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Affordable housing projects announced for North Seattle neighborhoods

Seattle is taking advantage of a new state program to donate surplus city land to build affordable housing, Mayor Jenny Durkan announced Thursday.

Seattle unveils new plan to curb affordable housing crisis

Standing in a vacant Seattle City Light lot in the Phinney Ridge neighborhood, Durkan said the land is slated to be converted into 19 family sized town-homes.

Another 8 condominiums are planned on Seattle City Light property in Loyal Heights. The land is being donated to non-profit developers Habitat for Humanity and Homestead Community Land Trust to build permanently affordable homes for ownership.

“While this is a small project, it is a big start,” Durkan said. “For everyone of those families it will make a life changing difference.”

The projects cost a combined $2.2 million and are expected to be approved by the Seattle City Council. Durkan said Seattle is the first city to use a new state law that allows cities to use surplus utility properties for affordable housing.

“One of the things we have to do is to put our public lands to work for the public,” Durkan said. “To make sure that when we have lands that are available and suitable for housing, we find a way to use them for that.”

Durkan advances plan for low-income housing in Discovery Park

The announcement came amid a series of recent summer proposals that are part of Durkan’s “Housing Seattle Now Plan,” including the recent sale of the so-called “Mercer Mega Block,” to build a mixed-use health science campus. That development would include 175 affordable housing units.

Durkan also announced Thursday that she was nominating acting director of the Office of Housing, Emily Alvarado, to serve as the agency’s permanent director. The office has been operating without a leader director since mid-July, when former administrator Steve Walker departed. The City Council is expected to approve Alvarado’s nomination.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly reported that Mayor Durkan said the land is slated to be converted into 8 family sized town-homes, when in fact, that number is 19.

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