HDC Member Highlight: SCIDpda

HDC appreciates all the passion, hard work, and dedication our members devote to the affordable housing movement. No single organization could make this impact and secure this progress alone. The collaboration and connection among members is the human energy that works to ensure all people have a safe, healthy, and affordable home. We want to show our appreciation and learn more about our affordable housing community through these member highlights as each member is crucial to achieving the larger vision of this movement. This week our featured member is Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority. Thank you for all the work that you do!


  1.     What excites your team about the work you are doing?  

“Many of us have been a part of the CID community for many years – as visitors to the museum, patrons of the restaurants, and shoppers in the stores.  We felt a part of this neighborhood before working here, but our investment is only deeper.  What I think is really great about our jobs is that we are able to make a lasting difference in this community – both in the physical sense in our projects and the relationships that we build in the community.

— Jamie Lee, SCIDpda Director of Community Initiatives

  1.     What is a favorite office anecdote? 

“A lot of what we’re building on [at Hing Hay Coworks] is supporting economic development and business diversity in the neighborhood. Predominantly, the businesses here are retail and restaurants—mostly restaurants. We want people to know that the CID is more than just retail and restaurants. We give folks in our neighborhood an opportunity to see that there are resources here. The folks that come into Hing Hay Coworks, who occupy a community space within Hing Hay Coworks, they bring their friends in, and they bring their clients in, then they go out into the neighborhood to get a coffee or have a lunch meeting. So the capital stays within the community, as well. Being able to support that, as well as offering more than just retail and restaurants is important.”

— Eliza Chan, Program Supervisor for Hing Hay Coworks, a program of SCIDpda

  1.     What upcoming projects, partnerships, and news are you looking forward to?  

“Because SCIDpda works in a neighborhood with some of the highest density of unreinforced masonry buildings (URMs) in the city, we have been working with the city on the URM policy committee for many years. While we’re proponents of seismic upgrades for all our URMs in the city, we do want to make sure that adequate funding and support are provided by the city before a mandatory upgrade policy passes. Seismic upgrades for our historic CID buildings will save lives but also may serve to protect the century-old history of the CID by protecting the buildings in which so many people live and work. The URM policy is a large development and historic preservation challenge for the CID, and we look forward to helping property owners in the district pull all the pieces together to keep these buildings viable for another 100 years.”

— MaryKate Ryan, SCIDpda Preservation Planner

  1.     What have you been most proud of during your time as an HDC member? 

“I’m not one to be reflective of what we’ve done, as there’s just so much more to do. I think for me personally one of the best things about HDC was the development of the asset management group because it showed growth in the industry. But one of things I’m most hopeful for is that, as the PDA has changed, how can HDC better benefit my organization with some of the younger people coming on and looking at how the affordable housing industry fits into greater community development work. I’m looking forward to the future developments within our organization and how HDC can support us.”

— Maiko Winkler-Chin, SCIDpda Executive Director