Organizers were closing in on a $55,000 fundraising goal Friday that will help enable the Central Area Senior Center to move into community ownership and open the doors to much needed investment and upgrades.
As of Friday morning, organizers for The Central said they were within $5,000 of the goal to meet a bank balance requirement to receive a $1.5 million grant from the county to move forward with the group’s planned acquisition of the city property so it can continue to manage the facility and provide services and programming to the community. Continue reading
UPDATE: An early project rendering (Image: Environmental Works)
An early conceptual rendering of The Eldridge (Image: Capitol Hill Housing)
Architects and Capitol Hill Housing representatives have showcased plans for an eight-story affordable housing project specifically for LGBTQ+ elders on Broadway between Pike and Pine that will include at least 100 units at a mix of income levels rising above the preserved facade of an auto row-era Seattle landmark.
The project was originally planned to be located on their property at 14th and Union, but the location was shifted to Broadway partly due to influence from the city, according to Chris Persons, CEO of Capitol Hill Housing, the nonprofit developer at the center of the effort. He says the new spot is “much more in the center of the LGBTQ+ community on Capitol Hill.”
“This building is going to really make a mark,” Freya Johnson, project architect at Environmental Works, said Wednesday night during a community meeting at The Summit on Pike. “It’ll be a symbol that we belong here, that this is our Hill.”
One attendee said later: “In my lifetime, I didn’t think I’d see this.” Continue reading
The Eldridge (Image: Mithun)
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. Continue reading
Capitol Hill Housing is planning LGBTQ and senior affordable housing at 14th and Union
A report commissioned by the city’s Office of Housing found that there are 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.
“We wanted to understand the LGBTQ senior housing and service needs in the local area, especially given how the cost of housing is increasing,” Karen Fredrisken Goldsen, a professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Washington, said. “Certainly there are concerns regarding the lack of housing affordability and accessibility in Seattle, King County.”
The report, led by Fredrisken Goldsen, found that Seattle “is falling behind other major metropolitan areas in addressing LGBTQ housing and senior needs.” Meanwhile, cities like San Francisco, California have invested millions of dollars to address the needs of LGBTQ older adults.
“With LGBT older adults, if they lose housing, it’s often difficult for them to secure new housing,” Fredrisken Goldsen said. Continue reading
After a previous real estate effort was put on hold, families with loved ones at 17th and Madison’s Gaffney House know this time it is different. Families are beginning the process of searching for new homes for their grandparents, parents, brothers, and sisters after being informed the small-scale assisted living facility for residents living with dementia is being closed as part of a plan to sell off the valuable property.
“My dad is there. I’m a wreck,” one family member who contacted CHS about the notice said. “This place is a savior for a dozen and a half people.”
Dave Budd, executive director of Full Life Care which has operated the facility since it opened in 2004, confirmed the notices have been given to residents and family members as part of legal requirements as the nonprofit prepares to close down the facility and its parent Transforming Age readies the property to again hit the real estate market. Continue reading
True affordability means keeping rents in the city down for everybody. An effort to help Capitol Hill Housing shape “Seattle’s first LGBTQ-affirming affordable senior housing development” at 14th and Union will take another step forward next week with a Community Visioning Workshop:
LGBTQ-Affirming Affordable Senior Housing: Community Visioning Workshop
“We’ve heard consistently from the community about the need for a place where LGBTQ elders in the community could age,” said Ashwin Warrior, Capitol Hill Housing spokesperson. “LGBTQ seniors were also named a priority population for the 2016 Housing Levy which adds extra impetus to the efforts.” Continue reading
Not a retirement savings plan (Image: CHS)
Fresh from being sworn into office, Mayor Tim Burgess unveiled his 2018 budget for the city, including a proposal to establish retirement savings accounts for an estimated 200,000 Seattle workers whose employers don’t provide such benefits. Some Capitol Hill business leaders are lining up to support the plan, arguing that freelancers and the nightlife industry stand to benefit.
Tuesday, the Burgess legislation was sent to the City Council to begin deliberations. “In Seattle, 200,000 workers have no retirement savings plan,” Burgess said. “That’s a recipe for long-term financial instability for those individual workers, their families, and our local economy. We know that people are far more likely to save for retirement if they have an option easily available. That’s exactly what my plan provides.”
The idea, which has been a Burgess pet project, boils down to this: The city would contract a third party administrator to process the payroll of workers within city limits whose employer doesn’t offer any savings program and deduct a small percentage of their pay to personal retirement savings accounts. The amount deducted can be determined by the employee, but the default option is between three and five percent. (Workers could also choose to opt-out of the program at any point.) This account would be portable, and would remain with the employee even if they changed jobs, a boon to freelancers and service industry employees who frequently change jobs. Continue reading
Two new assisted living projects planned for Capitol Hill’s neighboring neighborhoods will go in front of the design review board Wednesday night.
Both are part of a development trend addressing the market demand for more senior housing in Seattle. CHS previously wrote about how senior citizens, many of whom have lived in the area for a long time, are choosing to stay around Capitol Hill and Central Seattle, either in their homes, or in some of the new and established facilities which cater to older folks. The U.S. Census estimates that 21% of residents in the 98112 ZIP code are 60 or older.
Last spring, CHS wrote about one of the projects — a new neighbor planned for the Frye Art Museum weighing it at 23 stories on Terry Ave and developed by Columbia Pacific Advisors on property owned by the Archdiocese of Seattle. The other is a development just underway in Eastlake from Aegis Living. The company opened a seven-story, 104-unit facility complete with a “Memory Care Deck” designed to help residents feel at home with a “façade of an old-fashioned neighborhood” at 22nd and E Madison in 2014.
Design review: 1920 Eastlake Ave E
Design review: 620 Terry Ave
Capitol Hill’s Gay City is bringing the voices of LGBTQ artists over 40 to the stage to share their experiences in a performance called Alotta Sh*t Has Happened: LGBTQ Elders Speak.
It’s a free show that has grabbed many people’s attention. Friday and Saturday are already packed. Sunday’s matinee and evening show still have seats. Snag your ticket quickly, young one, and settle in to hear some stories.
“I know friends of mine in their 40s, 50s and 60s are really thirsty for other LGBTQ people to talk to,” Tara Hardy, Gay City arts director said.
But it’s not just that demographic that is interested. Hardy said she knows people in their teens, 20s and 30s who are interested in hearing what the older generations have to say. When she first became arts director about a year ago, Hardy, who has a background in the arts and social justice, asked herself, “Who are the populations who have not been historically served at Gay City?” Hardy, 52, said she had no idea there would be such huge response to a show about the topic. Continue reading
(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)
CHS has reported before on the value of diverse neighbors and the importance of people finding a way to stay part of Central Seattle as they age. Last weekend, some of First Hill’s senior members got together for a party and CHS was invited to stop by to see the fun — and hear a good joke or three.
Sunday’s second annual Seniors’ Senior Prom at The Summit at First Hill retirement community had a casino night theme. Like any good prom, it had some fancy outfits and people having fun looking their best. Like any good casino, there was also a comedienne.
Rose Liberman was at the prom and enjoying herself. The great grandmother and Holocaust survivor was born in Poland, spent time in the ghettos, and spent more than two years in a concentration camp. Rose was accompanied by her grandkids Neil and Sarah while kids from Capitol Hill’s Temple De Hirsch Sinai were also on hand to help out on the night. “Kids keep me young,” Liberman said, just warming up. Her advice on life? “Life is hard.”
She had a few more gems: Continue reading