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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Africatown Community Land Trust Acquires Land For Affordable Housing Development

Africatown Community Land Trust (ACLT) recently announced the acquisition of the former Keiro Rehabilitation and Care Center at 16th and Yesler in the Central District.

According to ACLT, the acquisition will allow the existing building to be used as an interim community home for those experiencing homelessness, while ACLT plans to develop approximately 285 units of affordable housing on the site.

In 2019, the Board of Directors for the Keiro Northwest sold the site for $11 million to Bellevue-based developer, Shelter Holdings, LLC, who planned to construct market-rate housing and retail space. After dedicated community members and King County Equity Now advocated for anti-displacement and equitable development of the site, ACLT agreed to purchase the property for $13.84 million. Funding sources for the acquisition include the City of Seattle and the State of Washington.

Future development plans will provide affordable housing and commercial space on a site that would have become yet another marker of displacement in the rapidly gentrifying Central Area, and build on the success of the Liberty Bank Building development on 24th and Union.

In the interim and in partnership with the City of Seattle, the ACLT Community Home will provide up to 150 beds for our unsheltered neighbors. ACLT’s initial aim is to reduce the overrepresentation of African American men among those experiencing homelessness. The site will offer culturally-responsive trauma-informed care and wraparound services including health, education, employment, and housing resources.

“We are excited by this opportunity to bring a new model to reduce the overrepresentation of our community members in the houselessness crisis and the long term goal to address the need for affordable housing in the Central District and Seattle,” says K. Wyking Garrett, President & CEO of Africatown Community Land Trust. “We look forward to ongoing engagement with many community stakeholders to help achieve these goals.”               

In order to better respond to the needs of Keiro’s diverse neighborhood, ACLT held community engagement sessions with Japanese and Pan-Asian community stakeholders, Indigenous Duwamish community representatives, neighbors and home-owners, and local service providers.

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