King County Executive Dow Constantine on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024 announced $26 million in funding to local organizations around King County – including in Burien – creating housing opportunities for hundreds of residents.

The 10 developments were awarded funds through King County’s Housing Finance Program (HFP) within the Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS). This investment is part of King County’s ongoing commitment to meet the growing demand for affordable housing and prioritizes housing that is affordable for people with the lowest incomes.

“This funding award from King County will create affordable housing, transformative services, and academically focused programming for families in Burien,” said Nathan Box, Communications and Engagement Manager at Mercy Housing Northwest. “Our partnership with Mary’s Place will help reduce displacement and provide holistic support for families and children as they transition from homelessness to long-term housing stability.”

The awarded projects provide a range of affordable housing options throughout the county, including unincorporated King County, generating 673 new and 32 renovated rental units, and 55 new homeownership units.

“These investments will be life-changing for all those who will soon have a new place to call home. As income inequality increases, we must eliminate the barriers to housing and homeownership that far too many of our neighbors and working families face,” said Executive Constantine. “Our partnerships with housing and service providers, builders, and cities are critical to fulfilling the diverse housing needs of communities, and ensuring that everyone, at all incomes, can have a place to call home.”

More than half of the housing units support seniors, individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and people experiencing homelessness.

The following organizations and projects received funds:

South King County

  • Mercy Housing Northwest’s Burien Family Housing (Mary’s Place) will provide 90 affordable housing units for low-income families and large households, including families experiencing homelessness and people with disabilities. The project includes the redevelopment of a site owned and operated by Mary’s Place, a service provider supporting homeless women, children, and families in King County.
  • Phase II of Homestead Community Land Trust’s Willowcrest Townhomes will build 19 new two and three-bedroom homeownership units, 14 permanently affordable land trust homes, and five market rate homes in Renton. Willowcrest Phase II will be constructed on land formerly owned by the Renton Housing Authority that was identified for development of affordable homeownership for the city’s Sunset neighborhood.

East King County

  • Habitat for Humanity King and Kittitas Counties homeownership project will provide 25 permanently affordable single-family townhomes, including a new community center, at Orchard Gardens in Bellevue. Currently owned by the Holy Cross Lutheran Church, the site has a p-patch and orchard that will be preserved as part of the phased project. Awarded funds will be used to acquire and develop the first six homes.
  • Catholic Housing Services’ Emma McRedmond Manor in downtown Redmond is an affordable housing rental renovation of an existing building currently serving seniors on low and fixed incomes. In operation since 1988, Emma McRedmond Manor has 32 units that are also open to seniors with disabilities.

North King County

  • Imagine Housing and Together We Grow’s Larus Senior Apartments in Kenmore will offer 175 affordable rental units for seniors on low and fixed incomes. The project will also include a residential community multipurpose area, covered outdoor space, and is 300 yards from a park and ride transportation hub.

Unincorporated Skyway

  • Manufactured Housing Community Preservationists’ Vue Terrace is a homeownership project that will provide 30 new manufactured three and four-bedroom homes suitable for large families and households. Vue Terrace is similar to single-family or cottage developments, offering secure and affordable access to land and housing for community residents through a community land trust model.
  • The Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) and Childhaven are partnering to develop Skyway Family Housing. The new construction project will provide 55 affordable multifamily units for individuals and families in Skyway experiencing displacement and gentrification. The project will also include an early learning center and apartments for families experiencing homelessness.

City of Seattle

  • DESC’s Lake City development is a 120-unit permanent supportive housing building in Seattle’s Victory Heights neighborhood. The building will serve single adults living with disabilities and experiencing chronic homelessness. Onsite support services such as a clinic, kitchen, and community activity spaces will also be built.
  • First A.M.E. Housing Association’s Bryant Manor is a family housing complex that has served the Black community in Seattle’s Central District for over 50 years. Black residents in the Central District have dropped from 70 percent in the 1970s to below 18 percent in 2020. Awarded funds will support Phase II of the two-phase redevelopment project that will provide 149 one to three-bedroom affordable rental units for families at risk of displacement. Phase I is currently under construction and is expected to be completed in 2024 and includes an early learning center and 101 units.
  • El Centro de la Raza – a nonprofit serving Latino and Chicano communities – will build a mixed-use, Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) in Beacon Hill, providing 84 affordable rentals and ground-level commercial space. Located across the street from the Sound Transit Light Rail Station, the development will also be adjacent to El Centro de la Raza’s Beacon Hill location which houses early education and workforce development programs.

“Homeownership is the key to providing families with the stability they need to invest in themselves and build generational wealth,” said Eric Pravitz, Director of Real Estate Development at Homestead Community Land Trust. “Homestead currently has a waitlist of over 2,000 households interested in purchasing their own home. The need is great, and with the support of partners like King County, we can continue to work to deliver those homeownership opportunities.”

“We’ve been addressing housing inequities in the Central District since the 1960s,” said Earl Richardson, Interim Executive Director of First A.M.E. Housing Association. “Combatting the effects of gentrification on our community has always been a priority. This award from King County will help us continue to support families of color who have been uprooted or are at risk of displacement by providing them with healthy, affordable, and culturally enriched homes where they can thrive.”

“One of the reasons this development is important to El Centro de la Raza is because affordable housing is part of advancing racial equity. People of Color disproportionately experience homelessness and displacement,” said Miguel Maestas, Associate Director of El Centro de la Raza. “We all know how vital, safe, quality affordable housing is for our most vulnerable people; it is critical to improving physical and mental health and employment and economic opportunity.”

Moving forward, DCHS will contract directly with the awardees.

Since 2007, The B-Town Blog is Burien’s multiple award-winning hyperlocal news/events website dedicated to independent journalism.

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