The North Star wins design award

DESC’s The North Star housing project has received a Gold Nugget Art of Design Award of Merit for Best Supportive/Transitional Housing in the prestigious 60th annual national residential design competition. The awards recognize those who improve communities through exceptional concepts in design, planning and development. The winners were selected from among 650 entries, and are finalists for the Grand Awards to be made on May 24.

Thanks to the completion of this beautiful new building, since August 2022, 100 people living with disabilities who had been experiencing homelessness for a long time have been in safe, secure, permanent homes. Tenants can choose to participate in services that will help them achieve their highest possible potential for independence, self-determination and personal responsibility.

Congratulations to all involved in building The North Star, including DESC’s property development team, SMR Architects and builder Exxel Pacific.

GiveBIG! Now through May 3

Give now through May 3 to Washington’s 2023 GiveBIG event. Every gift makes a difference. Please consider including DESC and our clients in your GiveBIG plans this year to support our community members’ goal in accessing safe, permanent, supportive housing. 

Make a gift and help us provide access to life-saving resources for those experiencing homelessness!  

Rep. Jayapal visits Kerner-Scott House

A DESC Senior Program Manager for Housing talks about DESC’s work as Rep. Jayapal listens.

We welcomed U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) to Kerner-Scott House on Feb. 22. Rep. Jayapal secured $985,000 for Safety, Health, and Hygiene Upgrades at Kerner-Scott House, and we wanted to show her how that funding will improve the 26-year-old building for our clients.

Before visiting Kerner-Scott and showing an apartment unit to the representative, we met at Canaday House to talk about DESC’s work, the pandemic’s effect on keeping people connected and Housing First.

KSH was DESC’s first purpose-built site for Housing First, offering 40 Permanent Supportive Housing units and 25 shelter beds (lowered to 12 for social distancing during the pandemic). Exterior renovations are underway. With the funding that Rep. Jayapal secured, DESC will:

  • install a sink and locked cabinetry in the nurses office to improve medical services
  • install a second sink, toilet and shower in the women’s shelter to improve shelter services
  • redesign the front entrance of the building and upgrade fencing for improved security
  • improve the front office, flooring, ceiling and back patio to create a more welcoming and cozier environment, and a nice space where tenants can enjoy the outdoors.

  • Three people stand in an empty apartment listening to a man describe something.
  • Four people stand outside a building, smiling at the camera.
  • Three people stand outside a building smiling at the camera.

Rent for smallest apartments way out of reach of SSI recipients

A graph shows an orange line , efficiency apartment rent, that starts at $800 in 2012 and climbs up to $1,829 in 2023, with only a slight dip to $1,523 in 2021, then back up. A teal line below, SSI benefits, starts at $698 in 2012 and gradually reaches $914 in 2023.
The orange line shows HUD’s Fair Market Rents (FMR) for the past 11 years in the private rental market in the Seattle-Bellevue metro area. The teal line shows the maximum an individual can receive in a monthly SSI payment. (Data source: HUD Office of Policy Development & Research and Social Security Administration).

People living on federal disability benefits are priced way out of the private rental market for the smallest apartments in the Seattle-Bellevue metro area, and it only gets worse every year.

With the gap between monthly Supplemental Security Income (SSI)* benefits and monthly Fair Market Rents (FMR)** wider than ever in 2023, it’s no wonder that so many people find themselves experiencing homelessness.

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