SEATTLE - Back in the spring of 1991, housing activists and as many as 30 of the city's homeless occupied the boarded up Arion Court Apartments until, after five days, they were evicted by police.
Now, some of those who were in on the protest organized by Operation Homestead are permanent residents of the newly remodeled Arion Court, 1814 Minor Ave.
And today at an open house from 3 to 5 p.m., they, Mayor Norm Rice and other dignitaries planned to celebrate the reopening of the three-story brick building as 37 units of single-room housing.
"The Arion Court is the first self-managed permanent housing project for previously homeless people in Washington state," said Ginger Segel, who took part in the 1991 protest as a Tenants Union organizer and now works for the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI).
"The residents decide the rules of the building and how to enforce them," Segel said.
LIHI took over ownership and management of the Arion Court after the owners of the once-derelict building agreed to lease the property for 75 years to a nonprofit organization, said Segel.