The Washington State Department of Commerce on Monday (Feb. 7, 2022) announced $18.6 million in funding for 16 projects that will support the development of more than 1,500 affordable housing units throughout the state, including in Burien.

Funds will lower the effective cost of development by about $12,000 for each housing unit, the state said.

“The communities receiving grant funds have already made affordable housing a priority with local tax levies. This program supports and helps accelerate that work at a time when affordable housing projects throughout the state are facing significant cost increases,” said Lisa Brown, state Commerce Director.

Projects awarded funding are located across seven counties, and were selected from among 40 applications requesting $41 million:

    • King County – $1,081,523 to King County for the “Burien – Miller Creek Project” project and 40 affordable units. The project is a mix of owner-occupied townhomes in a community land trust and rental apartments, developed by Habitat for Humanity.
    • King County – $1,572,095 to the Valley View Sewer District for the “SeaTac Center Affordable Housing Project” and 365 affordable units. Apartments offer services including daycare, developed by the Inland Group.
    • King County – $2.5 million to King County for the “Redondo Heights Transit-Oriented Development” project for 202 affordable units. Apartments have an on-site playground and “food bank” market, developed by Shelter Resources.
    • King County – $1,025,768 to the City of Seattle for the “Mount Zion Affordable Housing” project and 61 affordable units. Project serves Central District residents displaced or subject to displacement, developed by 19th Avenue Properties.
    • King County – $1,721,268 to King County for the “North Lot Building A” project and 160 affordable units. Development in the International District will include services, developed by Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority.
    • King County – $2,380,541 to the City of Bellevue for the “Eastgate Permanent Supportive Housing” project and 95 affordable units. Permanent supportive housing (PSH), developed by Plymouth Housing, the first PSH project in the East Side.
    • King County – $1,768,167 to the City of Renton for the “Sunset Gardens” project and 76 affordable units. Housing serves those at risk of homelessness, developed by the Housing Authority of the City of Renton.

Others include:

    • Clark County – $1,059,085 to the City of Vancouver for the “Laurel Manor” project and 82 affordable units. Development serves older adults ages 55 and older, developed by Columbia Non-Profit Housing.
    • Clark County – $161,907 to the City of Vancouver for the “The Meridian” project and 46 affordable units. Project serves individuals exiting homelessness with behavioral health challenges, developed by Housing Initiative.
    • Skagit County – $300,000 for the “HASC Family Housing” project and 56 affordable units. Development includes a playground and common areas, developed by the Housing Authority of Skagit County.
    • Spokane County – $178,003 to the City of Airway Heights for the “Highland Village Phase 2” project and 50 affordable units. Project includes rental housing with a community building and community park, developed by Community Frameworks.
    • Spokane County – $680,460 to the City of Spokane for the “Liberty Park Terrace Phase 2” project and 54 affordable units. Project adds to two existing buildings and creates an integrated campus including an early learning center, developed by Kiemle Hagood and Proclaim Liberty.
    • Thurston County – $2.5 million to the City of Olympia for the “Family Support Center” project and 62 affordable units. Housing includes services and a community room developed by Bellwether Housing.
    • Whatcom County – $332,000 to the City of Bellingham for the “Laurel Forest” project and 56 affordable units. It is a senior housing project developed by Opportunity Council.
    • Whatcom County – $590,000 to the City of Bellingham for the “Millworks Family Housing” project and 82 affordable units. Development includes 20% of units for those with disabilities, developed by Mercy Housing Northwest.
    • Yakima County – $767,334 to the City of Yakima for the “Fruitvale Housing” project and 54 affordable units. Half of the units are reserved for those exiting homelessness, developed by the Yakima Housing Authority.

Here’s more info from Commerce:

Connecting Housing to Infrastructure Program (CHIP) grants provide up to $2.5 million for sewer, water or stormwater improvements and/or waived system development charges for new affordable housing projects.

The applicant must be a city, county or public utility district in partnership with an affordable housing project.

The state says that the goal is to help build more housing units more quickly, by covering upfront costs of infrastructure and connecting housing to municipal systems.

The program will also help local governments reduce per unit connection fees, which are used to pay for area-wide improvements to water or wastewater systems.

When utilities reduce these connection fees for affordable, multifamily, or infill projects, it can help encourage development of more of these housing options, which tend to be more affordable and make more efficient use of costly infrastructure.

Applications are open now for a second round of grants.

More information is available on the CHIP webpage.