Multifamily Housing Unit Newsletter – February 2024, Issue #2
Housing Investment Team Spotlight
With the announcement of historic awards from the Housing Trust Fund, we wanted to take the time to highlight the leadership of the Housing Investment Team at the Multifamily Housing Unit (MHU). This brand-new team is now a unified group that designs and administers our funding rounds, provides technical assistance throughout the application process, and helps orient MHU’s funding towards racial equity, balance of investment to communities across the state, and ensures our funding is matching our strategic priorities and the requirements of the legislature.
Lisa Sanchez, Lead of State Housing Investment Team
“My name is Lisa Sanchez, and I’m proud to lead the state side of the Housing Investment Team. None of the important work we do in MHU would be possible without my team, Evie DeGravelles and Matt Ojennus. I have been working in affordable housing for over 20 years and joined Commerce in August 2018. I enjoy working in affordable housing, and it’s meaningful to see that we are making a bigger difference than ever in helping end homelessness in our state.”
Sean Harrington, Lead of Federal Housing Investment Team
“I’m Sean Harrington, and I’ve been with the Multifamily Housing Unit in its various incarnations for over 15 years. I’ve lived in Western Washington most of my life (except for a short stint in the UK), and my love of this area helps power my love for helping provide places for folks to live here happily and securely. My current role as the Federal Housing Program Manager on MHU’s Investment Team requires me to continuously improve my understanding of federal regulations and requirements, and to translate that understanding into materials that will help folks qualify for funding, afterwards to try to make compliance with the minutiae of HUD rules as painless as humanly possible. This work wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of Trudi Endof-Horn on the federal team.”
Ana Núñez, Equity Policy Manager
“I’m Ana Núñez, thrilled to take on the role of Equity Policy Manager within MHU. Throughout my professional journey, I have been dedicated to public service at the county, municipal, and now state levels, specializing in community and economic development. Growing up as the daughter of immigrants, my family faced challenges in securing safe and affordable housing. This lived experience has made me a firm believer that housing is a basic human right. I am passionate about advocating for policies that help eliminate barriers and ensure adequate housing for communities. I am excited to embark on this new role and I am eager to contribute my efforts and make a positive impact!”
Ben Johnson, Capacity Building Program Manager
“I am Ben Johnson, your Capacity Building Program Lead in MHU. I started my career at a Habitat for Humanity affiliate in Michigan working to implement new community development initiatives and facilitating resident involvement in development projects. More recently, I worked as an urban planning consultant managing development due diligence and conceptual design processes for complex brownfield sites on behalf of cities, port districts, and private developers across Washington state. I am excited to help Commerce continue to invest in and build up organizations that have struggled to access HTF dollars for their communities, work that is made possible by Capacity Building Program Coordinator Darryl Holman.”
The Housing Investment Team is hiring for a Manager (Posting will be live in February here)
Over the course of 2024, the Multifamily Housing Unit will be providing multiple opportunities to get oriented to and provide input on the updates to the HTF Handbook, as we engage in a multi-part chapter-by-chapter public review process.
Sections for review at the first meeting will be released in early February on the Resources and Trainings page of the HTF website. Save the date and register now for the first public review meeting on Feburary 20, 2024 from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm.
Summary of Awards
The Washington State Department of Commerce, on January 18th, announced historic investments totaling $312.6 million to address the urgent need for affordable housing in communities throughout Washington state. Lack of affordable housing and sufficient supportive housing options for vulnerable populations are top contributors to chronic homelessness. It is estimated that over 1.1 million new housing units must be added across Washington state over the next 20 years to meet projected needs at all income levels.
See the full list of multifamily awards (Box PDF)
Public Feedback Received for the Equity-Focused Reimagining of the Policy Advisory Team
Commerce accepted public input on the proposal for a Reimaging of the Policy Advisory Team (including a Community-Based Housing Advisory Committee) that was released on December 1, 2023.
Commerce staff are currently reviewing the public input. The next step is to host discussions with key stakeholders, including the BIPOC coalition and PAT Membership Working group members. Using the survey results and the stakeholder discussions, Commerce staff will refine the plan with a focus on the equity values identified at the onset of the PAT Re-Imagining process. A final plan for the group’s membership structure and implementation timeline will be presented to the Affordable Housing Advisory Board at its March 5th Meeting (register here).
In the meantime, the Multifamily Housing and Homeownership Units are hosting community engagement in the following ways in February and March:
- Homeownership Assemblies meet the second Monday of every month. Register on Zoom.
- Handbook Forums begin on February 20th. See the Resources & Trainings page for more info.
- The Affordable Housing Advisory Board (AHAB) will hear an update from Commerce in March. See the latest AHAB info here.
Applications Received for Continuing Affordability Program
Continuing Affordability: Six (6) applications received requesting approximately $12.2 million. Awards are anticipated to be announced March 1, 2024.
Department of Commerce received six (6) applications, requesting a total of $12.2 million from the 2023 Continuing Affordability program. Applications were submitted in response to Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) #MHU-2023-05, which was published on October 25, 2023. This funding is solely for the preservation of affordable multifamily rental housing projects at risk of losing affordability due to the expiration of use restrictions. The applications seek to preserve 242 units.
The 2023 Continuing Affordability NOFA outlines specific information requested of applicants regarding eligibility, funding requirements and priorities, the process for applying, and dates of significance.
If you have questions about any of the information in this announcement, contact send your inquiries to: email@example.com.
Housing Trust Fund in the Press
Auburn Reporter: Dept. of Commerce invests $312.6 million in housing opportunities
KFLD NewsTalk 870: WA State Grants $312 Million Towards Single, Multi-Family Housing
Affordable Housing Development and Manufactured/Mobile Home Community Notification Requirements
In 2023, the governor signed SB 5198 providing protections to manufactured/mobile home communities. This new law affects the selling and closure of manufactured/mobile home communities by providing two requirements.
- Notice of Opportunity to Compete to Purchase – RCW 20.320 through 59.20.360
- Notice of Closure or Conversion of a Manufactured/Mobile Home Community – RCW 20.080
The Department of Commerce recommends community owners, potential developers, and real estate professionals consult with attorneys knowledgeable in the Manufactured/Mobile Home Landlord-Tenant Act (RCW 59.20), specifically RCW 59.20.080 (1) (e), 59.20.320 through 59.20.360, as well as RCW 59.21.030, Closure notice – Requirements, prior to selling or closing manufactured housing communities in the state of Washington. With periodic updates in full swing, this may be something planners and local governments need to share with relevant stakeholders in their communities.
For more information about the Notice of Opportunity to Compete to Purchase, Notice of Closure or Conversion of a Manufactured/Mobile Home Community, and Manufactured/Mobile Home Relocation Assistance, please contact program staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-964-0852. You can learn more about manufactured/mobile home relocation assistance and requirements on our Commerce webpage.
Open Funding Opportunities
Coordinating Low-income Housing Planning (CLIHP) Grant
Planning for households earning less than 50 percent of the area median income (AMI) requires coordination between counties, cities, and service providers. Grants are now available through Feb. 16, 2024, to help support coordination of land use planning and homeless service planning.
Commerce has allocated $1 million with up to $50,000 in funding available for each countywide or regional application using the following criteria.
Grant applicants must be:
- A county in coordination with one of the two biggest cities
- A city in coordination with the county
- A non-profit provider of affordable housing and/or homeless housing or services partnering with a county or city as lead applicant
CLIHP grant applications are due on Feb. 16, 2024, at 5 p.m. and if funds remain thereafter, applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis through March 2024.
Questions? Please contact Laura Hodgson.
Work in the Multifamily Housing Unit
Several currently open positions are now accepting applications within MHU.
Asset Management Coordinator (open until 2/8)
Compliance Asset Management Lead (open until 2/7)
Asset Manager (open until 2/5)
Since 1986, the state’s Housing Trust Fund has invested over $2 billion in capital funding and helped build or preserve more than 58,600 affordable housing units statewide.
The Washington Legislature makes biennial appropriations in the capital budget and directs the Department on how to invest the funds. The Housing Trust Fund provides capital financing through loans or grants to affordable housing projects through annual competitive application cycles.