Bellwether Housing, the largest nonprofit affordable housing provider in Seattle, broke ground this morning on another residential project, this time in the city’s highly sought-after neighborhood of South Lake Union.
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray told those in attendance at the groundbreaking that topics of conversation often circle around the affordable housing crisis and homelessness in our city, but not enough is said about what is being done to fix it. He continued on to say that the South Lake Union neighborhood is one that has grown exponentially over the years and continues to grow, which is why it is important that it also offers diversity.
It is the work that Bellwether and their partners are doing that is changing the city and telling a different story, one that says we can grow affordably
“It is the work that Bellwether and their partners are doing that is changing the city and telling a different story, one that says we can grow affordably,” Mayor Murray said. “And we’re going to continue to grow affordably. Not just in some but in all neighborhoods, including this one.”
Councilmember Mike O’Brien added that affordability throughout the city is an issue that needs to be addressed. He said that South Lake Union is a neighborhood of opportunity, not just due to the availability of jobs but also because of the people who live there. “We’ve built a lot of affordable housing in the last ten years, but the mayor’s commitment to triple the amount of affordable housing in the next ten years is a big step forward,” O’Brien said. “These 71 units will build towards that, just 5,929 units to go.”
Located at 1511 Dexter Avenue North, Anchor Flats is a workforce housing project that will provide 71 units with affordable rents ranging between $840 to $1,200 a month to lower income individuals and small families. Designed by Seattle-based Runberg Architecture Group, the building will face east towards Lake Union with a light, expressive and highly fenestrated facade in order to replicate the modern urban vibe of the neighborhood.
Susan Boyd, the director of development for Bellwether, says Anchor Flats is the second development supported by Seattle’s Future Fund, which raised $1.8 million in funding for the project. She added that development in Downtown and South Lake Union, through Seattle’s Incentive Zoning Program, has also generated millions of dollars in funding used to invest in affordable housing projects throughout the city. Last month, 70 percent of Seattle residents voted in favor of doubling the housing levy, which will provide even further funding.
“All of these cranes that you see (in South Lake Union) don’t just mean high-rises and expensive apartment buildings,” Boyd added. “They also mean an increased investment in affordable housing.”