Expansion continues the City’s successful partnership with the Port of Seattle
Today, the Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) announced the completion of the planned expansion of Interbay Tiny House Village, adding a new hygiene station and 30 new units of shelter which will serve up to an additional 35 people. This project is a continuation of the partnership between the City of Seattle, the Port of Seattle, and the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI), first established in 2017.
Interbay Tiny House Village, located on Port of Seattle’s property at 1601 15th Ave W, will now provide a total of 76 tiny houses with capacity to serve up to 90 people. The program provides 24/7 staffing, on-site case managers, behavioral health services, security, a community kitchen, on-site hygiene, and laundry.
This is the second of three tiny house village projects approved as part of the 2021 budget to come online in recent weeks and which will provide a total of 113 new village shelter units. Last month, Rosie’s Tiny House Village in the University District opened providing 36 new tiny houses that can serve up to 50 people experiencing homelessness. The new Friendship Heights Tiny House Village in North Seattle is anticipated to open 47 units by the end of November.
“This year, we’ve opened hundreds of safer 24/7 shelter spaces including hotels and tiny homes to move people off the streets and into safer places. In the coming months, we will continue addressing the scale of the crisis through long-term investments that will bring online hundreds of permanent homes and more 24/7 shelter spaces,” said Mayor Jenny A. Durkan. “There is more work to be done, but these life-saving investments will bring hundreds of households inside to safer spaces this winter while providing an essential pathway to housing.”
“HSD staff continue to work tirelessly to bring hundreds of new shelter resources online as winter approaches and the department’s homelessness investments role winds down with the start of the new King County Regional Homeless Authority next year. This challenging work during the ongoing pandemic, has resulted in more shelter options that provide 24/7 enhanced wraparound onsite services to help a person end their experience with homelessness,” said Tanya Kim, Acting Director of HSD. “I want to thank the many partners who made this project a success including Mayor Durkan, the Port of Seattle, LIHI, Councilmember Lewis, Finance and Administrative Services (FAS), and everyone who supported this program for those most in need.”
“Affordable housing is the only solution to homelessness. But it is plain to see we need immediate, temporary options for people living outside that are safe and secure,” City Councilmember Andrew Lewis said. “Many thanks to our City staff and non-profit partners for their work standing up this critical resource to help people on their path to housing.”
“LIHI is pleased to be able to provide an additional 35 individuals and couples safe, heated, welcoming tiny houses at our Interbay Village,” said Sharon Lee, Executive Director of LIHI. “We are grateful to the Port of Seattle for making this expansion site available. We want to thank Mayor Durkan, Councilmember Lewis, and Port Commissioner Stephanie Bowman for their visionary leadership. It took the hard work of many people at the Port, HSD, FAS and LIHI working together to make today possible. With this expansion, Interbay Village can serve as a bridge to permanent housing for some 90 individuals and couples.”
“The Port of Seattle is pleased to partner with the City of Seattle and the community to help address the homelessness crisis in our region,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Stephanie Bowman. “Expanding the Tsubota village to make room for more tiny homes will help even more people get the shelter and the help they need so they can transition successfully into permanent housing.”
Shelter referrals into the village will be made by HSD’s HOPE Team based on shelter recommendations from their outreach provider partners. Interbay’s Community Advisory Committee (CAC) will continue to meet monthly to provide community input on operations and address concerns. The CAC members often include immediate neighbors, businesses, community and faith groups, and service providers.
The City has leased the existing site from the Port of Seattle since November 2017. Since the village’s opening, more than 246 households/people have been served, with approximately 35% of all exits going into permanent housing.
HSD will maintain oversight of this project through the end of the year. Beginning in 2022, the new King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA) will take on administration of the homelessness budget and contracts, including all three new village projects opening this year. The City opened its first tiny house village in 2017 and now funds nine villages providing 363 units of shelter.
By the end of the year, the City funded system will include 2,837 units of shelter, an increase of over 530 beds over pre-pandemic levels (Q4 2019).
**This post was updated to include a quote from Port of Seattle Commissioner Stephanie Bowman