Nonprofit developer Capitol Hill Housing is shifting its efforts to create a publicly funded LGBTQ-focused affordable senior housing development to the heart of the neighborhood with plans for the building now centered on Broadway between Pike and Pine.
“With 90+ affordable apartments at 60% at or below area median income, a main goal of the project will be to create an anchor for a community at risk of displacement – one that provides health and social services to residents as well as community members not living on site,” Capitol Hill Housing said in a statement on the major change for the project.
UPDATE: A person with knowledge of the plans says that Capitol Hill Housing is shifting its plans for senior housing to The Eldridge project across the street where Tacos Guaymas stands today. UPDATE x2: Capitol Hill Housing has confirmed The Eldridge location.
CHH has been pushing forward with plans to build The Eldridge, a preservation incentive-boosted affordable housing project.
CHH also did not say what will come next — if anything — at the 14th Ave and Union parking lot site where the LGBTQ senior project was being lined up.
As part of its announcement, Capitol Hill Housing said that GenPride, a nonprofit “focused on empowering older LGBTQ+ adults to live with pride and dignity,” has signed on to be the “ground floor tenant” of the Broadway project. GenPRIDE “promotes, connects, and develops innovative programs and services that enhance belonging and support, eliminate discrimination, and honor the lives of older members of the LGBTQ+ community,” CHH said.
The move to Broadway will bring “better access to more amenities, including the Capitol Hill light rail station, and more visibility for the services that GenPRIDE and others will provide,” the statement reads.
The nonprofit’s office has been located in the Broadway Market.
“This housing project is significant for many reasons—the need for affordable housing is essential, especially for our LGBTQ elders. Many of us have been displaced to far-flung areas in the region where isolation and limited access to services creates more risk to our health and well-being,” Steven Knipp, GenPRIDE’s executive director, said in the CHH statement. “It is also important for us to reclaim Capitol Hill as the LGBTQ+ historic center—and placing this building right in the heart of the neighborhood sends a clear message that we are still here.”
Capitol Hill Housing says the LGBTQ affordable senior housing project’s advisory committee “navigated a site change” over the past six months. The group includes Aging with Pride, Generations Aging with Pride (GenPRIDE), the Ingersoll Gender Center, LGBTQ Allyship, Country Doctor, Gay City: Seattle’s LGBTQ Center, POCAAN, the Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA), and Seattle Counseling Services.
Last fall, CHS reported on a study that showed several key challenges facing seniors in Seattle’s LGBTQ community, including inadequate services, lack of stable affordable housing, and high rates of discrimination and bias in housing.
The shifted project is part of a busy slate for CHH. In March, it opened the inclusively developed Liberty Bank Building in the Central District with more than 100 new affordable homes, new business spaces, and a strategy to market and promote the project to the city’s Black community. At Capitol Hill Station, its Station House will create 110 homes affordable for “working families” – people making roughly between $19,000 to $55,000, depending on family size. “Units will be a mixture of studios, one, two and three bedroom units,” Capitol Hill Housing says. “The first floor will include a 1,400 square foot community space open to the neighborhood.” The project is currently under construction at 10th and John on the northeast corner of the housing, community plaza, and retail development rising around the light rail station. Meanwhile, the nonprofit developer has been working with YouthCare to create a youth homelessness center and affordable housing project on the state-owned property being made available in a land swap with Seattle Central.
If the LGBTQ-focused affordable senior housing project receives necessary funding from the Seattle Office of Housing this fall, CHH says it hopes to break ground in December 2020. The announcement did not include the size of grant needed to fund the project. The project will need to pass through standard design and environmental review before construction can begin.
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