Bellwether Housing and Mercy Housing Northwest (MHNW) are breaking ground this week on Cedar Crossing, a new 254-apartment affordable housing development next to the future Roosevelt Light Rail Station. Cedar Crossing, which will open in 2022, is made possible by numerous community partnerships.
Sound Transit and the Seattle Office of Housing offered Bellwether and MHNW the site at a discounted land price and committed $15 million in funding from the Seattle Housing Levy.
“In these times, the value of a safe, stable, affordable home is more apparent than ever. The Office of Housing is pleased to support Cedar Crossing, which delivers on a community vision to bring hundreds of new affordable homes and community amenities to a thriving neighborhood,” said Emily Alvarado, Director of the Office of Housing.
Said Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff: “Sound Transit was proud to sell this property at a discount to ensure that it would be used to create the affordable housing so desperately needed in our region.”
Cedar Crossing will provide affordable homes to families making between zero to 60 percent of the area median income, who struggle to find affordable housing options. The development includes 87 two- and three-bedroom apartments for larger families. A public plaza will create a sense of place in the neighborhood and provide pedestrian access to the light rail station. The building will also feature a playground, social service offices, ground floor retail, and a large public community room.
In a partnership with Mary’s Place and Seattle Children’s, 20 apartments will be set aside for families simultaneously experiencing homelessness and caring for children with chronic health conditions.
“When a family has a child in the hospital, the last thing they should have to worry about is not having a stable place to call home,” said Suzanne Petersen Tanneberg, Vice President of External Affairs and Guest Services at Seattle Children’s. “We are incredibly grateful that our community is coming together to offer this affordable housing option to the patients and families we serve, so families can stay focused on their child.”
“These affordable and larger units are life-saving for families who have lost everything waiting for their child’s miracle. What a tremendous asset for our community!” said Marty Hartman, Executive Director of Mary’s Place, a network of shelter for families who are experiencing homelessness.
El Centro de La Raza will run a multi-cultural, bilingual affordable childcare on site, with capacity to serve 68 children. “We are honored and privileged to partner with MHNW and Bellwether,” said Estela Ortega, Executive Director. “We will provide a high-quality bilingual, bicultural curriculum emphasizing cultural diversity, social justice and family involvement.”
The Roosevelt Neighborhood Association (RNA) was an early supporter of the project, requesting deep affordability, large apartments for families and a community gathering room. “The Roosevelt community fully supported the 100 percent affordable housing and childcare components and looks forward to this rewarding project,” said Jay Lazerwitz, RNA Land Use Committee Chair.
The partnership between Bellwether Housing and Mercy Housing Northwest gives the organizations a unique opportunity to build to scale, share risk and leverage complementary strengths. Mercy Housing Northwest will provide on-site resident services, and Bellwether Housing will be the property manager.
Cedar Crossing is the second of four Bellwether developments that will break ground over the next 12 months, as part of Bellwether’s Building Opportunity Campaign aiming to create 750 new affordable homes by 2022.