State commission approves funding for Lower Valley housing

WASHINGTON STATE HOUSING FINANCE COMMISSION NEWS RELEASE -- Seven new developments will add affordable housing across the state, thanks to more than $54 million in housing credits allocated by the Washington State Housing Finance Commission.

“All these projects are new construction that will bring not only much-needed affordable housing to communities all over the state, but also local jobs,” said Karen Miller, chair of the Housing Finance Commission. “As in the past, they also reflect great diversity in location and population served."

Three projects are in the Yakima Valley, with the others in Kennewick, Vancouver, Tacoma and Bellingham. Many of the new units serve farmworkers, people with disabilities and the homeless.

This is the third group of projects from the 2014 tax-credit competition to be approved by the governor-appointed Commission. The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit helps affordable-housing developers raise capital for new buildings and renovations by selling the credits to investors.

Projects financed are below. The dollar amount is the estimated tax credit equity over ten years.

• Lincoln Place (Vancouver Affordable Housing, $3.8 million). This new building of 30 studio apartments offers “housing first” for chronically homeless adults, as well as supportive services provided by SHARE, near downtown Vancouver, Wash.
• Bakerview Family Housing in Bellingham (Catholic Housing Services of Western Washington, $8.7 million). One of the first projects to be funded by the Bellingham Affordable Housing Levy, this 50-unit complex of townhouses targets farmworkers.
• Mason Avenue Apartments in Tacoma (Trillium Housing Services, $13.8 million). A garden-style apartment community for low- and very-low income households, including units set aside for people with disabilities and for large households.
• Volland Street in Kennewick (Kennewick Housing Authority, $4.6 million). A long- planned new development with 31 units of housing for very low-income, formerly homeless and disabled residents, with space for supportive services.
• Granger-Prosser Family Housing (Genesis Housing Services, $13.75 million). Two new developments on either side of the Yakima-Benton county line, each with 51 apartments mostly reserved for farmworkers. The buildings emphasize energy and water efficiency.
• Toppenish Family Housing (Yakima Housing Authority, $4.3 million). Also targeted to farmworkers, these 30 new apartments are located near the area’s agricultural employers.
• Sunnyside Family Housing (Sunnyside Housing Authority, $5.8 million). 40 new apartments for farmworkers and other households near downtown Sunnyside.

At its monthly meeting on April 24, the Commission also approved bond financing for People for People’s rehabilitated offices and new call center in Yakima; 141 new apartments for seniors in Olympia; and the construction of Monroe Family Place, a new development by Housing Hope in Monroe.