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Senator Cantwell, Mayor Harrell, John Fox and LIHI Friends Celebrate Ribbon Cutting at John Fox Place

Sharon Lee, Senator Maria Cantwell, and John Fox

On February 14th, supporters of affordable housing, elected officials, and project funders and developers came together to celebrate the life and work of John V. Fox and the grand opening of John Fox Place, named in his honor.

John Fox Place is a newly constructed 7-story, 104-unit building located at 8700 Aurora Ave. N. in Seattle. The building features affordable studios, 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom apartments, plus a community room, computer lab, classroom, rooftop deck, courtyard, and children’s play area. John Fox Place serves families and individuals making 30%, 50% and 60% of the King County Area Median Income (AMI). (Click for leasing info.)

Speakers at the event included John Fox, Senator Maria Cantwell, Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell, Commerce Director Mike Fong, former City Councilmember Nick Licata, Joe Martin, building residents Deborah Rossum and Tabora Miles, and LIHI Executive Director Sharon Lee.

“The building is named after John V. Fox, the long-time leader of the Seattle Displacement Coalition. John is a staunch housing advocate who fought against the demolition and for the preservation of low-income housing in downtown Seattle and surrounding neighborhoods. We are pleased to honor John Fox for his tireless advocacy,” said Sharon Lee, LIHI Executive Director. "We are delighted to welcome Senator Cantwell to John Fox Place. She is the lead champion in the Senate to expand the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program to create thousands more affordable homes in Washington state." See quotes from speakers below. 

Fox championed the requirement that the Seattle Housing Authority provide one for one replacement of low-income housing during the redevelopment of Yesler Terrace, Holly Park and other SHA sites. Fox was also a vocal critic of upzoning the University District and other neighborhoods. Fox made a great impact on the city’s housing policy by emphasizing the need to preserve existing housing, fight gentrification, and serve families and individuals most in need.  Watch Seattle Voices interview of John Fox on the Seattle Channel.

Governor Jay Inslee sent his appreciation, saying, "We are making real progress on housing and homelessness in Washington. That would not be possible without partners like the Low Income Housing Institute. I’m proud that the state could lend support to opening the John Fox Place."

City Councilmember Cathy Moore also sent her regards: “I am thrilled to see the grand opening of John Fox Place. As the Chair of Seattle’s Housing and Human Services committee, I believe we need more housing projects targeted for households between 0 and 60% AMI. I especially appreciate that this project serves the unique needs of our residents: allowing pets and setting aside units specifically for veterans and families experiencing homelessness. I hope to see many more such grand openings.”

When learning that LIHI would be naming its new development after him, John said he was deeply honored and humbled: "Often the work of advocates and organizers goes unrecognized. Usually, that’s by choice because it’s their job to put others out front, build leadership among affected people that’s prerequisite to structural change. I've been privileged to work with and learn from an extraordinary bunch of activists and fighters for housing, racial, and economic justice over decades, quite a few now no longer with us. We’ve made a real difference in peoples’ lives but always any success was only achieved together through collective action. This is its own reward – a high like no other – knowing that together, you played a key role bending that arc towards justice here in your own community. Receiving this recognition, and while I'm still around to appreciate it, I want it to also serve as recognition for the critical role that homeless and housing organizers have played both in the past and now…we need them more than ever."

John Fox Place includes five apartments for homeless veterans and 12 apartments for homeless families and individuals. Units range in size from a studio at 397 SF to a three-bedroom apartment at 1,145 SF. The building’s transit-oriented location is ideal with access to the Rapid Ride E line on Aurora Ave. to downtown and Shoreline, and east-west connections to the U-District and Ballard. The walk-score is 83 and bike-score is 82.

Financing for John Fox Place includes: City of Seattle Office of Housing, Redstone, JPMorgan Chase, Umpqua Bank, State Housing Trust Fund, Washington State Housing Finance Commission.

Architects: PYATOK Architects & Hewitt Architects

Contractor: Exxel Pacific

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