State awards $50.1 million for affordable housing projects

Funds will support 1,249 units of affordable housing and 120 seasonal farmworker beds for low-income people

The Washington State Department of Commerce today awarded $47.5 million in loans and grants from the state Housing Trust Fund and $2.6 million from the federal HOME program for 36 affordable housing projects in 26 counties across the state.

These projects will provide a total of 1,249 units of affordable housing for low-income people, including people with chronic mental illnesses, homeless families with children, people with disabilities, veterans, homeless youth, farmworkers, seniors, and first time homebuyers. An additional 120 seasonal farmworker beds will be provided to support Washington’s robust agricultural industry, and the farmworkers who make it possible.

Approximately eight out of 10 of the units will serve households at 50 percent of area median income or lower. All units must remain affordable to the target populations for 40 years.

“This investment helps to address the affordable housing crisis in Washington State that threatens to push people into homelessness and strains our safety net, our economy, our schools, and our hospitals,” said Commerce Director Brian Bonlender. “The nearly quarter billion dollars in leveraged public and private funding will also support construction jobs in communities across the state.”

The state’s capital budget investment will leverage an estimated $234 million from other sources – approximately $4.50 for every $1 from the Housing Trust Fund. Matching funds come 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 44,000 units and has invested $1 billion toward new and improved housing, leveraging more than $3 billion in private and public sector support.

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