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$10.27 million HUD Choice Neighborhood grant awarded for Yesler Terrace renewal

Funding will support new housing, services

SEATTLE — August 31, 2011 — Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan announced today the award of a $10.27 million Choice Neighborhoods implementation grant to the Seattle Housing Authority to be used for redevelopment of Yesler Terrace and the surrounding neighborhood.

"This is a great day for Seattle and the countless families who will benefit from the transformation this funding will bring to the Yesler community," said Donovan.

The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative looks to transform distressed neighborhoods into sustainable, mixed-income communities by linking affordable housing with quality schools, public transportation, good jobs and safe streets. Seattle Housing expects to use the grant funding to begin the Yesler Terrace redevelopment by building low-income housing on a site east of Boren, and to work with partners to improve outcomes for neighborhood families.

Artist rendering

An artist's rendering shows what Yesler Terrace redevelopment at the site of 12th and Boren may look like.

U.S. Senator Patty Murray was vital in working with HUD to launch the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative and in working with Seattle Housing and the City of Seattle to bring this investment to Yesler Terrace.

"I am so glad that the Seattle Housing Authority has been awarded this grant to invest in our community and revitalize Yesler Terrace for local families," said Senator Murray. "I was so proud to work with HUD and the City of Seattle to bring this investment to Yesler Terrace and the families who will benefit from the healthier and stronger neighborhood this grant will help build."

Seattle Housing Executive Director Tom Tierney expressed his thanks on behalf of the agency. "This is a significant catalyst to move this project into action. It shows us that HUD sees the need for renewal in this neighborhood and affirms the vision that we have put forward to make this a full neighborhood transformation, not just a renewal of the housing."

The agency has been in competition with five other housing authorities for funding through the Choice Neighborhoods program. The program focuses on transforming distressed neighborhoods viable, sustainable mixed-income neighborhoods by linking housing improvements with services, schools, public assets, transportation, and access to jobs. Boston, Chicago, New Orleans, and San Francisco are the other cities to win Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grants.

"Today we took an important step towards fulfilling the promise of Yesler Terrace," said Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn. "It's a promise to deliver more affordable housing, safer streets, quality education and access to reliable transit to a community that deserves it."

"We are very grateful for this funding. It will allow us to begin building new low-income housing in the neighborhood and to initiate education and job services with our community partners," said Tierney. "More than 19 organizations have been working with us on this neighborhood transformation. This grant allows us to keep faith with them, and to begin the work we have outlined."

A plan will be submitted to Seattle City Council in November and the agency will begin working with the council in the first quarter of 2012 to move the project forward.

"We will begin our work here and continue to seek additional resources for the project," said Tierney. "We give profound thanks to the hundreds of residents and citizens who have helped shape this redevelopment plan, to Secretary Donovan, Senator Patty Murray and all of our local partners for joining with us in this vision of renewal for the Yesler neighborhood."

More information about the grant is available through news releases issued by the national HUD office and regional HUD office. The Yesler Terrace Development plan is also available for download.