Skip to main content

Building Changes selected for Yesler Terrace project

Will work with Seattle Housing to develop "social infrastructure" program

SEATTLE — November 11, 2010 — The nonprofit Building Changes has been selected through a competitive process to lead a planning effort in the Yesler Terrace community focused on determining what services and activities should be part of the redeveloped Yesler community. Emphasis is on identifying services most critical to the quality of life and opportunity for residents.

Through the Guiding Principles developed in 2006-2007, the Seattle Housing Authority committed to furthering social equity through the redevelopment process. According to Community Services Administrator John Forsyth, Building Changes will facilitate work with the existing community to identify what the relevant components of "social infrastructure" are. "We want to pay close attention to the invisible social structures and resources that will be needed to make Yesler Terrace a really great place for residents at all income levels," noted Forsyth.

As an organization, Building Changes is guided by the principle that everyone deserves the opportunity for a home, a healthy life and a good job. The organization works statewide with public and private partners to create innovative solutions through expert advice, grantmaking and advocating for lasting change.

Mark Putnam is Building Changes' Consulting and Technical Assistance Manager. "We are excited to be selected by the Seattle Housing Authority for this part of the Yesler Terrace Redevelopment project," he said. "This work gives us an opportunity to bring our different areas of expertise to a project that will have lasting impact on an entire neighborhood and the city."

Work under the contract will include interviews with agencies that are currently providing services at Yesler Terrace and with agencies that may be interested in delivering services at the redeveloped Yesler Terrace. Building Changes staff will involve members of the Yesler Terrace Citizens Review Committee and Yesler Terrace Community Council in this process. Results from focus groups with Yesler Terrace residents and service providers will be compared to results from similar groups at High Point, Rainier Vista and NewHolly to identify which services have been most beneficial to residents.

Consulting staff from Building Changes will also conduct research to identify best practices and will present their findings to both Seattle Housing Authority Staff and Board, and to the Yesler Terrace Citizens Review Committee. The work is expected to be completed early in 2011.