City leaders join bus tour of affordable homeownership sites

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Community leaders gather outside the bus prior to the tour for a group photo. (Photo/Homestead)

Community leaders from the Cities of Lake Forest Park, Shoreline, Kenmore, and Bothell, along with staff from North Urban Human Services Alliance (NUHSA) recently joined with donors and stakeholders of Homestead Community Land Trust to learn more about permanently affordable homeownership on a tour of developments in Seattle and Tukwila.

The tour was in collaboration with Homestead’s partners in Lake Forest Park (Michael Troyer, Sally Yamasaki, and Donna Hawkey) and NUHSA who invited leaders from north urban cities to explore how to increase affordable homeownership opportunities in their communities.

The tour was a showcase of the different types of homes that can be developed in affordable housing programs including townhomes, cottage-style duplexes, and condominium flats in apartment-style buildings.

Homestead Director of Real Estate Development, Eric Pravitz, shares information about The Southard with attendees. (Photo/Homestead)

The group toured Homestead’s Village Gardens, a 16-home development in the Central District of Seattle. The tour also stopped at a future development site on church land in West Seattle, before arriving at The Southard, Homestead’s latest project under construction. 

The Southard is a development of 18 homes; the second of Homestead’s highly energy-efficient demonstration projects designed to reduce utility costs and climate impacts.

Homestead Community Land Trust is an affordable homeownership developer with 245 homes in trust in Seattle, Renton, and soon, in Tukwila. They have created over 300 first-time homebuyer opportunities for lower-income households for whom market-rate homeownership is too expensive. 

Homes in their program are subsidized so that they can be priced between $250,000 and $325,000, depending on size.

During the tour, Homestead’s CEO Kathleen Hosfeld explained that land identification is one of the ways community leaders can facilitate affordable housing projects. 

  • Village Gardens was built on surplus property made available through a competitive process by the City of Seattle. 
  • The West Seattle and Tukwila properties on the tour are developments on church land. The West Seattle project came about as a result of Seattle City Councilmember Lisa Herbold’s outreach to affordable housing developers in support of the church that wanted to redevelop its property. 
 Many faith communities with land are selling or transferring land at low or no cost for affordable housing as part of their social justice or charitable commitments.

“The Housing Party Bus tour allowed us to see CLT housing first-hand and gave us an opportunity to have fun and build community with others who hope to work toward permanently affordable housing solutions,” according to Yamasaki.
Yamasaki continued, “As our Lake Forest Park CLT team has been seeing million-dollar houses replacing once affordable starter homes, it recognizes that it narrows a sector of our society who can afford to live here. Diversity makes our community rich. 
"The CLT model allows for our teachers, city workers, and others who are essential to our town to not only afford to live here, but to also begin the process of building equity in their home that renting does not.”

To learn more about Homestead CLT’s work on building a legacy of permanently affordable homeownership in King County, you can visit the organization’s website or follow them on Instagram socials@homesteadcommunitylandtrust


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