Plans underway for new Yesler Tiny House Village in the Central District

A tour of the 22nd and Union village in 2016

People living near 18th and Yesler will gather Tuesday night to learn more about a plan to bring more neighbors to the area in a new Tiny House Village project from the Low Income Housing Institute.

“This new village will shelter homeless families, homeless students, seniors, veterans, singles and people with pets,” the announcement from LIHI says.

Tuesday’s community meeting is one of two gatherings planned to discuss the project that is envisioned for vacant land across from the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute in the Central District.

18th and Yesler Tiny House Village Community Meeting

LIHI “will operate the village and help people obtain long-term housing and employment” while its church partners in the project New Hope Missionary Baptist Church and Truevine of Holiness Missionary Baptist Church “provide services, clothing, blankets, donations, and meals.”

LIHI operates similar villages across the city including the cluster of small houses at 22nd and Union. The community is self managed and residents hold meetings to work on the management of the camp. The village also helps tenants save money and eventually move into standard housing as residents only pay a small amount for utilities and rent can be paid by working security shifts and earning participation credits. Each house costs roughly $2,200 in materials.

So-called “bridge housing” like the villages has risen in favor in Seattle under the Durkan administration and somewhere around $2 million of the expected $48 million in revenue from the new big business head tax would be apportioned for similar projects.

UPDATE 5/23/2018: 400 employees from Seattle’s Vulcan will come together Friday to build the new homes, the company announced Wednesday:

Vulcan Converge will take place at CenturyLink Field Event Center from 8am to 4pm where Vulcan employees, along with LIHI and contractors from the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Washington, will build 30 tiny houses that are 8’ x 12’, the size of a small bedroom. The tiny homes are more than just four walls – they will be insulated, heated, with windows, porches and locking doors. Construction industry experts, led by nine AGC contractors, will be leading and instructing volunteers onsite.

“It is impossible to miss the homeless crisis all around us, so I am personally gratified to see so many of our employees volunteering to tackle this project,” Bill Hilf, Vulcan CEO, said in the announcement. “Hundreds of employees from Vulcan, the Seahawks, the Allen Institute, the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, and MoPOP will step up to contribute their time and energies to make a contribution toward addressing this problem.”


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8 thoughts on “Plans underway for new Yesler Tiny House Village in the Central District

  1. Another LIHI camp just like the Ballard camp where residents are NOT checked for warrants. The Ballard camp housed the rapist originally from Texas that violently choked and raped a woman in a Leary Way car dealership bathroom last week. He was previously featured in a Times article about Ballard Nicholsville. These camps do not check for warrants. Some check for sex offenders, but there outta be comprehensive background checks.

    • Landlords in the City of Seattle are barred from checking criminal backgrounds (except lifetime sex offender registry status). Why should the homeless camps be held to stricter standards than other types of housing?

    • To PS: Correlation does not equal causation. The odds of this individual committing that horrendous crime because of the fact that they had housing are slim.

  2. Are mental health and addiction interventions occurring in these tiny house camps? If not, they should be, as otherwise some of the temporary residents will never achieve permanent housing.

    • These camps aren’t about putting people into housing, they’re about keeping funding flowing to LIHI. If they weren’t, we’d see some success metrics and less camps over time, not more.

      Enabling folks to live in wooden boxes and stay addicted to drugs, disguised as compassion. It’s frankly quite disgusting.

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