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Homestead & Edge Developers Begin Construction on Village Gardens Affordable Homes Project
In 1852, Black pioneer and entrepreneur William Grose purchased 12 acres of land which started what would become a haven for minority settlers as racist housing practices kept them from living in other areas of Seattle.
Since the 1970s, the Black population in the Central District has dropped from 73% to less than 18% due to displacement.
Village Gardens, an affordable homeownership development of 16 homes, is now under construction in the Leschi/Central District neighborhood of Seattle.
“The Black Community has called the Central District home for almost 140 years. It is absolutely critical that our community have access to affordable homeownership such as the homes at Village Gardens in order to be part of the future of the neighborhood,”
Wyking Garrett, President and CEO of Africatown Community Land Trust.
Village Gardens is developed by non-profit Homestead Community Land Trust with Edge Developers, LLC on land provided by the City of Seattle for affordable housing. The community land trust homes in the development will be priced below $300,000.
The development will include 10 homes priced affordably for income-qualified households (Below 80% of area median income as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development), and 6 market-rate units (Proceeds from sales will be used to fund the affordability of the other homes), all built fossil-fuel-free to achieve a Built Green environmental standard.
Each home may be resold up to seven times over a 50-year period, giving multiple families the social, health and financial benefits of an affordable, fixed housing payment in a quality home.
“We believe that people should be able to live and have an ownership stake in the communities where they contribute to our shared quality of life,”
“Homes at Village Gardens will address the critical shortage of for-sale homes priced within reach of everyday residents of Seattle.”
Kathleen Hosfeld, Homestead Executive Director.
Homestead and Edge partnered with Africatown to increase Black contractor participation in the construction of Village Gardens homes.
As a result, Black contractors have secured $1 million in subcontracts on the project (20%). The total Women and Minority-Owned business participation in subcontracts is 40%
“Equally important is that our community have equitable participation in the millions of dollars spent on affordable housing development. We secured $1 million of construction contracts for Black owned contracting firms for Village Gardens,”
“This project is very special to the partners of Edge Developers – Don Mar, Evan and myself – because we all grew up here,”
“Working with Africatown to reach out to Black subcontractors was important to us. This project will contribute to our region’s economic recovery and we want that to be an equitable recovery.”
Affordable homes at Village Gardens will be sold according to the City of Seattle’s community preference guidelines.
Community Preference recognizes that people with historic ties to particular neighborhoods may have been displaced by policies and economic forces including gentrification, or that they may be at imminent risk of gentrification. The City of Seattle’s Office of Housing has provided guidelines to give preference in purchasing to:
- Applicants who are current residents near developments in neighborhoods currently facing a high risk of displacement.
- Applicants, their family members, or ancestors (i.e. great-grandparent) are former residents in neighborhoods that have historically been affected by high displacement.
- Applicants who have community ties or utilize community services in the development’s neighborhood.
Africatown and Homestead will collaborate in efforts to reach potential buyers with historic ties to the area, as well as to further Affirmative Fair Housing Marketing goals of removing barriers to ownership for those considered “least likely to apply.”
“This Seattle Housing Levy investment will create wealth building opportunities through home ownership for families, while providing living construction wage jobs to black and women and minority owned business.”
Director of the City of Seattle’s Office of Housing..