MLK Family Housing Breaks Ground in a Historic Ceremony

In a historic event that unfolded yesterday, the MLK Mixed-Use and Early Learning Center officially broke ground at 7544 Martin Luther King Jr. Way S., Seattle. This momentous occasion marks a crucial step towards addressing the pressing need for affordable housing in the Rainier Valley area. The 6-story building, located in close proximity to the Othello light rail station, is set to provide 148 units of affordable housing for families and individuals, along with an early learning center operated by the Refugee Women’s Alliance (ReWA).


  1. Diverse Unit Offering: The MLK Family Housing project will feature a diverse range of units, catering to the needs of families and individuals at risk of displacement. The building includes 29 studios, 74 one-bedroom units, 14 two-bedroom units, and 31 three-bedroom units, with income eligibility set at 50% and 60% of the Area Median Income.
  2. Community-Centric Amenities: The housing complex will boast a variety of on-site amenities, including a spacious community room, a play area for children, a fitness center, a resource room, and an outdoor courtyard. Additionally, the ReWA-operated early learning facility on the street level will house six classrooms, accommodating over 100 infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.
  3. Influential Speakers: The groundbreaking ceremony witnessed the participation of key figures advocating for affordable housing and community development, including Rep Adam Smith, Seattle City Councilmembers Cathy Moore and Tammy Morales, Mahnaz Eshetu (ReWA Executive Director), Laurie Olson (Office of Housing), Senthil Sankaran (Managing Principal, Amazon Housing Equity Fund), Sharon Lee (LIHI Executive Director), National Equity Fund (NEF) Managing Director David Musial, and Caleb Stephens (KeyBank Community Development Lending).
  4. Quotes from Key Figures: Sharon Lee, LIHI Executive Director, expressed excitement about breaking ground to construct 148 affordable homes, emphasizing a commitment to providing preference to existing and historic neighborhood residents. Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell conveyed gratitude for the partnership with LIHI and ReWA, emphasizing the city’s focus on increasing affordable housing.
  5. Construction Details: The MLK Family Housing project is being realized with the expertise of Runberg Architecture Group as the architect and Walsh Construction Co. as the contractor. The building size is an impressive 152,221 square feet, situated on a 34,888 square feet lot, with construction slated for completion in 2025.
  6. Financial Contributors: The financing for MLK Family Housing comes from various sources, including the City of Seattle, WSHFC, National Equity Fund, JP Morgan Chase, Wyncote Foundation NW, Amazon Housing Equity Fund, KeyBank, and Federal Community Project Funding.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the MLK Family Housing project, which unfolded yesterday, symbolizes a collective effort towards creating inclusive communities and addressing the critical issue of affordable housing. As construction progresses, the project aims to make a lasting impact on the well-being and stability of families in the Rainier Valley area. The completion of the MLK Mixed-Use and Early Learning Center in 2025 is anticipated to stand as a testament to the community’s resilience and commitment to providing affordable housing solutions.