NEWS RELEASE: Washington Department of Commerce awards $33.5 million for affordable housing projects
OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington State Department of Commerce’s Housing Finance Unit today awarded $26 million in loans and grants from the state’s Housing Trust Fund, $2.7 million from the Federal HOME program, and $2.9 from the National Housing Trust Fund for 20 affordable housing projects in Washington. Another $1.9 million from the Ultra-High Energy Efficiency Demonstration Program were awarded to some of these projects that met the requirements laid out by the Legislature in the 2015-2017 capital budget.
The nonprofit housing organizations receiving these awards will use the funds to build, purchase, or renovate buildings to provide 923 units of affordable housing in 10 counties across the state. The projects will provide permanent housing for some of Washington’s most vulnerable residents, including people with chronic mental illnesses, homeless families with children, homeless youth, people with disabilities, veterans, and farmworkers. A further 334 beds will be provided for seasonal farmworkers. Approximately 79 percent of the units provided by these projects will serve extremely low-income households earning 30 percent or less of the area median income.
“The Housing Finance Unit has worked extensively with its public funding partners to make sure the state’s investment is stretched as far as it can go in the current climate,” said Commerce Director Brian Bonlender. “Washington communities cannot be strong and vibrant without sufficient housing that is safe, affordable, and decent to live in, and the Housing Trust Fund plays an important part in making sure that happens.”
Funds for these awards were made available through capital appropriations in the 2015-2017 state biennial budget and through the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Commerce’s investment will leverage an estimated $280.6 million from other sources – approximately $7.89 for every $1 it awards – which will include funds from the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program, local public funders and private investors.
HOME and National Housing Trust Fund are HUD programs administered by Department of Commerce. These federal funds are competitively awarded to qualifying Housing Trust Fund projects through the regular Housing Trust Fund application process.
A list detailing specific projects and awards is available at http://www.commerce.wa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/hfu-htf-award-list-2016.pdf. For more information on Commerce’s administration of the Housing Trust Fund in support of community-based efforts to provide affordable housing, please visit the program’s website.
Now in its 30th year, the Housing Trust Fund has invested almost $1 billion in funding and helped build or preserve nearly 47,000 units of affordable housing statewide, serving an estimated 78,000 persons at any one time. With Housing First, Health Home, and Net-Zero Efficiency projects awarded or currently in development, the Housing Trust Fund is looking forward to being a continuing source of resiliency, security, and sustainability for the citizens of Washington State for the next 30 years and beyond.
Corina Grigoras, managing director of the Housing Finance Unit, (360) 725-4134.
Penny Thomas, Commerce Communications, (206) 256-6106.