THE TONY LEE
The Tony Lee in Seattle, WA, has won a 2020 Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award in the Large Metropolitan Category (city population 300,000 or more).
Developed by the Low-Income Housing Institute and designed by Runberg Architecture Group, 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 numerous city departments, public and elected officials, a city council vote, and stakeholder community organizations that played an active role in design development. To finance this property, Boston Capital provided more than $6 million in equity through the 4 percent Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (Housing Credit) and loans were provided by Umpqua Bank.
The Low-Income Housing Institute Resident Services Department provides case managers who address a variety of resident needs including: securing entitlement income; managing personal finances; rent payment plans; connecting residents to community resources for physical and mental health; and supporting income growth through education and job-training resources. The Tony Lee is located adjacent to NeighborHealth, a health care clinic serving low-income households, and within a quarter-mile of a grocery store, the Parks Department Community Center, a public library, public transportation, schools, and employment opportunities.
The Tony Lee does not compromise on amenities, comfort, or sustainability. It features a large green roof with native plantings for stormwater management, resident garden planters, and views of downtown Seattle and Mt. Rainier, and the building also includes a commercial kitchen, community room, and playground. Apartments are comfortably-sized with natural light and many sustainability features. All units are Type B Accessible, four units are Type A accessible, and two units are accessible for those who are vision or hearing impaired.
Statement from U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
In 2020, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) stated, “Congratulations to the winners of the Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award from the state of Washington. 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. [Gardner House, Mercy Magnuson Place and The Tony Lee] will add more than 300 combined affordable units in our state and provide critical services to their communities.”
In 2021, Senator Cantwell also provided a congratulatory video, below, in which she stated, “I want to thank the Low Income Housing Institute and Mercy Housing for providing critical, needed affordable housing to people in the state of Washington… These projects together provide 313 units of affordable housing in Seattle along with supportive services to help their residents succeed. The fact that the three winners are from Washington speaks volumes about the work that people in our state are doing to address the affordable housing crisis… I am proud to continue to lead federally efforts to expand the Affordable Housing Tax Credit, which helps fund 95 percent of the affordable housing developments in the country… as the winners from Seattle prove, affordable housing transforms lives and it helps build stronger communities.”
Statement from U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA)
Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) congratulated the Tony Lee on their 2020 Edson Award, saying, “Washington state was already facing a housing crisis well before this pandemic, and the pandemic has made the need for affordable housing even more dire for so many across our state. That’s why I appreciate the innovative work being done by the Low Income Housing Institute and Mercy Housing to support people experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity in Washington state, and I’m glad to see them recognized for that work with these Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Awards. The Tony Lee, Mercy Magnuson Place, and Gardner House have helped hundreds of people and families in need from across Seattle find a place to call home. As we all work together to end our housing crisis once and for all, I’m going to keep pushing for the federal investments in affordable housing that we need to keep people safe, secure, and housed across Washington state.”
Statement from U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA-07)
Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA-07) issued the following statement regarding the announcement of this year’s recipients of the distinguished Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Awards:
“Providing affordable housing to individuals and families lays the foundation to building healthy and strong communities. I am proud to congratulate the Low Income Housing Institute and Mercy Housing for turning these words into action and being honored with this year’s Charles L. Edson’s Tax Credit Excellence Awards. Their accomplishments here in Washington’s 7th Congressional district make me proud to represent this incredible region.
“The Low Income Housing Institute’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.
“Building affordable housing—and community—is a beautiful and lasting way to preserve an historic landmark. Mercy Housing restored the former U.S Navy Barracks Building 9 into Mercy Magnuson Place, empowering over 100 residents to access affordable housing and thrive in the Magnuson community.
“These projects provide not only housing, but also access to bustling neighborhoods, outdoor recreation, public transportation and community services. 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.
“Congratulations to the Low Income Housing Institute and Mercy Housing for this distinguished honor. I thank them for their dedication to our communities and the hopeful, promising future they are providing to so many families.”