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City of Seattle Breaks Ground on 102 New Affordable Homes for People Experiencing Long-Term Homelessness

Seattle will have 2,500 new City-funded affordable rental homes online by 2021

Seattle (November 15, 2018) – Building on the city’s strategy of investing in and developing more affordable homes, the City of Seattle broke ground for 102 new affordable homes in the Little Saigon neighborhood that will serve men and women experiencing long-term homelessness.

Seattle is on track to have 2,500 new City-funded affordable rental homes come online by 2021. The new affordable apartments are being developed by Plymouth Housing, and all residents in the new building will have a housing case manager to help provide services tailored to meet their unique needs. The ground floor commercial space will provide a space for a displaced local business, accommodating community input.

“As we address our region’s homelessness crisis, we must build more affordable housing, help our neighbors experiencing homelessness access the services they need, and help them move into safer places,” said Mayor Jenny A. Durkan. “Seattle will continue to make robust investments in affordable housing to ensure those experiencing homelessness have permanent, safe, stable places to live.”

The 501 Rainier Building follows the “Housing First” philosophy, operating on the principle that people cannot improve their lives until they have a safe, stable place to live. On-site services offered can include nursing and medical care, connections to behavioral health treatment, hospice care, veterans counseling, and money management for households with incomes of $21,050 and below for a single person (rents affordable to those earning at or below 30% of Area Median Income).

“Our neighbors experiencing chronic homelessness need the stability and support that Plymouth offers. Our development at 501 Rainier Avenue South, which will bring over 100 people off the streets, is a direct response to the great need for permanent supportive housing in Seattle and King County,” said Paul Lambros, Executive Director of Plymouth Housing. “It’s the first to break ground of several development projects Plymouth has in the works, and we’re able to grow quickly thanks to the support of local individuals and businesses as well as our government partners. In this time of urgent need, we’re grateful to be able to build apartments that are long-term, permanent solutions to homelessness.”

Resources for 501 Rainier are being provided by the voter-approved Seattle Housing Levy. In December 2017, Mayor Durkan announced $100 million in City investments in affordable housing through the Office of Housing, the largest one-year investment in affordable housing in the history of Seattle. Next month, Mayor Durkan will announce another additional funding. The Seattle Housing Levy and other local resources consistently leverage regional, state, and federal funds.

In the first six months of 2018, the City of Seattle helped 4,500 families and individuals move out of homelessness or remain in their housing.