Tag: News

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: Interfaith-works.org

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: http://www.LIHI.org

Project Info:

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

Consultants:

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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Thank You for Giving BIG!

THANK YOU!

Wow! You helped us raise $83,893! Your donation fully leveraged the $40,000 in match funds from Wyncote Foundation NW. We couldn’t have done this without your support!  

Thank you for funding more tiny houses that are critically needed during the pandemic to keep people safe. Thank you for vital restroom, laundry and hygiene services provided by the Urban Rest Stops!   

It’s not too late to donate. Give online here.  

We are so grateful for your contributions during the Covid-19 crisis. You make a difference!

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New 24/7 Shelter Opens in North Seattle for 40 Homeless People

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 Lakefront Community House, an enhanced shelter located at 600 North 130th St. in the Bitter Lake neighborhood of Seattle. Lakefront Community House will have 24/7 staff, on-site case management and will shelter homeless individuals and couples referred by the city’s Navigation Team. 

“Many homeless seniors and those with compromised health conditions are living unsheltered on the streets and are at risk of exposure to the coronavirus. They need a supportive place to live during the pandemic. In addition, individuals who’ve had surgery and who have been discharged from a hospital need a safe, warm place to recover and should not be returned to the streets,” states Sharon Lee, LIHI Executive Director. All shelter residents must test negative for COVID-19 or show no symptoms when admitted. Residents must also sign and abide by a strict Code of Conduct. 

“The opening of this new shelter means that Seattle’s enhanced and tiny house village capacity has increased by nearly 100 spaces since March–an unprecedented effort to create safe places for people living unsheltered,” said Jason Johnson, director of the Seattle Human Services Department. “Thanks to the leadership of Mayor Durkan and all the City departments involved, coupled with the strong partnership with LIHI, we are able to serve more vulnerable people during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. Thank you to everyone that made this happen so quickly.” 

In partnership with the Seattle Human Services Department, LIHI opened up 95 tiny houses and beds for homeless people in response to Covid-19. In addition to Lakefront Community House, last week LIHI opened a new tiny house village in the Central Area, T.C. Spirit Village, located at 612 22nd Ave., and doubled the size of Lake Union Village (LUV) located at 800 Aloha St. in South Lake Union. 

Press are invited to visit Lakefront Community House on Wednesday, April 22, 10am – 1pm, on a first come first serve staggered basis to ensure small groups and physical distance between persons. RSVP required to Josh Castle along with confirmation – (206) 334-0508 / josh.castle@lihi.org. 

Lakefront Community House includes 28 furnished residential rooms with separate rooms for men, women and couples. People with pets are allowed. The 18,000 SF building also includes a community dining room, commercial kitchen, activity rooms, counseling offices, and management and security offices. The building has around the clock staffing and an apartment for an on-site live-in manager. Case management staff will help residents obtain housing, employment, health care, education, and other services. The village is receiving operational support from the Seattle Human Services Department. LIHI owns the property, which was previously leased by another agency to provide residential treatment for women in recovery from chemical dependency and their children. 

In less than a month, LIHI staff, neighbors and volunteers worked together to set up Lakefront Community House quickly—and with careful adherence to social distancing. 

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, other forms of enhanced shelter, tent encampments, and safe parking to be authorized throughout the city. 

If interested in learning more about LIHI’s enhanced shelter, tiny houses, or other programs or if you wish to donate items, email tinyhouses@lihi.org. If you wish to volunteer, email volunteer@lihi.org. Find more information about enhanced shelter or tiny houses on LIHI’s website: lihi.org/tiny-houses. 

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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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Help LIHI Change Lives

Dear Friend of LIHI,

This is a magical time of the year. We wish you and your family Peace and Joy! Thank you for helping people who need shelter, housing and a friendly place to shower and wash clothes.

At LIHI as we enter our 28th year, we continue to provide innovative solutions to the housing and homelessness crisis. With your support, we are grateful for:

  1. SHOWERS, RESTOOMS, and LAUNDRY for homeless people at three Urban Rest Stops located in downtown Seattle, Ballard and the University District. Sixty percent of the homeless we serve are working part or full-time and the Rest Stops help people keep their job, apply for housing, and maintain their health and dignity.

The City of Seattle supports 66% of the costs of operating Urban Rest Stops and we have to raise $430,000. Your gift will help keep the Rest Stops open: you can help thousands of people get ready for work, school, and other activities!

  1. OVER 300 TINY HOUSES have sheltered over a thousand families, singles and couples in ten tiny house villages around Seattle. We are about to open our first village in Olympia. Well-managed, sanctioned tiny house villages create safe places for vulnerable people who would otherwise have to sleep unprotected on the streets. LIHI social workers help people obtain employment, healthcare and housing. High praise to the extraordinary effort from high schools, technical colleges, tribes, apprenticeship programs, church groups, businesses, Girls Scouts, Boy Scouts, and the many many volunteers who build and donate tiny houses. Each house costs $2,500. Over the past three years, hundreds of people at the villages have obtained housing and secured employment. Come visit the tiny house villages.
  1. HOMES FOR THOSE WITH NONE – In 2018 we moved 226 people from homelessness into LIHI housing. We moved 171 people from Tiny Houses into long-term housing.
  1. AFFORDABLE HOUSING COMPLETED – The Tony Lee Apartments in the Lake City Neighborhood of Seattle opened in September, featuring 70 affordable units and a four-classroom preschool operated by the Refugee Women’s Alliance (ReWA).
  1. UNDER CONSTRUCTION – We are nearing completion of Renton Commons, which will feature 48 apartments for homeless families and veterans located in downtown Renton. We recently broke ground on Little Saigon Family Housing: 69 affordable apartments located in Seattle’s International District. Includes street level retail and LIHI offices on first floor.
  1. THOUSANDS OF VOLUNTEERS have donated their talent and time to help LIHI at the Urban Rest Stops, build tiny houses, read books to children, help with summer camp, prepare meals for ten tiny house communities, and help our families, seniors and veterans.

Please consider a year-end gift to the Low Income Housing Institute to support life-changing programs.

Warmly and best wishes for the holidays!

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