State awards $35 million for affordable housing projects
Funds will support nearly 500 units of affordable housing, and more than 375 beds for low-income people in need
OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington State Department of Commerce today awarded $35.1 million in loans and grants from the Housing Trust Fund for 21 affordable housing projects in 23 counties across the state. Projects funded will provide a total of 499 units of affordable housing for low-income households, as well as 312 beds for migrant seasonal farmworkers, 20 beds for homeless youth, and 45 beds in group homes for individuals with developmental disabilities, chronic mental illness or traumatic brain injury.
Of the total funds awarded, $1.6 million will be used to provide homeownership down payment assistance to 48 families with a developmentally disabled member.
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, homeless veterans, people with developmental disabilities, and people suffering from chronic mental illness. All units must remain affordable to the target population for 40 years.
Funds for these awards were made available through capital appropriations in the 2013-15 Biennial Budget passed by the Legislature in July 2013. The state’s investment will leverage $346 million from other sources – about $4.57 for every dollar from the Housing Trust Fund – including funds from Low Income Housing Tax Credits, private investors, and other public sources.
“Maximizing the state’s investment in affordable housing is a key priority for the Housing Trust Fund, said Commerce Director Brian Bonlender. “Partnerships with public and private funders help stretch state dollars even further, providing more housing options for Washington residents who need it most.”
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 38,000 units and has invested approximately $900 million toward new and improved housing, leveraging more than $3 billion in private and public sector support.