State awards $28.9 million for affordable housing projects

December 4, 2014|Low-income housing

Funds will support 479 units of affordable housing and nearly 300 beds for low-income people

OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington State Department of Commerce today awarded $28.98 million in loans and grants from the state’s Housing Trust Fund for 15 affordable housing projects in nine counties across the state. These projects will provide a total of 479 units of affordable housing for low-income households, 200 beds for migrant seasonal farmworkers, 66 beds for homeless individuals, and 32 beds in group homes for individuals with developmental disabilities, chronic mental illness or traumatic brain injury.

“These investments from the Housing Trust Fund will protect some of the most vulnerable citizens in Washington by helping them make ends meet, and, in many cases, keeping them off the streets and out of homelessness,” said Commerce Director Brian Bonlender. “Sufficient, safe, affordable housing in every community is critically important to our state’s economic security and future prosperity.”

Ninety percent of the units provided by these projects will serve households at 50 percent of area median income or lower. The maximum allowable income for eligible Housing Trust Fund projects is 80 percent of area median income. Projects will serve a variety of vulnerable populations, but are primarily targeted to serve farmworkers, the homeless, people with developmental disabilities, and people suffering from chronic mental illness. All units must remain affordable to these target populations for 40 years.

Funds for these awards were made available through capital appropriations in the 2013-15 Biennial Budget passed by the Legislature in 2013. The state’s investment will leverage $54.7 million from other sources – almost $2 for every $1 from the Housing Trust Fund – including funds from Low Income Housing Tax Credits, private investors, and other public sources.

The Housing Trust Fund supports community efforts to ensure the availability of safe, decent and affordable housing by providing loans and grants for construction, acquisition and rehabilitation of low-income multi-family and single-family housing. Since 1989, the Housing Trust Fund has increased or improved the stock of affordable housing in Washington by more than 40,000 units and has invested almost $1 billion toward new and improved housing, leveraging more than $3 billion in private and public sector support.

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