OH News

July 2011

Final Reminder: Multifamily NOFA Applications due July 29! 

 

In May, OH published the 2011 Multifamily Rental Housing Program Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). With this NOFA we announced the availability of approximately $22 million in capital funds to support the production and preservation of long-term affordable rental housing.

 

Nonprofit and private developers are invited to submit proposals for acquisition, rehabilitation and/or new construction of affordable rental housing for low-income households. More information and application materials are available now on the OH website. Please note, some application materials were updated on June 27 to reflect the new Evergreen Sustainable Development Standard. 

 

Applications are due to OH by noon on July 29, 2011. Funding decisions are expected to be announced in October.

IN THIS ISSUE
OH's HomeWise Program Exceeds ARRA Goals Early
Tomika's Story: Breaking the Cycle
City Council Adopts 2012-2013 Levy A&F Plan
Seattle's Comp Plan Update: What Do You Think?
Hard Hat Zone - Dekko Place
Upcoming Events
OH's HomeWise Program Exceeds ARRA Goals Early

Unlike a procrastinating student with finals week on the horizon, OH's HomeWise Weatherization Program didn't need an extension to meet the original deadline of June 30 for spending American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) dollars. Although the deadline is now extended through Dec. 31, HomeWise has hit -- and exceeded -- its ARRA target of 1,582 units, with a total of 1,637 ARRA-funded units completed.

 

In 2009, Seattle was awarded $4.8 million in ARRA funds for weatherization, to be spent over three years. This money has been funneled through the HomeWise program, which has been offering free energy efficiency upgrades to low-income homeowners and renters since the 1980s. Back in 2009, the ARRA target appeared almost unattainable, but strong partnerships between the Office of Housing and Seattle's affordable housing community, HomeWise contractors, utility partners, and funders helped HomeWise deliver on the sky-high goal.

 

The 1,637 ARRA-funded units completed to date comprise 1,289 apartments and 348 single-family homes. Looking ahead, HomeWise currently has ARRA funds committed to an additional 571 units, with more to come.

 

For more on HomeWise, visit www.seattle.gov/housing/homewise. To learn more about all ARRA funding received by the City, visit www.recovery.seattle.gov. 

 

ARRA Funding In ActionLegacy House

 

Q:  Which project put HomeWise over the top on ARRA goals? 

 

A:  Legacy House, a 75-unit senior building in the International District owned and operated by the Seattle Chinatown International District Public Development Agency (SCIDPDA). 

 

Using ARRA and other fund sources, HomeWise installed replacement lighting that will not only cut energy consumption by about 40,500 kWh per year, but also provide more and better lighting to Legacy House's tenants. The project also funded air sealing to further improve energy efficiency and tenant comfort. But that's not all: as the project proceeded, a new opportunity emerged -- HomeWise project management staff discovered excessive ventilation levels, with roof fans pulling large volumes of heated air right out of the building. A new follow-up project, also funded by HomeWise with Puget Sound Energy participation, will retool Legacy House fans so that they will continue to deliver proper ventilation without running up the gas bill.

Tomika's Story: Breaking the Cycle

One of OH's core functions is to fund the development of affordable housing. As such, we often highlight the buildings, as if the story of increasing affordable housing opportunities ends with grand opening celebrations. That's why we've reached out to our partners, the affordable housing providers who serve our community, to help us share the stories of those who live in the apartments funded by the Seattle Housing Levy and other city, state and federal programs.

 

This month we're featuring Tomika who lives at the Low Income Housing Institute's Meadowbrook View in Lake City. Here's Tomika's story, in her own words:

 

A few years back, I was homeless, young, with no direction in life. I had goals set for myself but had no idea how to reach them. 

Tomika and her sisters

Tomika (right) and her sisters Sarah (left) and Shantell McMillion (center)

 

My mother was addicted to crack cocaine and my younger sisters were not being properly cared for. I wanted a better life for myself.

 

My mother became clean from drugs for one year and we all moved to LIHI's Meadowbrook View. She relapsed and became physically abusive with my two minor sisters and with the help of my case manager and LIHI staff, I was assigned as a temporary caregiver for them.

 

Today I am 24 years old caring for my siblings ages 18 and 15 years old. The judges in my case commended me for my efforts in raising my siblings.

 

My family is now in counseling and my two younger siblings receive services from Sound Mental Health. My sisters plan to attend college and I recently graduated from PIMA Community College and am now searching for employment.

Meadowbrook View

Meadowbrook View

 

My goal is to break the cycle of drug abuse and homelessness in my family. Drug abuse goes back three generations and it will end with my generation.

 

We are very involved in the activities at Meadowbrook View.

 

I really enjoy my neighbors and community and appreciate the programs because they offer us a chance to have fun and bond with each other. 

 

Meadowbrook View has given me the opportunity to move forward with my life, a second chance, and I am taking it!

City Council Adopts 2012-2013 Levy A&F Plan

Seattle Housing Levy programs are guided by an Administrative & Financial (A&F) Plan, which is reviewed and revised every two years and adopted by City Council. On June 27, City Council adopted the Levy A&F Plan for program years 2012-2013.Seattle Housing Levy logo

 

The new A&F Plan includes policies for the Housing Levy Rental Assistance Program, which is administered by the Seattle Human Services Department. This ongoing program, which was funded by federal stimulus dollars for 2010-2011, will be supported by levy dollars beginning in 2012. The levy rental assistance policies in the A&F Plan generally follow the existing rental assistance program. 

 

The new plan makes only limited changes to ongoing levy programs, since a major review of policies occurred in 2010 after voters approved the levy renewal. One change relates to bridge lending:  policies for bridge lending (using Operating & Maintenance funds from prior levies) were combined and better aligned with the current levy's Acquisition & Opportunity Loans.

 

The current A&F Plan for years 2010-2011 is still in effect, but you can download the plan for 2012-2013 now at http://seattle.gov/housing/levy/default.htm#AFplan.

Planning Seattle's Future - Updating the Comprehensive Plan 

The Department of Planning and Development, working together with the Seattle Planning Commission, is inviting the public to weigh in on the important opportunities and challenges Seattle faces over the next 20 years. The City of Seattle is reviewing and updating its Comprehensive Plan and needs input from the public on what the City should focus on. This review is required to take place every seven years by the state Growth Management Act.Seattle's Comprehensive Plan

 

By 2031, it is projected that Seattle will gain at least 120,000 new residents and 115,000 new jobs. Seattle needs to plan on how to leverage that growth to its advantage -- responding to critical challenges such as climate change, building on major transit investments in recent years, and seizing the opportunity to build stronger neighborhoods as we grow. 

 

Over the summer, DPD will be encouraging the public to comment on the proposed work plan for this project. City Council will review and adopt the work plan in the fall. It is anticipated that the work will then continue over the next 18 months, with other opportunities for public comment during the development of proposed revisions to the plan.

 

A number of online tools have been developed to facilitate public comment. Visit DPD's Building Connections blog to learn more and to access the online tools.

Hard Hat Zone logo 

Welcome to the Hard Hat Zone, where we provide updates on the construction of affordable housing developments that receive Office of Housing funding. This month we're highlighting Compass Housing Alliance's Dekko Place, currently under construction in the Denny Triangle neighborhood of downtown Seattle.

 

The Dekko Place at Gethsemane Lutheran 

Dekko Place is a new affordable apartment development under construction at the corner of 9th Avenue and Stewart Street in downtown Seattle.

 

Dekko Place under construction

Construction of Dekko Place

Compass Housing Alliance is redeveloping this mixed-use site in partnership with the Gethsemane Lutheran Church (GLC). Prior to construction, the project site consisted of an historic sanctuary and a low-rise administrative wing. The sanctuary was preserved for continuing use by the GLC congregation, while the administrative building was demolished earlier this year to make way for a new seven-story mixed-use building that will include housing.

 

OH has provided financing to Compass Housing Alliance for the development of 50 units of affordable housing in the new building, including a mix of workforce, homeless and disabled housing to be located on the third through seventh floors.  

 

The apartments will be affordable to households at a range of income levels: including 25 units at 30% area median income ($18,250 for a single person, $23,450 for a household of three); 15 units at 50% AMI ($30,400 for one, $39,100 for three); and 10 units at 60% AMI ($36,480 for one, $46,920 for three).  Of these, 10 apartments will be set aside for homeless individuals or couples, and another 10 will be set aside for disabled households.

Dekko Place

Dekko Place rendering

 

GLC has committed its own funds to develop church office and social service spaces in the basement and on the first and second floors. Space on the lower level is being designed and constructed specifically for the day center of Mary's Place shelter with the help of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding provided through the Seattle Human Services Department, which also provides annual funding for shelter operations.

 

Project completion is estimated for March 2012.

 

For more about Dekko Place and other Compass Housing Alliance projects, visit www.compasshousingalliance.org/

Upcoming Events of Interest

Transitional Resources Hosts a Grand Opening Celebration of Avalon Place

Wednesday, July 13, 5-7 p.m.

2988 SW Avalon Way 

Avalon Place will provide 16 permanent, affordable studio apartments to some of the most vulnerable men and women in our community -- individuals who are chronically homeless and dealing with their mental health issues while living on the streets or in shelters.

 

The event will include a reception with light refreshments and a ribbon cutting ceremony, followed by tours of the building. Speakers include King County Executive Dow Constantine, King County Councilmember Bob Ferguson, and Seattle City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen.

Seattle Office of Housing logo
  
Home Base is published monthly by the City of Seattle Office of Housing. OH funds affordable workforce housing, both rental and ownership, as well as supportive housing that helps vulnerable people achieve stability and move along a path toward self-sufficiency. Office of Housing initiatives also help stimulate housing development, allowing families to thrive and neighborhoods to provide a full range of housing choice and opportunity. The mission of the Seattle Office of Housing is to build strong healthy communities and increase opportunities for people of all income levels to live in our city.
  
For more information on our programs, visit our website. If you have questions about this newsletter, please contact Julie Moore via email or at (206) 684-0604.