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Sisters of Providence receive HUD funds for rehab of Providence Vincent House

Providence Vincent House, offering low-income housing and supportive services to the homeless, disabled and frail elderly in Seattle?s downtown core, will be rehabilitated with $6.3 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The funds will ensure the continuation of subsidized, supportive housing for this population for the next 40 years.

Providence Vincent House is a four-story, 61-unit building at 1423 First Avenue, near Pike Place Market, and offers convenient access to public transportation, shopping and medical centers. The building also houses commercial space and market-rate condominiums, both of which are owned by other parties.

The Sisters of Providence have sponsored the low-income housing for the past 20 years and originally developed it in partnership with the City of Seattle, with an agreement to operate it through 2013.

"One of the initial works of Blessed Emilie Gamelin, foundress of the Sisters of Providence, was the care of the elderly and the infirm," noted Sister Barbara Schamber, Team Leader/Provincial. "That legacy continues today with compassionate care and personal attention to the needs of the poor. The Sisters of Providence and all who collaborate with us in carrying out the ministry to the residents of Providence Vincent House thank God for the HUD funds," she added.

"The money will help to ensure that this vital housing ministry continues into the future to respond to the most needy in the Seattle area."

The religious community provides the project rent subsidies that allow residents to pay no more than 30 percent of their income toward rent for the housing. The facility is managed by the Providence Health System in Washington.

Because of increasing operating and capital expenses for major renovations and repairs, federal support was needed to keep Providence Vincent House rents affordable. Without that outside support, the Sisters of Providence would have been forced to raise rents or sell the facility. It was the desire of the Sisters of Providence to continue the affordability of Vincent House, the religious community's first low-income housing ministry.

The Sisters of Providence sought a capital advance from HUD earlier this year, under Section 202, the Supportive Housing for the Elderly program. The funds that were approved will be used to rehab the facility and to provide rental assistance funds to cover the difference between the HUD-approved operating cost for the project and the tenants? contribution towards rent.

When the project is completed, it will provide 60 affordable studio apartments staffed by a professional onsite manager and staff to assist residents in accessing needed services. Pre-development work is to begin immediately, with construction hoped to begin in 2005.

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