Seattle to build 600 apartments to help house city’s homeless
Seattle city leaders announced a new initiative Wednesday, which will soon invest in and build 600 new apartments across six buildings to help house the city’s homeless population.
The hope is to have the apartments act as permanent supportive housing to help mitigate the fallout from the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
“Especially during this public health emergency, we must bring people experiencing homelessness inside to safe, supportive housing as quickly as possible. We are proud to make substantial investments in the proven solution to homelessness and to support community-based organizations with track-records of success in serving our vulnerable neighbors,” Seattle Office of Housing Director Emily Alvarado said in a news release.
The Office of Housing will pull $60 million from the Seattle Housing Levy, as well as from state and federal resources, to get the new housing on its feet by the end of 2021. Since 1981, the housing levy has provided funding for over 13,000 affordable apartments, as well as home ownership assistance for almost 900 low-income buyers.
Five separate organizations will provide wraparound support services for residents of the 600 new apartments, “to keep people stably housed.” The six buildings will be spread across Seattle’s Lake City, Bitter Lake, Green Lake, Greenwood, Central Area, and Ballard neighborhoods, with each housing between 65 and 125 residents.
“The City of Seattle is making a significant investment to create more housing in our community,” Mayor Jenny Durkan said. “With this investment, we are breaking the mold by developing new innovative strategies to build even more permanent supportive housing, more quickly for our neighbors who need it most.”
An additional 350 low-income units are already under construction in Seattle. The city currently provides roughly 3,700 permanent supportive housing units.