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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 22, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 16
Low Income Housing Institute to build affordable housing for youth
Section One
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Low Income Housing Institute to build affordable housing for youth

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

The Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) announced plans to develop 50 units of housing in the University District for formerly homeless youth and those transitioning out of foster care. A new home for the University District Food Bank will be located on the first floor.

LIHI recently purchased the 13,600-square-foot site, located at 5019 Roosevelt Way N.E., which is next-door to the University Branch Library.

According to LIHI officials, Runberg Architecture Group will design the four-story building where residents aged 18 to 25 will receive support to finish their education and pursue employment. LIHI will partner with two experienced non-profit service providers, YouthCare and Sound Mental Health, to provide counseling, employment services, and other supportive services.

'The studios will be 425 square feet and will provide a safe home for a population that in many cases has been abused, neglected, or abandoned,' stated LIHI executive director Sharon Lee.

The University District Food Bank has been searching for a new home as it has outgrown its existing space.

'We are excited to partner with LIHI on this important project,' stated Food Bank Executive Director Joe Gruber. 'We'll have room to accept significantly more food donations and offer outreach and training on-site so more customer families can be linked to the important services they need to help meet their basic needs.'

The agency distributes 40,000-45,000 pounds of food each week. Visit their website at www.udistrictfoodbank.org.

The vibrant University District is a good place for the apartment complex, Lee said, as residents can access transit nearby while staying close to jobs and educational opportunities in the neighborhood.

'In these times of economic devastation, young people become the last to bear the burden of homelessness and the last to be considered for help out of homelessness,' said YouthCare Executive Director Melinda Giovengo.

YouthCare (www.youthcare.org) provides emergency services, housing, education, and job training for homeless and runaway youth.

An estimated 800 to 1,200 young adults are homeless in King County, and there are few housing options linked with appropriate services to address their needs.

The Low Income Housing Institute is a non-profit organization with a portfolio of over 1,800 affordable housing units in the Puget Sound region. LIHI's housing serves low-income and formerly homeless individuals and families most in need, including seniors, youth, veterans, large families, and people with special needs.

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