Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata announced Wednesday the city will spend $19.5 million for construction and renovation of 570 new low-income housing units. It's part of an effort to ease the trend of low-income families moving out of the city.
“In the last 15 years, we’ve seen a steady trend of lower-income people, often minorities, moving further and further south out of the city and away from RapidRide, or fixed-rail or good bus service,” Licata said at a press conference Wednesday morning.
The city of Seattle plans to add most of the units in the city center. Of those, 300 will be constructed in five new apartment buildings, while 270 will be offered in two existing, renovated buildings. The housing is intended for low-wage families, seniors, veterans and people who would otherwise be homeless.
One new apartment building, Hirabayashi Place, is planned to be built in the International District at 424 S. Main St. It would provide 85 units for low-income individuals and families and is close to the light rail and bus stops.
“The residents of these places will be able to keep more money in their pockets because they’ll be able to rely on our light rail system and our bus system to get to and from where they need to go,” McGinn said. “They’ll be located in mixed-use neighborhoods, which have their needs in walking distance.”
The funding for the housing projects comes from a Seattle Housing Levy passed by voters three years ago. Renovations are scheduled to begin in early 2013, and construction on the new apartments is set to start next summer.