The Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) in partnership with Interfaith Works have started construction on Martin Way Housing & Shelter, located at 161 Pattison St. NE, Olympia. This 5-story, new construction affordable rental building includes 65 permanent supportive housing units for homeless people operated by Low Income Housing Institute and a 60-bed 24/7 enhanced shelter on the ground floor operated by Interfaith Works (IW). Construction broke ground on November 23, 2020 and will be completed December 2021. LIHI is the owner/developer, the architect is Encore Architects and the contractor is Walsh Construction Co.
The apartment building will include 53 studio and 12 one-bedroom units, including one unit for an on-site manager. The affordability is targeted to households at or below 30% and 50% ($30,350 annual income and below for an individual) of the area median income. Units are set-aside for homeless seniors, veterans and people living with disabilities. The Interfaith Works shelter will serve 60 homeless individuals including singles and couples.
“Thank you to Olympia Mayor Cheryl Shelby and the City Council for selling city-owned property at a deep discount to LIHI so that we can start construction on critically needed low-Income housing and shelter for homeless individuals and couples. The 2020 Point in Time Count documents 995 individuals experiencing homelessness in Thurston County, which is a 24% increase over 2019. People should not have to live in cars, tents or be left to survive on the street. With winter and the pandemic here, it is truly heartbreaking to see so many people living unsheltered. With completion of construction next winter, over 140 vulnerable people will have a warm, safe place to live and thrive,” said Sharon Lee, LIHI Executive Director.
Mayor Cheryl Selby said, “We are excited to bring forward the first project built with Home Fund Levy dollars that will add 24-hour shelter capacity for our most vulnerable neighbors and add 64 new units of housing for homeless adults. Along with Home Fund dollars, this project would not be able to happen without funding partnerships including Thurston County, the state Housing Trust Fund, and the state Housing Finance Commission through federal tax credits. These partnerships are helping the City of Olympia take a huge step in providing shelter to those in our community who need it most.”
Meg Martin, Executive Director of Interfaith Works, said, “Our relationships with the faith and spiritual communities who have shouldered the work of addressing homelessness in our County for three decades remain strong and active — especially with our beloved home at First Christian Church. However, our stay at First Christian Church was never meant to be permanent. We are ecstatic to partner with LIHI to design a safe, clean, beautiful, and accessible facility that will fully realize the dignity and respect our current and future shelter guests deserve. This development represents a pivotal moment in the progression of the Thurston County Homeless Response Plan and we are incredibly grateful to the community for making it possible.”
LIHI will be the owner/operator of the building and lease the ground floor to IW to operate the enhanced shelter. Both agencies will work closely together through the construction, lease up, and ongoing operations of the facility. IW will be providing case management and support services.
Total development cost is $20.7 million. Funding sources for the housing includes the City of Olympia Home Fund, Thurston County, State Housing Trust Fund, Washington State Housing Trust Fund, Raymond James (tax credit investor), and JPMorgan Chase (construction financing). Funding for the IW shelter includes State Department of Commerce and City of Olympia Home Fund.
Interfaith Works, founded in Thurston County in 1974, has been providing shelter in church and spiritual community basements, social halls, and sanctuaries for nearly 30 years. IW is a key provider in the Thurston County Homeless Response System. For decades, IW has advocated for meeting both the immediate emergency needs for survival for those living unsheltered, as well as creating more permanent supportive housing for people living with complex challenges related to their physical and mental health. Those who have historically been screened out of the homeless response system tend to have higher interactions with emergency services and it costs significantly more to leave them out than it does to create permanent housing and support services tailored to their unique needs. The partnership between LIHI and IW aims to do just this — take a both/and approach to addressing the continued state of emergency of homelessness and affordable housing in Thurston County. IW helped to organize the passing of the City of Olympia’s Home Fund sales tax initiative in 2018. For more info: Interfaith-works.org
The nonprofit Low Income Housing Institute was founded in 1991 and has over 65 properties under ownership and management. In addition, LIHI operates 12 tiny house villages in Olympia, Tacoma and Seattle as a crisis response to homelessness. For more info: http://www.LIHI.org
Architect – Encore Architects, PLLC
General Contractor – Walsh Construction Co./Washington
Electric – Kirby Electric
HVAC – Emerald Aire
Plumbing – Herdman Plumbing
Civil Engineer – Hatton Godat Pantier
Structural Engineer – YT Engineers
Geotechnical Engineer – Geotechnical Consultants
Landscape Architect – Weisman Design Group
Waterproofing Consultant – JRS
Acoustic Consultant – A3 Acoustics, LLP
Accessibility – Studio Pacifica
Fire Protection – Patriot Fire Protection
Survey – Hatton Godat Pantier, Inc.
Can you help us create a meaningful sense of belonging and community inclusion?
The Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) and Interfaith Works (IW) are partnering on an unprecedented development of a 60 bed shelter, and 65 units of permanent supportive housing at 2828 Martin Way to be completed at the end of 2021. This building is being created to support neighbors in our community who are extremely low income, experiencing chronic homelessness, and who are living with complex challenges related to their physical and mental health. Both LIHI and Interfaith Works are committed to combating homelessness in our community, and we understand the crucial role that social inclusion and a sense of belonging plays in lifting the human spirit and providing an environment built for recovery and healing. Many organizations, sectors, and individuals have come together to make this monumental effort come to life, and we understand more now than ever how important cohesion and unity are to our collective well being. The project team has been working with the City of Olympia through the permitting and design process and the team seeks artists to activate the east facade of the building at street level in 3 distinct areas. Please share far and wide to help us find the perfect artist for this unique, and meaningful opportunity. Applications due October 30th, 2020! Please click the photo above to learn more!
Interfaith Works Response
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Interfaith Works is taking many steps to keep our shelter guests, staff, and entire community safe. Please read more about all the ways we are responding and how you can help.
We are gearing up to open overflow shelter space in the next week or so, and we want to make sure our community has information about what that will look like.
We are partnering with the City of Olympia to open the existing building at 2828 Martin Way to help our community accommodate our shelter guests who would otherwise be displaced due to social distancing requirements, as well as prioritizing other people who are at higher risk of negative outcomes from the contraction of COVID-19. We believe the building can hold up to 30 people and will aim to have that full over the course of the next two weeks.
Safety and behavior expectations for all of our homeless services programs will be required at this location as well.
This is a temporary need that will last as long as social distancing and shelter-in-place requirements remain in place. We are monitoring the changing landscape every day, and when social distancing requirements begin to soften, we will transition back to normal operations at our downtown location.
This interim use of the existing building does not change the plans of developing a new 60-bed shelter and 65 apartments of supported housing. Construction for this new facility is set to begin in the fall and be completed in late 2021.
Olympia Converts Martin Way Building Into Emergency Homeless Shelter
Cary Retlin, Home Fund Manager for the City of Olympia
I am writing today to let you about upcoming meetings related to the development of the 2828 Martin Way property. As we have said in previous neighborhood meetings and emails, we are committed to keeping you up to date about what's happening with this piece of property and create ongoing ways to stay informed.
Just last week the Low-Income Housing Institute (LIHI) got word they were awarded federal Housing Tax Credits, the last step in winning construction funds. Congratulations to LIHI and Interfaith Works! Unfortunately, many communities did not win funds for similar affordable housing efforts elsewhere in the state.
A public hearing on the land use application for the development of 2828 Martin Way is being held at the February 25th City Council meeting at 7pm, City Hall Chambers. The staff report and application documents will be available on the City Council’s webpage on February 20.
Council will hear comment on the development agreement between the City of Olympia and the Low-Income Housing Institute including parking, fees, stormwater and other required plans for the shelter and first phase of apartments. Draft renderings and site plans will be included in those documents. If you attend and wish to speak, please arrive before 7:00 p.m. to sign in. Once this item is reached on the agenda, Leonard Bauer will provide a brief summary for the City Council, then they will open the public hearing. At that time the Mayor will call the names of people who have signed in and give them the opportunity to speak. Generally, each speaker is limited to three minutes.
The agreement includes reference to a second phase of the property (closer to Martin Way where the medical office building is currently). That building is proposed to be demolished in a few years to provide space for more apartments.
Notice of this hearing will be posted at the site, in an Olympian notice, and a notice to all property owners within 300 feet of the property.
A community meeting is scheduled at the VFW for Monday March 2nd, at 6pm. At this meeting Low Income Housing Institute, Interfaith Works, and city staff will be available to update everyone on process, share some drawings and plans (including changes that reflect feedback you have given previously), and the timeline for construction, and use of the existing parking lot during construction. (Thank you to the VFW for making your space available for this!).
Call, email or come by one of these meetings so we can answer your questions. Please share this with your neighbors who may not be on this list.