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Jean Darsie Place to Open

5228 15th Ave NE, Seattle

The Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) is pleased to announce the acquisition of Jean Darsie Place at 5228 15th Ave NE in Seattle’s University District.

Jean Darsie Place is a newly constructed 58-unit affordable multifamily housing community. LIHI purchased this building for $17.1 million from Isola Homes with funds from the Washington State’s Rights-of-Way (ROW) Encampment Resolution Program, which is administered by the Department of Commerce. Jean Darsie Place will provide permanent supportive housing, 24/7 staffing, and food support for homeless individuals and couples. 

Leasing will begin at the end of January 2024.  The building includes offices for housing management and case managers, bike storage, and an exterior courtyard space. One unit will house live-in staff. 

The building is named for the late Jean Darsie, a prominent advocate for homeless people and the environment in Seattle. One of the founders of the Ballard Community Taskforce on Homelessness and Hunger (BCTHH), Darsie also campaigned for economic justice, racial justice, and women's rights.  Darsie was a notable supporter of LIHI’s Ballard Urban Rest Stop, Cheryl Chow Court, and tiny house villages. In 2015, LIHI awarded her a Housing Hero award for her efforts. She was also a member of LIHI's Whittier Heights Tiny House Village Community Advisory Council.  After her passing in 2022, Sally Kinney of BCTHH said, "Jean's list of accomplishments and areas of advocacy is long. Suffice it to say that she loved Ballard, the City of Seattle, the State of Washington, our country, and the whole universe of humans, animals, and plants, and did everything in her considerable power to make life better for everyone and everything in that universe. She is a huge loss."

“Jean Darsie Place is the seventh newly constructed building intended for the market that LIHI purchased to house formerly homeless people and low wage workers. We appreciate Isola Homes for the central U District location and for delivering an attractive building,” said Sharon Lee, LIHI Executive Director.

“This investment brings online a significant asset to address homelessness in King County for decades to come. Commerce’s partnership with the Low Income Housing Institute and King County Regional Homelessness Authority in the Encampment Resolution Program is an example of what can be achieved when the resources are available to compassionately move and support people in their journey to housing stability,” said Tedd Kelleher, Commerce Housing Policy Director.

“Isola Homes is proud to partner with LIHI to improve access to low-income housing in Seattle. The sale of Jean Darsie Place marks the completion of more than five years of hard work and cooperation with neighbors, staff, and local businesses. Isola Homes wishes LIHI continued success in its laudable mission to increase housing supply in Seattle,” said Kevin Nguyen, VP of Business Development for Isola Enterprises.

The building’s location within the University District will offer residents access to many amenities and services. Three bus lines have stops less than a half mile from the building and the University District light rail station is 0.6 miles away. The University District Food Bank and University Library are within a half mile. The UW Medical Center is .75 miles away. Residents will have access to nearby Ravenna and Cowen Parks. 


Financing comes from the Washington State’s Rights-of-Way (ROW) Encampment Resolution Program administered by the Department of Commerce. This initiative is Governor Inslee’s signature program to shelter people living outdoors in dangerous locations by state freeways. 

Contractor: Fairbank Construction Company

Architect: Skidmore Jannette Architecture

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