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Village Gardens Delivering 4-Star Climate Resilient Affordability

Posted on Oct 31, 2022 in:
  • Case Studies

Vital Stats



Location: Seattle
Star Level: 4-Star
Checklist: 2018 Single Family Checklist
Verifier: Evergreen Certified
Site and Water 134
Energy Efficiency 136
Health and Indoor Air Quality 101
Material Efficiency 71
  Total Score 531

Affordability and environmental sustainability come together at Village Gardens Townhomes to create homeownership opportunities in the Central District.

Village Gardens by Homestead Community Land Trust and Edge Developers

Developed through a partnership of Homestead Community Land Trust and Edge Developers on surplus land provided by the City of Seattle, these award-winning three-bedroom townhomes are Built Green 4-Star certified. The development includes ten homes priced affordably, between $237,000 and $302,000, for income-qualified households and six market-rate units.

Accelerating home prices in the City of Seattle have pushed many of its residents to southern cities’ suburban neighborhoods like Renton’s Sunset neighborhood in search of lower rents and home prices. While run-away housing prices in King County affect most residents, it is especially hard-hitting on people who have experienced discrimination. Homestead’s work to provide income-appropriate homeownership opportunities to qualified households puts ownership within reach. Homestead has a 57% ownership rate by people of color compared to 28% in King County as a whole.

King County Homeownership

To address this disparity in homeownership rates Village Gardens was the first affordable homeownership project that utilized the City of Seattle’s Community Preference Policy as part of the buyer selection process for the affordable housing units. The Community Preference Policy gives preference in resident selection based on imminent or past displacement of residents from defined areas where displacement has occurred.

The Village Gardens’ partnership between the developers and Africatown Community Land Trust worked to assure the development benefits historic residents and leaders of the Central District including efforts to reach and support potential buyers and Black contractor participation. As a result, Black contractors secured $1 million in subcontracts on the project (20%). The total Women and Minority Owned Business participation in contracts was 40%.

"Too often we are given a forced choice to either build for affordability or sustainability. It's urgent that we build more affordable housing. It's urgent that we address climate change. We must reject this false choice. We must do both now. This project demonstrates how it is possible to do both." - Kathleen Hosfeld, Executive Director, Homestead Community Land Trust

Energy efficiency, on-site solar energy generation, proximity to large employers, and nearby bicycle routes and frequent public transportation are a model for sustainable urban living. The development was named through a community process which recognizes historic use of the property as an unofficial community garden that brought together the diverse cultures living together in the neighborhood.

Village Gardens by Homestead Community Land Trust and Edge Developers
Village Gardens by Homestead Community Land Trust and Edge Developers
Village Gardens by Homestead Community Land Trust and Edge Developers

Built Green Highlights

Site and Water

  • 87% of stormwater mitigated onsite
  • 33%+ permeable hardscaping
  • Drought-tolerant landscaping
  • Low-flow EPA WaterSense plumbing fixtures
  • Proximity to I-90 bike trail and transit stops

Energy Efficiency

  • 69.6% improvement over 2015 WSEC
  • All electric
  • 73.84 kW generated by solar PV over 16 units
  • Heat pump water heaters and ductless mini-split space conditioning
  • Full continuous rigid insulation beyond code beneath slab on grade
  • 100% LED lighting
  • Energy Star appliances in all units

Health and Indoor Air Quality

  • Low VOC paints, adhesives, finishes
  • Greenguard Gold certified LVP flooring in units
  • Rainscreen installed under siding
  • Whole house timer and exhaust fans on humidistat
  • No gas-burning appliances inside house

Materials Efficiency

  • 75% construction waste recycled and diverted from the landfill
  • Regionally made products used for doors, windows, cabinets, and millwork
  • Limited carpet using a CRI Green Label Plus certified wool carpet
  • Extensive engineered lumber
  • Recycled content included in fiber cement siding, carpet padding, roofing, insulation materials

Equity and Social Justice

  • 62% of units are priced as workforce housing
  • Site selected, designed, and constructed to counter known disparities in homeownership and higher risk of displacement in the Central District and among black community members
  • Community partnerships and engagement to assure the development benefits historic residents and leaders of the Central District
  • Utilized an alternative development and ownership model (land trust) to create additional pathway to homeownership
  • 40% Women and Minority Owned Business participation in contracts, Black contractors secured 20%, valued at $1 million, in subcontracts on the project
  • Built within a short walk of a transit stop, I-90 bike trail, and large city park
  • Landscaped with low maintenance outdoor spaces

Village Gardens by Homestead Community Land Trust and Edge Developers


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