Star Level: 4-Star
Checklist: 2018 Single Family Checklist
Verifier: Evergreen Certified
|Site and Water
|Health and Indoor Air Quality
Affordability and environmental sustainability come together at Village Gardens Townhomes to create homeownership opportunities in the Central District.
Developed through a partnership of Homestead Community Land Trust and Edge Developers on surplus land provided by the City of Seattle, these award-winning three-bedroom townhomes are Built Green 4-Star certified. The development includes ten homes priced affordably, between $237,000 and $302,000, for income-qualified households and six market-rate units.
Accelerating home prices in the City of Seattle have pushed many of its residents to southern cities’
suburban neighborhoods like Renton’s Sunset neighborhood in search of lower rents and home
prices. While run-away housing prices in King County affect most residents, it is especially hard-hitting on people who have experienced discrimination. Homestead’s work to provide income-appropriate homeownership opportunities to qualified households puts ownership within reach. Homestead has
a 57% ownership rate by people of color compared to 28% in King County as a whole.
To address this disparity in homeownership rates Village Gardens was the first affordable homeownership project that utilized the City of Seattle’s Community Preference Policy as part of the buyer selection process for the affordable housing units. The Community Preference Policy gives preference in resident selection based on imminent or past displacement of residents from defined areas where displacement has occurred.
The Village Gardens’ partnership between the developers and Africatown Community Land Trust worked to assure the development benefits historic residents and leaders of the Central District
including efforts to reach and support potential buyers and Black contractor participation. As a
result, Black contractors secured $1 million in subcontracts on the project (20%). The total Women
and Minority Owned Business participation in contracts was 40%.
"Too often we are given a forced choice to either build for affordability or sustainability. It's urgent that we build more affordable housing. It's urgent that we address climate change. We must reject this false choice. We must do both now. This project demonstrates how it is possible to do both." - Kathleen Hosfeld, Executive Director, Homestead Community Land Trust
Energy efficiency, on-site solar energy generation, proximity to large employers, and nearby bicycle routes and frequent public transportation are a model for sustainable urban living. The development was named through a community process which recognizes historic use of the property as an unofficial community garden that brought together the diverse cultures living together in the neighborhood.