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Mayor Durkan Transmits Legislation to Build 91 New Affordable Rental Homes in the Uptown Neighborhood

New Affordable Housing Development Will Include 19 Apartments for People Who Have Recently Experienced Long-Term Homelessness; Arts and Cultural Space on the Ground Floor

Seattle (August 21, 2019) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan announced today she has transmitted legislation to the City Council to establish a long-term lease agreement between the City of Seattle and Plymouth Housing for the development of 91 new affordable rental homes on a City-owned property on the southwest corner of Second Avenue and Mercer Street.

The Plymouth 2nd and Mercer Supportive Housing Building will feature 91 new affordable rental homes in the Uptown neighborhood for people who have experienced long-term homelessness. The building will also include an active community arts space on the ground floor.

“We need more affordable housing in every part of Seattle, and we need it as quickly as we can get it,” said Mayor Durkan. “We need more investments like this one, because we know that it’s not enough to just build affordable housing – we have to create community and ensure residents have access to the amenities they need to really thrive. With these 91 new permanently affordable homes, and the incredible ground floor arts space, I know that this site will be a true community resource where our most vulnerable residents can create a better future for themselves and their loved ones.”

Most of the apartments in the building will serve residents who have stabilized after residing in permanent supportive housing and accessing needed services for a time in one of Plymouth’s other buildings. The remaining 19 apartments will be for people who have recently experienced long-term homelessness, many of whom will be coming directly from living outside. On-site wrap around services will be available for all residents. 

“We’re grateful to see the Mayor move forward with this important step to provide the opportunity for permanent housing on this public site. This building will provide both housing and arts space, two important public benefits,” said Paul Lambros, Executive Director of Plymouth Housing. “Plymouth Housing’s mission is to provide the most vulnerable people in our community with permanent homes and the support they need to attain and maintain long-term stability in their lives. We look forward to working with our partners, Path with Art, as well as the Uptown Alliance and the Uptown Arts & Culture Coalition to construct a welcoming building that contributes to this vibrant neighborhood.”

The Office of Housing invested $7.9 million to make these affordable homes a reality, and the property known as the K-Site is the first time the City has made a joint housing and arts investment as part of the same funding award. Path with Art will manage the ground floor area of the building as an arts space for residents and Path with Art students, as well as for other community-based arts organizations. Construction on the building in expected to begin in early 2020.

This legislation is part of Mayor Durkan’s “Housing Seattle Now” plan to address Seattle’s housing crisis through a surge of new investments in housing for low- and middle-income families. As part of “Housing Seattle Now,” the Mayor has:

  • In partnership with Councilmember Lisa Herbold, updated City’s tenant protections to better help residents stay in their homes;
  • Transmitted legislation to renew and improve the Multi-Family Tax Exemption program by limiting rent increases so homes can stay affordable;
  • In partnership with Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, invested $50 million in permanent supportive housing for people experiencing long-term homelessness; and
  • Announced sale of the underutilized City properties at Mercer Street, which amounts to nearly $300 million in public benefits for the people of Seattle.