Adaptive Reuse and Rehabilitation: Connecting Historic Preservation and Affordable Housing Developments in Seattle, Washington
Joe, Monica C.
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Seattle has serious housing affordability issues that need to be addressed using multiple tools. In this work, I have identified the utilization of historic buildings as a potential tool for providing affordable housing. The opportunity to combine Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits with Low-Income Housing Tax Credits makes this a prime financial opportunity for affordable housing developers. I looked at the stock of current historic buildings that are serving as affordable housing to find patterns in the building characteristics and neighborhood location to see what potential future developers could look for in pursuing this method. I also conducted open-ended interviews with stakeholders involved in these developments to get their perspective on the opportunities and challenges in conducting this work. I find that there are huge financial and policy barriers to utilizing historic buildings for affordable housing, but the availability of tax credits and other funding sources as well as the possibility to form partnerships between preservationists and housing developers provide opportunities for this method to continue to be utilized to address Seattle’s affordable housing needs.
- Urban planning