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Tiny home village, Northlake
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Seattle to cut off funding for controversial tiny home village

Tiny home houses in Seattle. (Matt Pitman, KIRO Radio)

Back in April, the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) and Nickelsville split up over the management of a collection of tiny home villages across Seattle. Now, the City of Seattle has officially announced that it will cut off all funding for Nickelsville’s Northlake village after the end of the year.

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LIHI and Nickelsville have been embroiled in a feud over management of tiny home villages for months, with the latter going as far as to padlock its gates in Northlake, back when LIHI announced it would be ending its five-year relationship between the two groups.

Northlake’s gates have been locked ever since, with the village barring LIHI from entering entirely (with the exception of caseworkers).

Officials with Seattle’s Human Services Department cite that conflict as the primary reason behind its decision to end funding for Northlake.

“LIHI has not been able to operate the village as specified in their contract throughout 2019 due to ongoing interference in camp operations and client services from its former subcontractor, Nickelsville, which has prevented LIHI staff from effectively engaging residents of the village,” HSD said in a Tuesday news release.

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On Dec. 31, the property Northlake’s village sits on will be returned to Seattle City Light. HSD has stated it is “working closely with LIHI” to find other housing options for its soon-to-be-displaced residents.

Over the last few years, LIHI has partnered with Nickelsville to run Northlake, as well as tiny home villages in Othello and Georgetown. LIHI announced a new partner for the Othello village in September, while Georgetown is currently looking for a church sponsor.

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