Three new buildings in Seattle with 165 studios that were supposed to be rented out at market prices will house people coming out of and at risk of roaming instead.
The nonprofit Low Income Housing Institute will buy Capitol Hill buildings for around $ 50 million, with city and state housing programs sharing the costs equally, the Seattle Times reported. Seattle, for its part, is using federal COVID-19 relief funds, Mayor Jenny Durkan said this week.
Two of the buildings will be managed by LIHI for adults. The third will be run by YouthCare for young adults. Each will have a social worker in their home, said Sharon Lee, executive director of LIHI.
The deals will house people quickly and affordably, compared to the time and cost required to develop low-income projects from scratch, said Durkan. All three buildings are expected to be occupied by the end of the year, according to the city.
“It’s the fastest housing we’ve ever put online,” Lee said.
Tent camps in parks and green belts developed in Seattle during the coronavirus pandemic in part because the city lacked shelter and housing, Durkan said.
LIHI will move people to buildings in the villages of small houses it manages for the city, which should open more of those houses for people living on the streets, Lee said.