Paul G. Allen Philanthropies, the City of Seattle, and Mercy Housing Northwest come together on Mount Baker Family Housing & Resource Center
SEATTLE, WA, Sept. 18, 2018 –– Today, Mercy Housing Northwest, in partnership with Paul G. Allen Philanthropies, the City of Seattle, and the Seattle Seahawks, broke ground on the Mount Baker Family Housing & Resource Center. Expected to open in early 2020, the permanent housing facility and its ground floor Family Resource Center will provide affordable housing and services to Seattle-area families with children experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
In 2017, Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen announced a $30 million investment to fund the development and construction of permanent affordable housing for families. The Seattle Office of Housing contributed an additional $5 million and another $10.7 million was made available through a tax credit.
“Paul Allen challenged us to come up with a project that would push for new approaches, while meeting an urgent need in our community,” said Bill Hilf, CEO of Vulcan Inc. “By providing both housing and services on site, the center is designed to give families the opportunity to thrive. We hope this partnership becomes a model for other solutions, here and in other communities struggling with this crisis.”
“Addressing this crisis of affordability, housing, and homelessness will take everyone coming to the table – government, philanthropy, businesses, neighborhoods, our leaders in Olympia, and counties and cities across our region,” said Mayor Durkan. “With this strong and innovative public private partnership, we’re showing what we can do when we work together to address these critical challenges and build shared solutions.”
The Family Resource Center will focus on increasing access to services shown to be highly-effective, like diversion. Diversion helps families triage options, address barriers, and move into housing.
The Mount Baker Family Housing & Resource Center will provide 95 housing units for low-income families and families experiencing homelessness. It is located in a transit and opportunity-rich area, one block from the Mount Baker Link Light Rail Station, two blocks from a King County Metro bus transit hub, and close to schools, grocery stores, pharmacies and other community services.
The Family Resource Center, an 8,000 sq. ft. hub open to the community, will feature lead service providers:
- Mary’s Place: leading voice for homeless women, children and families in King County.
- Child Care Resources: statewide connector of 20,000 families each year to quality child care.
- Refugee Women’s Alliance: holistic provider of services to refugee and immigrant women and families.
- Mercy Housing Northwest: largest nonprofit provider of affordable family housing in Seattle.
“Seattle has been stuck in a state of emergency for people experiencing homelessness for years. Children in families with housing instability are more vulnerable to poor academic performance and repeating this cycle as adults,” said Bill Rumpf, president of Mercy Housing Northwest. “This housing and Family Resource Center will provide tangible help for families who are homeless today and for families vulnerable tomorrow. We are pleased to be working side by side with some of the highest impact social services organizations in the state.”
The Center will be owned and operated by Mercy Housing Northwest, an experienced nonprofit housing group. Mercy has a sterling record for creating family housing with services that support parents and children to be healthy, financially stable and to find educational success.
About Paul G. Allen Philanthropies
Paul G. Allen Philanthropies is a key part of Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen’s commitment to improving our planet through catalytic philanthropy, inspirational experiences, and scientific and technological breakthroughs. Empowered by Paul’s vision to create a better world, we take an unconventional approach to tackling hard problems by integrating technology, data, policy, and powerful storytelling to drive positive change in our community and around the globe. www.pgaphilanthropies.org
About Mercy Housing Northwest
Mercy Housing Northwest creates stable, vibrant and healthy communities for Washington state residents. We build homes, transform lives and help individuals, families and seniors thrive by providing permanent housing with supportive services. Mercy Housing Northwest was formed 26 years ago by five women’s religious communities: the Tacoma Dominicans, the Adrian (Edmonds) Dominicans, the Sisters of Providence, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace and the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. MHNW is the northwest arm of Mercy Housing, one of the largest affordable rental housing providers in the US. Mercy Housing owns 54 affordable housing properties in Washington, serving approximately 5,000 people every day. www.mercyhousingnorthwest.org
City of Seattle
The Seattle Office of Housing provides support to low-income residents in Seattle through rental housing preservation and production, home buyer assistance, free weatherization services and home repair loans. www.seattle.gov/housing