include plumbed on-site facilities with showers, toilets, laundry, and a community kitchen. Each village includes on-site case management staff to help residents obtain housing, employment, and other social services. 

In February, the Seattle City Council voted to amend the original permitted encampment ordinance to allow the continuation of the existing tiny house villages that would have otherwise sunset and permit up to 40 sites which could include tiny house villages, tent encampments, and safe parking to be authorized throughout the city. 

Tiny House Builders: Those who built or donated tiny houses at T.C. Spirit Village include: Burrard, Tulalip Tribes TERO Program, Newport Covenant Church, Mercer Island Methodist Church, Fauntleroy United Church of Christ Church, Sound Foundations Northwest, Annie Wright School, Arlington High School, Ingraham High School, Mountlake Terrace High School, Sawhorse Revolution, Walsh Construction, Dale Hoff and friends, Lane Dorcy and friends, and many wonderful Central Area, International District and Capitol Hill neighbors. 

Those who built or donated tiny houses at LUV include: Burrard, Bobby Wagner, Northwest School, Arlington High School, Rainier Beach High School, Snohomish High School, The Green Hill School, Seattle YouthBuild Georgetown, Thurston County YouthBuild, The Shelton Washington Corrections Center Carpentry Program, volunteers from The Butterfly Effect, The PACT Program, Seattle Pacific University, Sno-King Technical College, 84th Street Cares volunteers, Rugby for Good, Bill Duvall and friends, and many wonderful local neighbors. If interested in learning more about the tiny house program or if you wish to donate items or build a tiny house, email tinyhouses@lihi.org. If you wish to volunteer, email volunteer@lihi.org. Find more information about tiny houses on LIHI’s website: lihi.org/tiny-houses.

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LIHI COVID-19 Response

Urgent Need for Toilet Paper and Cleaning Supplies during COVID-19 Response

Seattle, WA – Amid the current public health crisis, government agencies, businesses, and nonprofit organizations are working to keep unhoused people in Seattle healthy and safe. The Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) is responding to the COVID-19 outbreak by partnering with the City of Seattle and construction partners to quickly move ahead in expanding Tiny House Villages (THVs). Find more details about these activities here: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/homeless/seattle-mayor-to- expand-shelter-space-available-for-homeless-as-a-result-of-coronavirus-outbreak/

LIHI also operates three Urban Rest Stop (URS) sites at our Ballard, Downtown, and University District locations. They provide a safe, clean place for homeless women and men to use restrooms, take showers, and do their laundry. We served 10,000 unduplicated individuals in 2019. Each week, these three sites collectively use 60 rolls (or one case) of toilet paper. At this critical moment, we do not have enough toilet paper to last more than two weeks. We would be grateful for your donation, which is crucial to keeping these hygiene facilities supplied and able to serve our most vulnerable neighbors at this difficult time.

LIHI has an urgent need for supplies such as:

  • Toilet paper – Big need
  • Hand sanitizer (with at least 70% Isopropyl alcohol)
  • Clorox wipes (with at least 70% Isopropyl alcohol)
  • Spray cleaner (with at least 70% Isopropyl alcohol)
  • Gloves
  • Masks
  • Laundry detergent
  • Shower gel
  • All sorts of cleaning supplies
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Band-aids

If you’d like to make a donation of any of the above items, please bring them directly to one of the Urban Rest Stops or contact LIHI Community Engagement Director Josh Castle at (206) 334-0508 or josh.castle@lihi.org. We can pick them up! URS addresses: Downtown – 1924 9th Ave. / Ballard – 2014 NW 57th St. / U-District – 1415 NE 43rd St. Please check our Urban Rest Stops page for opening hours. If you are interested in supporting this campaign remotely, we invite you to join us at: https://lihi.ejoinme.org/MyPages/COVID19. We would be grateful for your donation, which is crucial to keeping these hygiene facilities supplied and able to serve our most vulnerable neighbors at this difficult time.

For your reference, our Tax Identification Number is: 94-3155150. 

Thank you for your generosity!


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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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Nesbit Family Housing – Development Proposal

PLEASE JOIN US!

NESBIT FAMILY HOUSING – Development Proposal

The project proposes to build 118 units of affordable workforce housing in a 7-story rental development at 8620 Nesbit Ave. N., a mid-block site bounded by Aurora Ave to the west and Nesbit to the east. Right of Way improvements along Aurora Ave will be included in the development.

Developer: Low Income Housing Institute                                                
Contact:              Aisaya.Corbray@lihi.org,   206-957-8052
Project Address:      8620 Nesbit Ave. N., Seattle, WA. 98103
SDCI#: 3035091

For additional information about the project please visit the Seattle Services Portal linked here!

WE WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU!
LIHI will be hosting an in-person community discussion inviting the public for questions and comments about the proposal.  All are welcome!  Interpreters provided upon request. 

Date:           December 2, 2019
Time:            6:30-8:00 PM
Location:     Epic Life Church
10510 Stone Way N.
Seattle, WA. 98133

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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

Cottage

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!
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This year, there are 3 Ways to GiveBIG early:
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1) Donate today direct to LIHI.
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The Wyncote Foundation NW is matching up to $50,000 in gifts!
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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.

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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!