FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Tony Lee in Seattle Honored with
Affordable Housing Award from National Coalition
26th Annual Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award recognizes best in affordable housing
Washington, D.C. - The Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition (AHTCC) today announced that The Tony Lee in Seattle is a 2020 recipient of the Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award in the Large Metropolitan category, recognizing affordable housing developments and organizations that have demonstrated especially impactful use of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit).
Announced each year from the nation's capital, the awards honor Housing Credit developments that are strengthening communities, improving residents' opportunity and boosting economies in urban, suburban and rural areas across the country. The awards come at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact have intensified the need for affordable housing, compounding the challenge facing at-risk families and individuals already struggling to pay rent.
Developed by the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI), designed by Runberg Architecture Group, and built by Walsh Construction Co., The Tony Lee provides 70 new affordable homes built on the site of a former fire station. The homes are co-located with a subsidized preschool operated by the Refugee Women's Alliance. The Tony Lee was made possible by no less than nine city departments, many public and elected officials, a Seatt;e City Council vote and stakeholder community organizations who played an active role in design development. To finance this property, Boston Capital provided more than $6 million in equity through the 4 percent Housing Credit, and loans were provided by Umpqua Bank. The Tony Lee is located at 2820 NE 127th St in Seattle's Lake City neighborhood.
"LIHI's Tony Lee Apartments will bring opportunities to so many families and individuals in Lake City. By emphasizing access to early childhood education, this project displays a deep commitment not only to providing immediate relief, but also to building sustainable success," said U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07). "By providing affordable homes coupled with neighborhood access, we are making strides toward realizing housing as a human right. That's why I am so excited for the future of these communities."
"The Housing Credit continues to spur development of affordable homes that go above and beyond for the families they serve," said AHTCC Executive Director Emily Cadik. "The Edson Award winners this year demonstrate how innovative and high-quality affordable housing can transform communities and help meet the need for education, child care, health care and other services vital to a community's support system for at-risk families and individuals."
"We are thrilled to receive the Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award, said LIHI Executive Director Sharon Lee. "We view this award as validation of community-centric mixed-use projects that provide affordable housing and crucial services to neighborhoods that need them. Thank you to the city of Seattle for transferring surplus property by Lake City's Fire Station 39 to LIHI, and to our partners for bringing this beautiful building to life."
"Congratulations to the winners of the Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award from the state of Washington," said Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA). "Affordable housing is such a crisis across the United States, and here in Washington state we have been working hard to find solutions. I'm so proud of the work the awardees are doing to help create stronger and healthier communities. The Tony Lee, Gardner House, and Mercy Magnuson Place will add more than 300 combined affordable units in our state and provide critical services to their communities."
"The Edson awardees highlight the creative and innovative solutions that exist to combat the nation's lack of affordable housing," said AHTCC President and WNC, Inc. Executive Vice President Michael Gaber. "As the impact of COVID-19 continues to create hardships for a growing number of families and working people across the country, now more than ever we need effective tools like the Housing Credit to provide stable, affordable homes."
Since 1986, the Housing Credit has financed more than three million homes for low-income households, including veterans, senior citizens, individuals with disabilities, essential workers, and families with children. Through public-private partnerships, the Housing Credit offers a proven track record of financing safe, decent affordable homes in communities where they are needed most.
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About the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition
Founded in 1988, AHTCC is a trade organization of housing professionals who advocate for affordable rental housing financed using the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit). AHTCC's for-profit and non-profit members-including syndicators, investors, lenders, developers, legal and accounting professionals and state allocating agencies-seek to preserve, expand and improve the Housing Credit and complementary programs through legislative outreach and education.