RBAC was a recipient of a City of Seattle Equitable Development grant of $507,500. David Sauvion represented RBAC and the press conference held by Mayor Durkan to announce the awards.
The Equitable Development Initiative (EDI), part of the City’s effort to support Seattle’s existing residents and businesses in high displacement risk neighborhoods. The EDI fund, administered by the Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD), was created to respond to the needs of marginalized populations, reduce disparities, and support access to opportunity in healthy, vibrant communities. The initiative is championed by community organizations concerned about displacement pressures and historical lack of investment that has occurred in communities of color in Seattle.
EDI fosters community leadership and supports organizations to promote equitable access to jobs, education and childcare, outdoor space and recreation, cultural expression, healthy food, and other community needs and amenities. These partnerships are designed to support leadership and build capacity building among the most historically marginalized groups in Seattle, sharing in decision-making and power, and working towards racial equity outcomes that allows all communities to thrive.
As part of her Housing Seattle Now plan, Mayor Durkan is proposing to establish a new $15 million EDI revolving loan program funded from the proceeds of the sale of the surplus, city-owned Mercer St. properties. The new revolving loan program will provide funding to support additional land acquisition by community organizations in response to displacement pressures.TThe award to RBAC will support the Food Innovation District concept that was developed as part of the Rainier Beach Neighborhood Plan in 2012. RBAC has worked with Forterra to secure property in the Rainier Beach station area; these funds will support pre-development expenses. “The Food Innovation Center” will be a multi-purpose facility. Leading ideas are shared kitchen, food production and training space, and areas to provide supportive services and education. RBAC is pursuing a joint venture with Mt Baker Housing Association, which will develop affordable housing on the site.
The following community-based organizations working in Seattle on anti-displacement strategies and economic development opportunities have been selected for funding in 2019:
Chief Seattle Club — $1 million, Byrd Barr Place — $1 million, Cham Refugees Community — $575,000, Duwamish Longhouse — $575,000, Friends of Little Saigon — $225,000, Lake City Collective — $75,000, Wing Luke Museum — $725,000, Queer the Land — $75,000Rainier Valley Midwives — $214,700