City Seattle Housing Authority to Save Lock Vista?
posted by September 6 at 14:23 PMon
According to Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, the Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) is looking at purchasing several of the Lock Vista apartment buildings currently slated for condo conversion. Residents recently collected 600 signatures urging SHA to use eminent domain to acquire the building.
Rasmussen will be visiting the Lock Vista Apartments tonight at 5:45 to meet with residents and find out if any of them have found other affordable housing in the area. He also wants to know if any residents can afford to purchase their units if they’re converted.
I’ve got a call in to SHA about their plans.
Virginia Felton, SHA’s Communications Director, says they’re trying to figure out a way to buy the building, but with an estimated cost of 15-20 million dollars, it’s a bit of a longshot. “It’s not clear that we’ll be able to do anything before a sale goes through,” Felton says,”but we’re looking at it.”
SHA actually looked at purchasing Lock Vista two years ago when it was up for sale but, according to Fetlon, the studio and one-bedroom apartments “didn’t fit [SHA’s} needs at that time. [SHA is] trying to get out of the studio apartment business.”
SHA is looking at the building again because of all of the noise being made by residents and the displacement coalition but even if they were to purchase Lock Vista, there’s no guarantee all of the residents would be able to stay.
“By law, any project that we get involved in, 50 percent of the residents have to have incomes below 80 percent of the median income, ” Felton says. “If people [at Lock Vista] were over that income we [would] simply help them transition out.”
SHA will make a determination on Lock Vista sometime next week.