To make way for new housing and parks at Yesler, the existing housing must be removed and residents will need to relocate to other SHA housing of their choice during construction. SHA is committed to minimizing disruptions to residents throughout this process, and has developed an extensive and detailed plan addressing all facets of the relocation process. At the beginning of 2013, Yesler was home to more than 1,200 residents living in more than 500 apartments, all of whom will need to move to other housing at some point during construction.
As part of its relocation efforts, Seattle Housing Authority will:
- Maintain at least 281 units of public housing on site and available for use at all times throughout the course of redevelopment.
- Pay for costs incurred in the course of relocation.
- Provide extensive individual counseling to help residents select their new homes, pack and unpack belongings, set up appliances, cover utility billing transfers, and all other tasks related to a move.
- Keep housing costs affordable, in appropriate new housing.
- Minimize the number of times a household has to move. Residents have the option to make their first move from the property permanent, and to move only once before returning if they choose.
- Set fair and equitable priorities to govern the order in which households are given choices about their moves. Working with Yesler residents, SHA developed a policy that gives priority to families with school-aged children, then to households with elderly or disabled residents. The neighborhood in which a family resides determines the school to which children are assigned, and SHA will help families identify schools best suited to their needs and find housing in the appropriate area. It is also critically important to enable the elderly and disabled to live close to services they may need to access.
Relocation of residents will happen in phases coordinated closely with construction. All residents will receive an 18 month notice of when they will need relocate, and all residents living at Yesler Terrace when redevelopment began have the right to return to Yesler Terrace once new housing is available.