DESC opens 100 new homes for people experiencing homelessness

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

DESC's The North Star - grand opening Thursday July 21

Amid unprecedented homelessness in the city of Seattle, the Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) is opening 100 new apartments in the Bitter Lake area for adults with disabilities who have been experiencing homelessness.

The public is invited to the grand opening of DESC’s The North Star, on Thursday, July 21, 2022 from 10am - 12:30pm, at 924 N 143rd St, Seattle

The opening includes a chance to take a self-guided tour around the building and learn more about DESC’s programming across the city. Masks are required when indoors, and parking around the building is limited.

With this opening, DESC is bringing 322 people into housing from the streets and shelters so far in 2022.

This is the second permanent supportive housing project DESC has opened in the past six months, as the second phase of Hobson Place welcomed 92 tenants in January. In June DESC also opened 130 spaces of emergency housing at Health Through Housing Northgate.

The North Star features 100 studio apartments with 24/7 supportive services, plus case management offices, lounge space, activity space, a private courtyard for tenants, meal service twice a day and a front desk staffed around the clock. Tenants will move in in early August.

The Seattle Office of Housing (OH), the Washington State Department of Commerce Housing Trust Fund and the Washington State Housing Finance Commission's 9% Low-Income Housing Tax Credits are paying for the $29 million project. Bank of America is the construction lender. DESC will own and operate the building.

This project is one of six that OH selected in August 2020 to receive funding toward permanent housing with wraparound supportive services. OH offered an accelerated application and funding process to get the new units built and operating as quickly as possible.

DESC partnered with Bellwether Housing to buy property and develop the project. SMR Architects designed the building, Exxel Pacific is the building contractor and Fazio Associates are the landscape architects. Other project team members are civil engineers Latitude 48, structural engineers Atlas Design Group and MEP consultant Sider / Byers Associates.

King County’s Health Through Housing program will provide most of the operating funds for The North Star.

DESC helps people with the complex needs of homelessness, substance use disorders and serious mental illness achieve their highest potential for health and well-being through comprehensive services, treatment and housing. For more information, visit


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