Ethiopian Village serves the South Seattle community with culturally appropriate affordable senior housing and a beautifully renovated Ethiopian Community Center. A partnership to build the project was created between Ethiopian Community in Seattle (ECS) and HumanGood Affordable Housing (HGAH), bringing both partners’ strengths to the table – for ECS it was the deep connection to its community, members and network, and a strong desire to make positive change; for HGAH it was its connection to its mission to help seniors live their best lives and it’ broad experience developing, owning and operating affordable senior housing communities across the country.
Ethiopian Village features 89 units of deeply affordable housing plus one manager’s unit, two community rooms (one with a kitchen), and access to a wide array of community services. The new development synergizes with the existing community center which was renovated and expanded to meet the current and future needs of the Ethiopian Community in Seattle. As such, residents of Ethiopian Village can access activities and services at the community center including senior exercise classes, social services, and the senior meal program to list a few.
This second-floor patio overlooks the plaza. It serves as a community gathering space to and provides eyes on the street to connect with people walking by and entering the building. The existing commercial kitchen in the community center was updated and a second community kitchen built in the residential section of the building. The residential community kitchen has energy star appliances and is fully accessible.
All units include solid hardwood finishings, energy star appliances, and furniture-grade plywood. They are also equipped with noise-reducing windows and through-wall air vents which introduce fresh air without the addition of noise from the main street. Call bells are installed in all units in the living room, bedroom, and bathroom. All units can be outfitted with bathroom grab bars.
A local Ethiopian artist contributed their unique stories, traditions, and values in the form of large vinyl prints which decorate the building. The entrance to Ethiopian Village is flanked by columns which contain Ethiopian motifs. Within the development is a large community hall and an Ethiopian coffee shop designed by architect Graham Baba. Between the two gathering spaces is a grand hallway lined with artwork which allows for community members to linger and congregate in groups to socialize.