Resources for Equitable Community Development

RachaelBuilding vibrant, healthful and sustainable neighborhoods requires awareness of research, new developments, innovations, and best practices. In hopes of making this effort easier, we have collected resources of particular interest to professionals and residents working and living in the Yesler Community Collaborative neighborhoods and beyond.

Please forward additional materials that may be helpful to those working on these issues to

Collaborative Vision

2015 Annual Implementation Report

This report details the progress of the Yesler Terrace Redevelopment through the end of 2015. (2016, 35 pages)

Yesler Terrace Guiding Principles - Seattle Housing Authority

Before making any changes to the Yesler Terrace neighborhood, the Seattle Housing Authority engaged with community residents for more than two years. They developed a set of guiding principles based on the core values of social equity, environmental sustainability and stewardship, economic opportunity and one-for-one replacement housing. (2007, 24 pages)

Seattle Housing Authority - Yesler Terrace Redevelopment Plan

This report  is a concise but comprehensive summary of the Seattle Housing Authority’s plans for the redevelopment of the 30-acre Yesler Terrace low-income housing community, describing the project vision, what will be built on the site, Yesler Terrace residents’ relocation and right to return, services for residents, environmental sustainability and funding basics. (2011, 20 pages)

Yesler Community Collaborative Roadmap Milestones

This is a  summary of YCC’s work to coordinate our partners as we collectively develop and support a united vision of an equitable, inclusive green future and take actions to achieve that future.  It is updated, as needed.  (2015, one 11 x 17 page)

Yesler Terrace Community Building Network

For many community-based organizations, effectively and meaningfully engaging stakeholders remains a challenge. This report from Seattle Housing’s Community Builder team details their principles and successful strategies. (2015, 5 pages)

City of Seattle, Development Capacity Report

This report was prepared by the City of Seattle as part of the updating of the Comprehensive Plan to carry the planning effort through 2035. It covers the entire city and provides detailed information about housing and commercial development capacity for designated “urban villages.” Designated urban villages in the YCC area include:  First Hill, 12th Avenue, Chinatown-International District, Pioneer Square, Pike/Pine, Capitol Hill, 23rd & Union-Jackson, and Madison-Miller. (2014, 22 pages)

Living Cities Website

Living Cities harnesses the collective power of 22 of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions to build a new type of urban practice to dramatically improve the economic well-being of low-income people. Their website contains many relevant resources for the work engaged in by YCC partners.

Affordable Housing

Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda

Mayor Ed Murray convened an advisory committee in 2014 to make recommendations about affordable housing and livability. This website follows the work of that committee.

YCC Recommendations to HALA 

YCC’s Housing Cohort developed this set of recommendations for the Mayor’s Housing Affordability and Livability Advisory Committee. It details strategies and policy recommendations for preserving and increasing affordable housing. (2015, seven pages)

Final Report and Recommendations of the Housing and Livability Agenda Advisory Committee

Mayor Ed Murray’s advisory committee on housing and livability issued its final report and recommendations on June 13, 2015. The report includes a wide ranging series of recommendations and strategies aimed at increasing and preserving affordable housing in Seattle. (2015, 76 pages)

Creative Place-Making

Creative Placemaking Journal
This issue of Community Development Investment Review is a great primer on this new concept for using the arts to make successful communities.  It explores what creative place-making is, how it’s done, how it’s measured, funded, and experienced, and includes short case studies on 16 examples from around the country. (2014, 142 pages)

Yesler Terrace Arts Master Plan
The Seattle Housing Authority received a $678,000 grant from The Kresge Foundation to support an art master plan as part of the redevelopment of Yesler Terrace. SHA is using the funding to retain artists to infuse the new, mixed-income community with  multiple works of art, and to support collaborative artistic projects and programs, working with community members and teams involved with design of streets, pathways, parks and other public spaces. The grant  also enables SHA to work with artisans living in the Yesler Terrace community to enhance their skills and translate them into works for public display or available for sale locally. (2015)

Capitol Hill Arts District
The Arts District model is valuable tool to preserve and create space for the arts.  In a focused geographic area, it uses land use incentives, collective marketing, and new resources to make sure Capitol Hill remains a center for innovation and cutting edge arts. (2015)

Central Area Arts and Cultural District 
The Arts District is organized around three pillars: Preserving an African and African-American legacy in the Central Area; sustaining and strengthening the physical identity and sense of place for cultural relevancy; and establishing continued support of artistic creation, economic vibrancy, livability, affordability, desirability, and artistic vitality. (2015)


Economic Opportunity

Yesler Terrace Economic Development Study

Prepared by the Innovation and Entrepreneur Center at Seattle University, this two-part report explores the opportunities and challenges faced by Yesler Terrace residents as they seek to obtain higher paying jobs and/or start their own businesses (pp 1 - 58) and documents the Center’s analysis of the opportunities for retail development at Yesler Terrace (pp 59 - 112). (2014, 112 pages)

Little Saigon Landmark Feasibility Study

This study was commissioned by the City of Seattle, the Seattle Housing Authority, the Friends of Little Saigon and the Seattle Chinatown International District PDA. It explores the feasibility of building a significant facility in the Little Saigon neighborhood that would include a Vietnamese Cultural Center, a restaurant and retail establishments, affordable housing and parking. (2014, 20 pages)


Seattle University Youth Initiative

Launched in February 2011, The Seattle University Youth Initiative (SUYI) unites the University and the wider community to help families break the cycle of poverty.  The Initiative strives to strengthen education and support systems for 1,000 neighborhood youth and their families while enhancing the University by providing service, learning and research experience to students, faculty, and staff.  SUYI focuses on the children of Bailey-Gatzert Elementary and their families, and follows these children to Washington Middle School and Garfield High School.  SUYI hopes to improve the educational outcomes for these children through partnerships, enriched learning experiences and improvements in school performance.  SUYI is providing leadership for YCC’s work on the issue of Education.

Seattle University Youth Initiative Action Plan

This report articulates the goals of the Seattle University Youth Initiative Program and outlines actions to assist children attending Bailey-Gatzert and their families who face significant challenges. For example, the percentage of neighborhood children living in poverty and the rates of youth violence and juvenile incarceration are among the highest in Seattle. This report outlines strategies, relationships with other organizations and measures for success. (2012-2015, 38 pages)

2014 Choice Report Final - Education

Seattle University is the lead partner for education through the HUD-sponsored “Choice Neighborhoods” program. This report details progress toward improving educational outcomes for children and youth in the Yesler neighborhood as defined in the Choice Neighborhoods program. (2015, 5 pages)


Capitol Hill EcoDistrict Report

Prepared by Capital Hill Housing and GGLO Architects, and funded by the Bullitt Foundation, this report defines the possibilities of an EcoDistrict and offers a vision for community development on Capitol Hill. (2012, 138 pages)

District Scale Sustainability Focus Group Report

This report, commissioned by the Bullitt Foundation, details the findings of two focus groups testing attitudes of neighborhood residents in Capitol Hill, Seattle and Cully, Portland, to the idea of living in an EcoDistrict. (2014, 14 pages)

International Living Future Institute

This website contains reports and case studies on a wide range of subjects including the Living Building Challenge, the Living Community Challenge and Building Sustainable Affordable Housing.


City of Seattle Growth and Equity Report
This report is a building block for discussion of equitable development and anti-displacement strategies in Seattle. It provides analysis of how neighborhoods are characterized with respect to their potential for both opportunity and displacement. (2015, 40 pages)

Policy Link
This nonprofit with national scope is an important resource for equitable development. Their work is grounded in the conviction that equity – just and fair inclusion – must drive all policy decisions. (2016)

Communities of Opportunity 
Communities of Opportunity was launched in March 2014 in partnership between Seattle Foundation
and King County. It is one of four initiatives aligned with King County’s Accountable Community of Health. The Communities of Opportunity initiative is designed with the ambitious goal of creating greater health, social, economic, and racial equity in King County so that all people thrive and prosper. It is based on identifying the locations with the greatest inequities in health, housing and economic opportunity measures. Where you live within the County is strongly tied to your chances of
living well and thriving, despite King County average measures being relatively high. (2014, 2 pages)


Health & Well Being

King County Health and Human Services Transformation Plan

This Transformation Plan describes Public Health’s two-pronged approach to improving health outcomes and well-being in King County: 1) improve the delivery of health care services; and 2) address the “upstream social determinants of health” – community conditions that affect people’s health.   This plan lays out a path to shift from a costly, crisis-oriented response to health and social problems, toward a focus on prevention and recovery, access to services and the elimination of disparities.  The YCC Health Cohort is also using this framework. (2013, 88 pages)

Be Active Together Report to the Community

Compiled by the Cedar River Group, this report describes Be Active Together, a Neighborhood House project to improve the health of the residents of the High Point and Greenbridge public housing communities through the development of community leadership and expanded opportunities for physical activity. A similar program is being implemented by Neighborhood House at Yesler Terrace. (2013, 8 pages)

Breathe Easy Homes at High Point - Takaro, Kreiger, et al - American Journal of Public Health

The American Journal of Public Health published this longitudinal study of the efficacy of the Breathe Easy homes built at High Point. These homes were built with asthma suffers in mind, incorporating environmental features such as non-VOC materials and whole-house fans. These techniques are now being applied at Yesler Terrace. (2011, eight pages)

News release on asthma prevention work by James Krieger at Public Health, Seattle and King County

This news release from Medical News Today outlines successes in increasing symptom-free days by asthma suffers through participation in home-based prevention strategies and coaching. (2014)

Yesler Community Collaborative

Quick View

A one-page summary of Yesler Community Collaborative’s vision, mission and work program

2015 Progress Report

A four-page report on our work since our founding through 2015. Includes financial statements.


Come out to the 23rd / Union-Jackson MHA Rezone public hearing on Monday June 26 (6pm) at Garfield High School. Let your voice be heard! #Ownourgrowth #Cityforthemany ...

Public Hearing on 23rd & Union-Jackson Rezone

June 26, 2017, 5:45pm - June 26, 2017, 8:45pm

Garfield High School Garfield High School Commons/Lunch Room 400 23rd Avenue Seattle, WA 98122 Childcare will be provided. Sign-up for testimony will begin at 5:30 p.m. TALKING POINTS: Neighborhood-specific talking points that look at implementation of the MHA rezone as well as additional City actions needed to support Central District vision: General MHA talking points: Background: The Seattle City Council Planning, Land Use & Zoning Committee is currently considering proposed rezones for the 23rd Ave. nodes of Union, Cherry, and Jackson in the Central District, the center of Seattle's African American community and home to long-time residents and youth, businesses, and a vibrant cultural district. Due to redlining beginning in the 1930s and discriminatory lending and insurance practices, the Central Area was essentially the only place in Seattle where black families could live and put down roots—at one point home to 70 percent of the city's black population. Now, displacement is a major issue in the neighborhood, and the percentage of black residents in the Central District has gone from over 70% in the 1970s to just 20% today. The 23rd & Union-Jackson rezone is part of the 23rd Ave. Action Plan initiated in 2013, aimed at developing a shared vision to address displacement and create a heathier, more equitable neighborhood, focusing investments in the heart of the African American community. The rezone would implement Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) in the area—requiring all new commercial and residential development to contribute to affordable housing by either building income and rent-restricted homes on site, or paying a fee that the Seattle Office of Housing will use to build affordable homes nearby—and is crucial to achieving important local affordable housing and ownership projects that are underway, such as Africatown Community Land Trust's innovative plans for the Midtown Center site. Because the Central District is designated as having a high risk of displacement, new development in the area would be subject to the highest level of MHA requirements. Read more about MHA's tiered approach here: If you have questions or would like testimony support, feel free to email Read more about the Mandatory Housing Affordability proposal for 23rd & Union-Jackson here:

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Congratulations to our partners Africatown-Central District, Black Community Impact Alliance, Centerstone and Capitol Hill Housing for the historic groundbreaking of the future Liberty Bank Building. The outpouring of support from the community was amazing! ...

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