SEATTLE — Redmond, one of this region’s most expensive places to live, will soon be home to 333 new affordable homes. Following a competitive process requesting proposals from affordable housing developers, Sound Transit has selected Bellwether Housing to develop transit-oriented, affordable rental housing adjacent to the Overlake Village Station, near the Microsoft campus in Redmond.
“Transit connects people to community, to housing, to jobs, to education, to food, to health care, to recreation. When transit and development partner to include diverse and affordable communities directly adjacent to quality light rail stations, these people-centered connections become exponentially more vibrant, sustainable, and equitable for the entire region,” said Sound Transit CEO Julie Timm. “We are proud to collaborate with Bellwether Housing and the City of Redmond on this transformative project.”State law requires Sound Transit to commit much of the surplus land resulting from station development to affordable housing. To date 1,150 affordable homes have been developed or are under development on former Sound Transit property.
“We applaud Sound Transit’s creative use of property near the Overlake Village Station and welcome Bellwether Housing to Redmond,” said Mayor Angela Birney. “Affordable housing paired with a range of community services near light rail is essential in achieving our vision of complete and equitable neighborhoods. This is another great example of what working together and leveraging partnerships can do for the betterment of our community.”
Bellwether’s proposal features rents affordable to households with incomes between 30% and 80% of the area median income. For a 2-bedroom apartment, that means rent will range from about $800 to $2,000, in a community where rent is typically more than twice as high as the national average. The project will include 120 2- and 3-bedroom apartments for larger families.
“This is exactly what we need to be doing – density, affordability, community partners – near great schools, world class transit, and a great job market. Communities need this. Families need this. And we are honored to be supporting Sound Transit and the City of Redmond’s housing equity goals,” said Susan Boyd, Chief Executive Officer of Bellwether Housing.Bellwether is partnering with Hopelink, the eastside’s largest social service agency, to provide supportive services to residents who need them.
“Too often, families experiencing poverty are priced-out of centrally located neighborhoods. As a result, our communities miss out on the value of their presence and contributions to those communities,” said Dr. Catherine Cushinberry, Chief Executive Officer of Hopelink. “With this partnership, families will be closer to good jobs, great schools, and able to participate more in what will be our shared communities. We know how vital access to quality services are to all families as they settle into a place they can call home. Hopelink is excited to walk alongside residents as they develop this stability and is proud to partner with Bellwether Housing and Sound Transit in this critical work for our region.”
The project will also include large community and retail spaces on the ground floor. One Redmond, the Redmond Police Department and Indian American Community Services plan to occupy and activate those ground floor spaces with services to support public safety, small businesses, and the cultural and recreational needs of the neighborhood.
About Bellwether Housing:
Bellwether Housing is the largest private, nonprofit affordable housing provider in Seattle. Bellwether has developed and operated housing for low-income individuals, families, seniors and households transitioning out of homelessness since 1980. We serve over 3,500 residents in 2,100 apartments throughout Seattle.
About Sound Transit:
Sound Transit builds and operates express buses, light rail and commuter train services for the central Puget Sound region so that people can get to where they are going safely and economically.
Since 1971, Hopelink has provided stability-building services for people experiencing poverty in North and East King County. The agency provides nine comprehensive services that work in tandem, supporting community members as they work to exit poverty. These services include food assistance, housing, financial capabilities, employment services, transportation, energy assistance, financial assistance, adult education, and family development.