New affordable housing proposed for Little Saigon at 1253 S. Jackson Street by Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI). • Rendering courtesy of Runberg Architecture Group

Mayor Murray and King County Executive Constantine announced funding awards for our Little Saigon Housing. According to Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) Executive Director, Sharon Lee, LIHI will receive approximately $6.4 million from city of Seattle and $1 million from King County for their projects.

Little Saigon Housing

Located at 1253 S. Jackson, Little Saigon Housing will be built on the former site of the old Washington Alarm Building, a mid-block location just west of the gateway to the Seattle International District, at the intersection of Rainier Avenue S., 12th Avenue and S. Jackson Street. This location sits on the First Hill Streetcar line and within walking distance of Sound Transit and Link Light Rail. LIHI looks forward to working with InterIm CDA/International District Housing Alliance, SCIDPDA (Seattle Chinatown International District Public Development Authority) and Friends of Little Saigon to market the project’s rental units and commercial spaces to the surrounding community.

Little Saigon Housing is a mixed-used 6-story building on a lot of 12,768 SF. Once complete, the project will offer a total of 75,470 SF including residential, commercial, and office spaces. LIHI is building neighborhood retail along S. Jackson Street in an effort to respond to the community need for commercial space within reach of small businesses that are local and culturally responsive.

The project also includes the new office for the central administrative functions of the Low Income Housing Institute. Runberg Architecture Group is overseeing the design. The residential portion of the project features 20 two-bedroom and 50 one-bedroom apartments, serving households up to 60% of the Area Median Income. A rooftop garden and resident outdoor deck will offer beautiful views of Mt. Rainier, along with a PVC solar array.

The total development cost is $24,608,750 with the residential portion of the project estimated to cost $20,404,000.

“We hope that some of the small businesses being displaced by new large scale development elsewhere in Little Saigon could come here,” said Sharon Lee, executive director of Low Income Housing Institute. “The 70 affordable apartments would be marketed to the Vietnamese and API community and benefit families with children, seniors, couples and singles. Our offices would be housed behind the retail and our staff would patronize businesses and restaurants in the area and contribute to the sense of community.”

Lake City Housing

Located in the Lake City Urban Village, Lake City Family Housing will be a 6-story mixed-use project. It will offer 70 units affordable to those making 30% to 60% of the King County Area Median Income. The unit mix includes 15 studios, 25 one-bedrooms, 25 two-bedrooms and 5 three-bedroom apartments. Level 1 includes a DEEL-supported four-classroom preschool to be operated by the Refugee Women’s Alliance (ReWA) organization.

The Preschool Levy that Seattle voters passed in 2014 supports the costs of developing the preschool. Total project cost is estimated to be $21,900,000.

“We selected ReWA to operate a childcare and early learning center for 4 classrooms with a total of 80 toddlers in North Seattle after getting proposals from a number of other providers,” said Lee. “We are seeking quality childcare providers that would best serve low- and moderate-income families, and families of color living in our building as well as the larger Lake City and North Seattle community.”

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