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June 11, 2015

Housing for homeless youth, food bank are part of LIHI's University Commons

Rendering courtesy of Runberg Architecture Group [enlarge]
There will be 47 studios and two one-bedroom units on the three upper floors, with space for the University District Food Bank on the first floor.

The Low Income Housing Institute will hold a groundbreaking ceremony June 16 at 3:30 p.m. for University Commons and the University District Food Bank at 5019 Roosevelt Way N.E. in Seattle.

LIHI said in a press release that the mixed-use project will open in summer 2016.

Runberg Architecture Group is the architect and BNBuilders is the general contractor.

The complex will provide affordable apartments for homeless people age 18-24, and others. There will be 47 studios and two one-bedroom units on the three upper floors.

YouthCare and Ryther will offer supportive services there for homeless young adults. Seattle Housing Authority will provide Section 8 vouchers so those residents will only have to pay 30 percent of their income for housing, said Sharon Lee, LIHI's executive director.

The other units will be available to people making up to 60 percent of area median income.

New and expanded space for the University District Food Bank will be on the first floor, with a cafe on the south side facing the University Branch Library.

LIHI said the green building will have energy efficient systems, and a no-smoking policy.

University Commons will have community space, a classroom, counseling space and decks. The food bank will grow vegetables and herbs on the roof.

Funding for the housing comes from the city, King County and Washington state. KeyBank is providing construction financing.

Tax credit equity is through Washington State Housing Finance Commission and National Equity Fund. Seattle Housing Authority is providing rental assistance.

LIHI said a donation from Wyncote NW Foundation enabled it to purchase the land.