HomeSight’s Affordable Housing Co-Op, U-lex @ Othello Square, Will Break Ground This Summer

Community-Led Project Will Bring 68 New Affordable Housing Units to Southeast Seattle

After years of planning and development at Othello Square, HomeSight will enter its final phase as it breaks ground this summer on its planned co-operative housing development, U-lex@Othello Square. Set next to the light rail station at Martin Luther King Jr. Way and South Holly Park Drive, U-lex will offer 68 units affordable to families earning 80 percent or less of the area median income at the time of purchase.

HomeSight is now inviting incomc-qualified applicants to apply and reserve a unit at U-lex@Othello Square on a first come, first served basis.

“Seattle needs affordable housing, now more than ever,” said HomeSight Executive Director Darryl Smith. “For too many Washington residents, even a so-called ‘starter house’ is too big a leap to get into the real estate market. With a co-op like U-lex, people can start building equity at a much lower price point than you’d find in this housing market. U-lex is creating the first few rungs on the ladder, so people can start the climb to the true financial stability homeowning allows.” 

The first buildings in the Othello complex now house the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic, a community-based health care provider, Verity Credit Union, Salish Sea Elementary School, and Tiny Tots Development, a provider of early childhood education.

U-lex’s five-story, mixed-use residential development will offer 25 one-bedroom units (650 sqf.), 35 two-bedroom units (860 sqf.), and 8 three-bedroom units (1015 sqf.). U-lex offers underground parking, bike storage, unit storage spaces, and each unit will be equipped with water- and energy- efficient fixtures and appliances. A large, multi-purpose area equipped with a kitchen will be connected to a central, outdoor courtyard, and sun decks and outdoor gardening opportunities will be available on the second and fourth floors.

 In addition to the income requirements, applicants must be first-time homebuyers or have not owned a home in the past three years. Preference will be given to southeast Seattle stakeholders: residents, former residents, and people who work or have connections there. Fifty percent of units are reserved exclusively for this community.

 “U-lex is an intentional anti-displacement tool,” said Uche Okezie, HomeSight’s Director of Real Estate Development. “Without planned growth through projects such as U-lex, the city risks losing the communities that make Seattle so unique.”

U-lex is spelled “ʔúləx̌” in Lushootseed, the language spoken by the Coast Salish people who originally lived on this land. Pronounced ‘OH-lew,’ ʔúləx̌ means “gather” in the Lushootseed language.

To learn more about U-lex, please visit the website or contact Pearl Nelson at pearl@homesightwa.org.

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