Tag Archives: Low Income Housing Institute

With Future of Tiny Houses Up in the Air, Advocates Push for Action This Year

by Erica C. Barnett

(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)

Advocates and city councilmembers are putting pressure on Mayor Jenny Durkan and the City’s Human Services Department (HSD) to move forward with three new tiny house villages — groups of small shed-like shelters for people experiencing homelessness — this year, before the King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA) takes over the City’s homelessness-related contracts in 2022.

The short-term (and at this point, probably quixotic) goal is to convince Durkan and HSD’s short-staffed homelessness division to commit to moving forward with all three villages before the City’s homelessness contracts move to the KCRHA at the end of the year. The long-term goal, which may be equally quixotic, is to demonstrate strong community support for tiny house villages in the face of strong opposition at the new authority, whose leader, Marc Dones, has no allegiance to what has become conventional wisdom at the City.

Earlier this year, the Seattle City Council adopted (and the mayor signed) legislation accepting $2 million in state COVID-19 relief funding to stand up three new tiny house villages and setting aside an additional $400,000 to operate the villages once they open — the Seattle Rescue Plan. Since then, HSD has declined to issue a request for proposals to build the villages, arguing that the council doesn’t have a long-term plan to operate the villages after this year. The longer HSD waits, the more likely it is that the job of deciding whether to stand up additional tiny house villages will fall to the regional authority.

Continue reading With Future of Tiny Houses Up in the Air, Advocates Push for Action This Year

Rep. Adam Smith Rakes In Federal Bucks for Local Projects

by Andrew Engelson

(This article originally appeared in The Stranger and has been reprinted with permission.)

Washington State Representative Adam Smith is something of a Congressional wallflower. Unlike Seattle’s other representative, Pramila Jayapal, Smith doesn’t often draw the national spotlight, and he’s not what you’d call a liberal dynamo — though his progressive record continues to please voters in the diverse 9th Congressional District, which ranges from South Seattle to the Eastside and down the I-5 corridor to Federal Way.

But, like Jayapal, the quietly diligent congressman who’s held his seat since 1997 does have a knack for keeping federal dollars flowing into his district. Earlier in July, Smith announced he’d secured more than $8 million in federal funds for community-led efforts in the FY 2022 House Appropriations Bill.

That means 10 local projects — many of them focused on housing, homeless services, youth, and racial equity — will get a substantial boost in the coming year. Among those funded is the Africatown Community Land Trust (ACLT) Keiro project, a longtime resource for Asian American elders in the Central District that has found a second life providing shelter to families with children who are experiencing homelessness. With help from the new $1 million in federal funds, ACLT hopes to boost services and eventually purchase the site.

“Immediately upon receiving these funds,” Wyking Garrett of ACLT said in an email, “ACLT will be able to provide 150 beds to homeless and unsheltered individuals. We hope that many of the homeless residents that are housed at Keiro temporarily will become permanent residents when we open our doors. These residents will be supported by wraparound services. At the time of completion, Keiro will provide 285 units of permanently affordable rental housing that is much needed in Seattle — a city that is suffering the dual crises of a lack of affordable housing and homelessness.”

Continue reading Rep. Adam Smith Rakes In Federal Bucks for Local Projects

Tiny House Village to Open in Skyway

by Elizabeth Turnbull

In roughly three weeks, community organizers transformed a bare lot in Skyway into a new village filled with tiny homes and amenities for people living without houses — creating a path for residents to ultimately transition to permanent housing.

“We are our brother’s keeper, we are our sister’s keeper, so this is what it’s about,” said Min. Kathy L. Taylor at a press event for the village, held Tuesday, June 9. “All of us at some time need some help, so this is a transition for folks that may have had a setback so that they can come here and have a strong comeback as they transition into permanent housing.” 

Continue reading Tiny House Village to Open in Skyway

As Summer Approaches, Encampment Sweeps Ramp Up

by Erica C. Barnett

(This article previously appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)

As summer approaches, the City has accelerated the pace of homeless encampment removals, which declined dramatically during the pandemic thanks in part to public health guidelines that cautioned against moving people from place to place.

But now that many people are vaccinated and students are returning to school, notices of impending encampment removals are starting to show up again in parks and other public spaces around the city. The Parks Department, which is in charge of removing most homeless encampments, will post notices like the one below at seven “high-priority” encampments this week. If people are still on site on the day of a posted removal, the department can remove their property, including tents and survival gear. The encampments are:

  • Madrona Park (Madrona)
  • Albert Davis Park (Lake City)
  • Second Avenue Extension (Pioneer Square)
  • Hubble Place/Convention Center (Downtown)
  • Amy Yee Tennis Center (Mt. Baker)
  • Broadway Hill Park (North Capitol Hill)
  • 8th Avenue and King Street (Pioneer Square)
Continue reading As Summer Approaches, Encampment Sweeps Ramp Up

OPEN LETTER: Tammy Morales Calls for Mediation Between LIHI and Nickelsville

Tammy Morales sent the following letter to the city of Seattle’s Human Services Department, Nickelsville, and the Low Income Housing Institute. It is reprinted here with permission. A petition calling for mediation between the organizations can be found here.

by Tammy Morales

Dear Nickelsville, Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI), and Seattle Human Services Department Leaders,

I have immense admiration for the work that both LIHI and Nickelsville have done for years in serving our underserved homeless neighbors. Nickelsville, you have stood against corporate power in the city that wants to stop spending on human services. You have served the needs of our community members and have shown us that we can have permanent affordable housing.

Continue reading OPEN LETTER: Tammy Morales Calls for Mediation Between LIHI and Nickelsville

Like A Phoenix: The Death and Revival of Camp Dearborn

by Marilee Jolin

The sun shines down in warm, inviting patches as gusts of wind sweep through, rippling the sea of blue plastic tarps, and bringing with it a bone-deep chill. Rolling clouds cast shadows and shapes on dozens of domed nylon structures, and bits of green peek out here and there, traces of the previously empty grass lot now covered in dozens of temporary homes.  On this temperamental but hopeful early spring day, I am at the newly established Camp Dearborn, a name adopted by the former residents of Nickelsville after their eviction from that location on March 11.  Continue reading Like A Phoenix: The Death and Revival of Camp Dearborn