DESC Burien Approved for Affordable Housing Program

Burien City Council Approves DESC Burien Project for Inclusion in Affordable Housing Demonstration Program
Posted on 06/23/2021
Draft rendering of DESC Burien from street level.

After lengthy public comment and significant community feedback, Burien City Council voted on June 21, 2021 to include DESC Burien, a permanent supportive housing development, into the Burien Affordable Housing Demonstration Program. Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) is a nonprofit providing housing, shelter, health services, and crisis response to people who have experienced or are currently experiencing homelessness.

The building is designed to have six stories and will contain 95 studio units of housing with supportive services onsite including behavioral health care, crisis intervention, and employment services. The development also includes indoor and outdoor community spaces for tenants, who are disabled and have experienced chronic homelessness. Twenty-five units will be set aside for veterans.

Burien City Council also voted to draft an agreement between Burien and the appropriate King County or regional authority to ensure that 30 percent of the units are prioritized for people who are living in Burien at the time the building is completed. Approval of the agreement will need to be completed before the end of the administrative design review phase of the project.

“We are ready to reach out to our regional partners to ensure that Burien community members experiencing homelessness have access to this facility,” said Brian J. Wilson, Burien City Manager.

Now that it has been accepted, Burien Community Development Department will review the design in more detail, including evaluating their parking plan. DESC will also need to submit applications for building permits, street improvement permits, coordinate with Burien Public Works Department, coordinate with the Burien Arts Commission on public art, and secure final funding for the project.

DESC will be required to hold another community meeting and sign a long-term affordability agreement as part of their acceptance into the program. A community advisory group will also be established to provide ongoing opportunities for community to provide feedback and learn about the housing development.

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