On September 10, 2021, GenPride and Community Roots Housing broke ground on Pride Place, a 118-unit affordable housing development on Seattle’s Capitol Hill. With over 100 people in attendance and nine dignitaries giving powerful speeches, it was clear how exciting this groundbreaking was for the community who started imagining this project over a decade ago. You can view the event video at www.genprideseattle.org/prideplace.
In addition to seven stories of affordable apartments, Pride Place will feature a 4,400-square-foot senior community and health services center on the ground floor, which will be operated by GenPride in partnership with LGBTQIA+ focused service providers. The development plans also include 3,800 square feet of commercial retail space at the street level.
Located in the 1500 block of Broadway on the site of the historic Eldridge Tire Company building, the Capitol Hill site was acquired in collaboration with Sound Transit and Seattle Central College. Capitol Hill has a long history of being a home and cultural center for LGBTQIA+ life in Seattle. GenPride and Community Roots Housing hope to preserve and enhance this proud tradition by developing Pride Place in partnership with leaders from the LGBTQIA+ community.
Rents at Pride Place will be affordable to households earning 30 percent to 60 percent of the area median income (for example, a one-person household with income ranging from $24,300 to $48,600, or a two-person household with income ranging $27,800 to $72,400).
The $52M development has been funded through a variety of public and private investments, including low-income state and federal tax credits. Through the collaborative Rise Together campaign, GenPride has already raised $2.7M in private funding (toward a $4.7M goal) to support the ground floor senior center, leaving a balance of $2M to secure from individuals, foundations, and corporations.
LGBTQIA+ seniors face a unique set of challenges and health disparities as they age: they are more likely to experience poverty, are at higher risk for illness, are less likely to have the support of children or family, and often face discrimination and difficulty finding culturally competent care.
This groundbreaking represents an enormous milestone for the local LGBTQIA+ community. It is the culmination of nearly a decade of hard work by people who recognized the need to support our elders who fought and won the rights we enjoy today, as well as create a place for generations to come.
For more information about Pride Place, visit www.genprideseattle.org/prideplace.
Contributor Steven Knipp is executive director of GenPride, a community-based nonprofit organization founded in 2016, that advocates for the unique needs of older LGBTQIA+ adults, offers innovative programs and services that promote wellbeing and prevent social isolation, cultivates belonging through community connection, and works to eliminate discrimination in all its forms. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.genprideseattle.org.