Sound Transit’s response to recent Rainier Valley property questions

Publish Date

Sound Transit has recently received hundreds of emails from community members about making surplus property in the Rainier Valley along Martin Luther King Jr. Way and South Angeline Street available for a new Youth Achievement Center.

We appreciate the time that people have taken to reach out to us.

Background

Sound Transit’s Equitable Transit-Oriented Development Policy supports creating affordable housing on its surplus property and pursuing opportunities for community-driven development.

The property in question near the Columbia City light rail station is one of about a dozen that have been part of a two-year effort to create affordable homeownership opportunities in the Rainier Valley in partnership with the City of Seattle’s Office of Housing.

This homeownership initiative was formulated in response to community concerns about displacement pressures in the Rainier Valley and interest in homeownership as a tool to help low-income families and communities of color increase financial and housing security. In 2019, we embarked on an equity-focused engagement effort to learn about community priorities and gather feedback on this initiative. The full report can be found here.

Next steps

Since our engagement effort last year, Sound Transit has heard a great deal of community interest in a new Youth Achievement Center and addressing an additional need in the community for transitional housing, particularly to support Black and Brown youth. Given this interest, we will continue conversations with the community, the federal government (which owns an interest in the property) and the City of Seattle to develop the best path forward for equitable solutions.

We appreciate your patience as we undertake this effort. Future updates on this project can be found here. 

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