White Center development on Seattle Council agenda today

Perusing the Seattle City Council‘s agenda for today, on behalf of partner site West Seattle Blog, we spotted an agenda item that actually has to do with White Center. The council will consider a proposal for Capitol Hill Housing Improvement Program, which is city-chartered, to partner with Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association to advance the SOPI Village affordable-housing project, for which DNDA got county and state funding two years ago. The development site is 13th SW/SW 100th (map). The legislation that the council will consider says “low-income housing tax credit equity is also needed as a major subsidy source, and DNDA has concluded that a joint venture is necessary to secure tax credit equity funding; and … DNDA desires to partner with Capitol Hill Housing Improvement Program (CHHIP) to secure tax credit equity necessary to allow the Project to move forward …” Though CHHIP’s properties are mostly located in areas closer to its namesake, its website says the organization does manage Holden Vista in the Highland Park area of southeastern West Seattle.

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14 Responses to “White Center development on Seattle Council agenda today”

  1. Seattle is at it again. They have run out of space to build low income housing in Seattle so they are coming to White Center which is beyond Seattle city limits to build there. We have more than our share of affordable housing in unincorporated King County and we don’t need more. Seems like the only time Seattle is interested in White Center is when they are able to grab our land.
    This has to stop.
    Greg Duff

  2. Hey Greg, your right about that. They can’t even take care of their own neighborhoods yet they want to contribute money to build units that are not even in Seattle City limits. That is so odd but goes along with a Seattle City Council members comment about how he reffered to our community 3 years back, “these people come with land”. Greg should we guess on who gets the building contract?

  3. I highly recommend that people send quick emails and/or make phone calls to the Seattle City Council members right now. Ask them to table this and not vote on it today so they have time to gather input from White Center residents regarding how they feel about this before they actually make a decision. Refer to today’s Council agenda item #10, C.B 116594 when you email/call.

    Richard Conlin richard.conlin@seattle.gov (206) 684-8805
    Jan Drago jan.drago@seattle.gov (206) 684-8801
    Nick Licata nick.licata@seattle.gov (206) 684-8803
    Richard McIver richard.mciver@seattle.gov (206) 684-8800
    Jean Godden jean.godden@seattle.gov (206) 684-8807
    Tom Rasmussen tom.rasmussen@seattle.gov (206) 684-8808
    Sally Clark sally.clark@seattle.gov (206) 684-8802
    Bruce Harrell bruce.harrell@seattle.gov (206) 684-8804
    Tim Burgess tim.burgess@seattle.gov (206) 684-8806

  4. They should be asking their residents how they feel about this before actually making a decision. Due to economic hardships that our communities are suffering from, I believe that funneling Seattle City Tax Payers money outside of the Seattle City Limits is unjust to them.

  5. hi everyone, This is an affordable family housing project(SOPI Village) co-sponsored by the White Center CDA and is in line with the vision that White Center residents laid out in our neighborhood plan. The neighbors we talked to on that block were also supportive. It turns a formerly neglected and crime ridden corner into family sized units with room for kids- so families can live close to public transit and to White Center businesses. For example, the annual wage we’re targeting for the 3 bedroom units is $54,600 for a family of 5.

    We believe that while there is affordable housing now in White Center, many are not of family-sized, quality or well-kept. Our units will be well managed, sustainable, employ local residents/businesses and will undergo CPTED (cime prevention thru environmental design) review. Our units are affordable for the long haul- When the market turns, rents will inevitably increase and price those people out. We are looking long term to maintain the beautiful economic diversity we have in White Center.

    We needed more help to do the project and asked our more experienced non profit developers at Capitol Hill/DNDA to do so. Therefore this City resolution was encessary. There is no Seattle money in this project.

    We’re happy to talk more about this work and our bigger vision for ensuring the economic and ethnic diversity of White Center to come.

    Check us out http://www.wccda.org or contact me directly at 206-694-1082.

  6. Thanks Aileen for letting us know the details. Some of us just don’t want it ending up like the DSHS office between 15th Ave and 14th Ave where the rents are to high and people can’t afford to rent them and many of the spaces are still vacant.

  7. You got it Heidi! We weren’t involved in the DSHS building and we really wish we were. We too wish it wasn’t vacant and overpriced for WC.

    We appreciate your standing up for WC residents to be at the table. Lets work together!!

  8. If anyone has a DJC subscription, they followed this up with an article in today’s (Tuesday) edition. The only part that’s visible on their site without a subscription is:

    >>The City Council voted yesterday to give Capitol Hill Housing the OK to work on its first project outside of Seattle.

    The group’s CEO, Chris Persons, said two organizations — the Delridge Neighborhoods and White Center Community development associations — launched the 30-unit, $9.4 million project and asked Capitol Hill Housing to help. The project is called SOPI, or Sense of Place Initiative, is in White Center at 13th Avenue Southwest and Southwest 100th Street. < < Turns out we also published an item about it on West Seattle Blog in December 2007. At the time, construction was projected to start this year; I'm guessing that timeline has slipped a bit. http://westseattleblog.com/blog/?p=4895

  9. Awesome Aileen, call you later this week to get more involved.

  10. Jerry Robison Says:

    If the ‘affordable housing’ advocates really wanted to help those need housing that is convenient to their work these kind of efforts would be pursued in places like Preston, Redmond, Issaquah, Bellevue, Renton, etc., where there is a true shortage of affordable housing for working people. Instead, they concentrate their effort in White Center and NH using the concentration of low income families (created by the same agencies and policies) as justification for this ghettoization and isolation of the low income, working poor, immigrants and people of color. White Center, which has less than 3% of the population served by the King County Housing Authority, already has more than 25% of the HA’s housing. When you add to that the more recent influx of housing by private providers, and now the City of Seattle, the numbers get even worse. I love White Center and especially the interesting and stimulating mix of people and cultures, but the process of concentrating ‘affordable housing’ here (including the effort to convert parks into ‘affordable housing’) has been accelerating in recent years and is threatening turn the mix of peoples into a dispirited and depressing ghetto in the classic sense of the word.

  11. Aileen can you explain this part of the CDA’s involvement with the DSHS builing?
    I received an e-mail back on November 18, 2003 from Antoinette regarding the DSHS building. How is it that you claim the CDA was not involved with this project? This is how the e-mail read…. The WCCDA’s Economic Revitalization committee, in conjunction with DSHS and Prium Development, has been charged with recruiting retail businesses for the ground floor of the new DSHS facility located in the old Safeway building. We will be holding a meeting to create a list of tenants to market the space to on Tuesday 11/18, 9:00am in the CDA office. Based on the list of retailers that we generate, Prium Development’s architects will revise the current design of the building. Hope to see you there.

  12. Is this project on the West or East side of 13th Ave?

  13. West Side

  14. Hey Heidi and all, sorry for the late reply. Early on, the CDA was asked to help generate ideas for tenants thru our economic dev committee which is actuall inactive now. that is the meeting you refer too (Wow you save emails back from 2003??!).. Then later the CDA was asked to be the fiscal home for a consultant- who’d be the one charged with recruiting tenants for the DSHS ground floor space. A couple different funders put $$ into a pot but didn’t actually have a fiscal home for it. We received and expended funds to hire that Consultant but she was directed by a larger group- in the end, in 2003-04, it was not a successful venture. (The CDA made no money in this exchange). She held interest groups- made recruitment calls and packets-reached out to businesses and even non profits. Ultimately the pricing was too high- and still remains that way today.