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2009 Annual Report: Opportunity Within Recovery

Putting building blocks in place to meet future needs

Real estate values down! Foreclosures up! Unemployment nears ten percent! Headlines like these have become commonplace since the
Great Recession shifted our reality in 2008.

Tom Tierney

Like most enterprises, Seattle Housing Authority has not been immune to these economic shocks. The individuals and families we serve have been hard hit. Our vacancy rates are at historic lows as people living in our housing have been unable or reluctant to move into unsubsidized housing. For many of them, progress toward self-sufficiency has stalled.

In spite of these difficulties, we have been able to contribute to job creation and economic recovery in Seattle. Support for the safety net that public housing provides has remained strong in the Obama administration.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has infused $45 million into our capital funds. This stimulus funding is enabling us to complete the redevelopment of Rainier Vista, make our construction of Lake City Village the most energy-efficient
construction in the Northwest, and complete needed repairs at
Bell Tower and Denny Terrace.

In tough economic times, it is more important than ever that we provide decent, stable housing for those who need it most. In 2009 we not only focused on these core services, but also were able to put the building blocks in place for expanding housing into the future. With the valued support provided by our stakeholders and employees, and by our supporters across the country, we will continue to work toward a future where every person in Seattle has safe, decent and affordable housing.

—Tom Tierney, Executive Director

Highlights of 2009 achievements

South Shore Court and High Point add 160 units of low-income housing

South Shore Court

South Shore Court, formerly the Douglas Apartments, was a run-down and crime-infested blight on its south Seattle neighborhood. Seattle Housing, in partnership with the City of Seattle, Washington State Housing Finance Commission, Washington State Housing Trust Fund and Enterprise Community Investments, completely rehabilitated the building. Every one of its 44 apartments was gutted and rebuilt.

All rental housing in Phase II of the redeveloped High Point was finished in April. The final building push in 2009 completed 116 units, for a total of 600 units across the site. Additional homes for sale and commercial/residential development will complete the transformation of this community over the next several years.

homeWorks project completed on budget, ahead of schedule

homeWorkshomeWorks, a construction project in three phases that was begun in 2005, concluded in July of 2009. The project made needed repairs to the building infrastructure of 2,079 housing units in 22 buildings.

Before homeWorks, nearly 100 units of public housing suffered from water intrusion, many so severely that they could not be rented. Now occupancy is nearly 100 percent. An estimated nine miles of corroded galvanized pipe was replaced with new copper water lines. Nearly 900 windows were replaced with energy-efficient new ones, and over 44 miles of window and masonry caulking was replaced. The equivalent of three and a half football fields of roofing has been replaced.

Yesler Terrace plans move forward

Yesler TerraceAgency staff continued to move forward with the planning process for the redevelopment of Yesler Terrace. This public housing community on First Hill has been in place for more than 70 years; its aging housing and infrastructure no longer adequately serves the needs of the 1,200 people living there.

During 2009, planning staff and consultants developed several site concepts that call for replacement of all 561 units now on the site, the addition of up to 1,200 additional low-income and workforce housing units, office and retail spaces, and housing for sale. Work in 2009 paved the way for the start of the environmental review process in 2010.

Key performance indicators for 2009

Residents who are 'satisfied' with Seattle Housing
Residents who are 'highly satisfied' with Seattle Housing
Number of people served
Number of households served
Increase in households served
Percent vacancy rate in Public Housing
Number of households on waiting list
New waiting-list applicants per month
Job placements through The Job Connection

Vouchers expand to meet needs

Seattle Housing Authority’s use of Housing Choice Vouchers expanded in 2009, with 131 added to the agency’s voucher stock. Fifty-three of these vouchers were issued through the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program, teaming housing authority staff with VA staff to assist homeless veterans in securing housing with appropriate services. Utilization of vouchers increased to 99 percent as the turnover rate for vouchers fell steadily.

$45 million in ARRA funding

Congressman Jim McDermott and HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan

Congressman Jim McDermott and resident Ed Frazier listen as HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan addresses a groundbreaking crowd on Aug. 10.

Seattle Housing Authority has been awarded more than $45 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which was signed into law on February 17, 2009.

The first $17 million in ARRA funding was awarded in February 2009 as part of the housing authority’s proportional share of $3 billion in stimulus funding made available to housing authorities across the U.S.

The remaining $28 million in stimulus funding, received in October, was secured through a competitive process.

All ARRA funds were made available for capital projects within the Low Income Public Housing program.

As of the end of 2009, 141 jobs were either retained or
created on ARRA-funded projects.

Projects made possible by stimulus funds

Rainier Vista
Tamarack Place at Rainier VistaSeattle Housing is using $3.1 million in stimulus funds for the construction of Tamarack Place, an 86-unit low-income apartment building located next to the Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club. Completion is expected in 2010.

An additional $10.3 million is funding the infrastructure at Rainier Vista north, which will prepare the site for more low-income housing. Ten million dollars awarded through the competitive process will be used for construction of the low-income housing, which is expected to be complete by February 2012.

Lake City Village 
Lake City VillageThe Lake City Village Apartments will be an 86-unit, mixed-income building in northeast Seattle, built on the site of 16 distressed public housing townhomes demolished in 2002 due to persistent flooding.

The new apartment building is one element of a HOPE VI redevelopment. The $8 million in ARRA funds, leveraged with over $12 million from other sources, will enable the agency to dramatically increase the use of green features. Construction is expected to be complete in October 2011.

Denny Terrace 
Denny TerraceA $10 million ARRA grant will help fund rehabilitation of Denny Terrace, a 218-unit low-income housing building near downtown.

The rehabilitation will increase energy conservation to the highest possible level and replace and update major building systems that have reached the end of their useful life.

The renovations are expected to extend the useful life of the building for decades. Construction planning is underway, with completion expected in 2011.


With a 2009 budget of $172 million, Seattle Housing’s
600-plus employees managed and maintained more than 7,900 housing units and administered more than 8,500 Housing Choice (Section 8) Vouchers.

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2009 Operating Expenses


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2009 Revenues