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$28 million in Recovery Act funds benefit building projects

Grants will fund construction at Rainier Vista, Lake City, Denny Terrace

SEATTLE—October 20, 2009—Seattle Housing Authority has been awarded three American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) competitive grants worth a total of $28 million. This is in addition to the $17 million the Housing Authority received by formula in February, bringing the total of stimulus dollars awarded to Seattle Housing to more than $45 million.

“We are thrilled and honored to be awarded this funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development,” noted Seattle Housing’s Executive Director Tom Tierney. “I believe we had a competitive advantage with our grants applications because of our commitment to creating environmentally advanced buildings. I am proud of our efforts to identify projects that will expand and improve public housing in Seattle.”

All of the projects will get underway in the next year.

$10 million for 118 new apartments at Rainier Vista

ARRA funds in the amount of $10 million will make it possible to complete construction of low-income housing at Rainier Vista. These funds will be matched by almost $22 million from other sources and will enable Seattle Housing to build 118 new, energy-efficient, low-income rental housing units in the third phase of construction at Rainier Vista.

Construction of this final group of rental units will complete the overall transformation of the 65-acre site. The new units will be affordable to low-income people along a range of incomes. Seventy-four apartments will be public housing funded by tax credit equity, 23 units will be use subsidies from project-based Housing Choice Vouchers in combination with tax-credit funding and the remaining 21 units will be tax-credit rentals.

All units will be designed to meet Evergreen Development Standards, implementing energy efficiencies and healthy living environments.

When completed, Rainier Vista will contain a wide variety of high quality housing and amenities. Phase I of the project has been strongly embraced by both new residents and those who came back to the community after redevelopment. In April 2007, Rainier Vista received an award from Seattle Metropolitan Magazine for being one of the “10 Best Places to Live in Seattle.” With the ARRA grant, this vision can be fully realized.

Lake City Village - $8 million will help build 86 new apartments

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

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 Housing Authority to dramatically increase the use of green features such as: photovoltaic panels for clean, on-site energy generation; extra water conservation measures; healthy building materials and tenant education on energy conservation. The ARRA funding will demonstrate how an up-front investment can be translated into medium- and long-term energy savings, a much smaller carbon footprint and a healthier environment. Green features include:

  • 4,500 square feet of rooftop photovoltaic panels designed to provide at least 10 percent of the building’s total electricity demand.
  • An additional 1,500 square feet of evacuated-tube solar collectors, integrated with the domestic hot water system, to enable the project to meet at least 10 percent of the building’s total energy demand.
  • A mid-block, accessible pedestrian walkway across the two-acre site that breaks up the superblock and connects the site to the surrounding neighborhood.

By the strategic placement of natural drainage elements, permeable surfaces, park and gardening spaces and an underground water detention facility, the project has been designed to retain stormwater on the site substantially in excess of the current Seattle Stormwater Code. The site will capture, retain, infiltrate, and/or harvest at least the first half-inch of rainfall that falls in a 24-hour period.

$10 million to fund renovation at Denny Terrace

An additional $10 million ARRA grant will fund rehabilitation of Denny Terrace to 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 – similar to those completed in the homeWorks project – are expected to extend the useful life of the building for decades. Denny Terrace is a 221-unit, 40-year-old concrete and brick public-housing high-rise located in central Seattle. Its residents are primarily people with disabilities and the elderly.
Energy and water saving upgrades will include:

  • Installation of an insulated finish system over the entire building exterior to increase the insulation factor substantially
  • Installation of new vinyl steel-reinforced triple-glaze windows on the west and south elevations – the west side of the building overlooks I-5, the major interstate through Seattle. Triple-glazing will provide increased sound insulation as well as mitigating heat from afternoon sun
  • Installation of new vinyl steel reinforced double-glaze windows on the east elevation
  • Replacement of the original 40-year-old domestic hot water heating system with a new energy-efficient system
  • Application of a UV protection coating to the roof
  • Replacement of all in-unit incandescent lighting with energy-rated Compact Florescent Light fixtures
  • Installation of low-flow showerheads in all units
  • Installation of low-flow aerators on bathroom and kitchen faucets

In preparing the grant application, ArchEcolog performed a green assessment of this facility. The consulting firm analyzed existing energy use patterns in the building and determined that Denny Terrace could achieve a combined savings of energy and water of 36 percent by implementing the energy-saving changes that are planned.

The City of Seattle has committed $350,000 in weatherization funds to the project. These funds will be used on ventilation, lighting and insulation improvements. Enterprise Foundation has committed $31,200 to Denny Terrace, as part of a five-building $100,000 grant which will evaluate basic weatherization measures against a higher level of rehab, i.e. on that meets Enterprise Green Communities Standards.