Seattle to sell old fire station to build affordable housing

A Seattle City Council committee voted Wednesday to sell old Fire Station 39 in Lake City to the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI). The highly controversial half block which may soon have new life. The mothballed property has not been used as a viable station for years and has been a temporary homeless shelter at times.  Now, it’ll be a different type of shelter, if the full council approves the deal, as expected on Monday. LIHI plans to build at least 70 units of affordable workforce housing on the spot. Service households making 60% of median income, or $48,420 for a family of three, will be eligible to rent the apartments.  There will also be an on-site preschool.  The $20 million project will be paid for with a mix of funding, including portions from the Office of Housing and Pre-School levy dollars. LIHI expects to open the building by the fall 2018. It has taken years to get to this point, and after much consternation from neighbors, who opposed previous efforts.  “Yes, it’s taken several years, but it’s complicated,” said Councilmember Tim Burgess. Burgess’ colleague, Lisa Herbold, recounted the community’s displeasure with previous plans, and told proponents, “Thanks for letting me walk down memory lane.”

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