Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Olympia Tiny Home Village for Homeless Approved

Above: The City of Olympia approved the funding of a tiny home village for about 40 homeless individuals at 830 Union Ave SE, Olympia. It is expected to open in mid to late January.

Help Build a Tiny Home Event - December 1

By Janine Gates
Little Hollywood

The City of Olympia has approved funding and leasing agreements for a tiny home village for the homeless at 830 Union Ave SE, Olympia. 

The agreements were approved at the city councils meeting Tuesday evening.

The City of Olympia owns the property and will lease it to the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) and provide the organization $1,018,326 for the one year operation of the village.

The Plum Street Village is expected to serve a minimum of 40 homeless individuals.

LIHI is a nonprofit developer and operator of over 2,200 units of affordable housing in the Puget Sound region, including ten tiny house villages in Seattle.

The Village will be located behind the Lee Creighton Justice Center (the former Olympia City Hall) and adjacent to the Yashiro Japanese Garden. 

A final site plan must be approved by the city prior to construction and is expected to open in mid to late January. The public will be offered an opportunity to tour the site before it is occupied.

To learn more about the project, the city is holding a public meeting on Thursday, December 6, 6:00 p.m., Room A, at The Olympia Center, 222 Columbia St. NW.

Representatives of the Low Income Housing Institute will be available to answer questions at the meeting.

The village will accept single adults and couples without children. Each tiny house will be 8’ x 12 in size, insulated with electricity and heat, windows, and a lockable door. The village will also include a security house, a communal kitchen, meeting space, bathrooms, showers, laundry, a case management office and 24/7 staffing. 

LIHI case managers will work with village residents to help them obtain housing, employment, health care, treatment, education, and other services.

LIHI already owns and manages four buildings in Thurston County: Billy Frank Jr. Place, the Fleetwood Apartments, Magnolia Villa and Arbor House.

Beginning in 2019, the City of Olympia will host a public process to determine how the community will respond long-term to the impacts of homelessness. 

The city declared homelessness a public health emergency in July and is involved in a variety of efforts addressing transitional and permanent housing options.

Help Build a Tiny Home

A Tiny Home Build Day sponsored by the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) will be held December 1, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Plum Street Village, 830 Union Avenue SE, Olympia. Four tiny homes will be built. 

The Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) will provide lunch and all equipment, but suggests that if you have carpentry tools, bring them. Assistance will be provided to those with little to no construction or painting experience. 

To sign up, go to www.volunteersignup.org/BFPB9 or email tinyhouses@lihi.org