Seattle breaks ground on 102 new affordable housing units for homeless

Nov 16, 2018, 5:55 AM | Updated: 8:47 am
Affordable housing continues to grow in Seattle...
(Plymouth Housing, Facebook)
(Plymouth Housing, Facebook)

Seattle continues to do what it can to fight its homeless crisis, breaking ground on 102 new affordable housing units in the Little Saigon neighborhood.

The 102 units at 501 Rainier Avenue South will be set aside for those experiencing “long-term homelessness,” as part of an effort to have 2,500 city-funded affordable rental homes by 2021.

A housing case manager will be present for anyone living in the building, providing “services tailored to meet their unique needs,” according to a press release issued by the city.

“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 Durkan in the release.

Seattle is focusing on the project as a “housing first” initiative, positing that recovery for the homeless can’t occur without first helping them establish a “safe, stable place to live.” To that end, the building will offer on-site medical care, hospice care, counseling for veterans, and financial management for any single person earning less than $21,050.

The building is being developed by Plymouth Housing, whose mission statement says they seek to “eliminate homelessness and address its causes by preserving, developing, and operating safe, quality, supportive housing and by providing adults experiencing homelessness with opportunities to stabilize and improve their lives.”

“Our neighbors experiencing chronic homelessness need the stability and support that Plymouth offers,” said Plymouth’s Executive Director Paul Lambros. “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.”

Plymouth currently has “several” development projects in the works.

Breaking ground on the 501 Rainier property comes less than a month after Mayor Durkan presided over the opening of an affordable housing project in what used to be a Lake City firehouse, with 69 available units for a range of low-income residents.

All in all, the hope is that buildings like these will provide at least some modicum of relief for a city that’s struggled mightily with homelessness in recent years.

RELATED: A timeline for understanding Seattle’s homeless problem
RELATED: Mayor unveils affordable housing at former fire station

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Seattle breaks ground on 102 new affordable housing units for homeless