King County Executive Dow Constantine announced this week $24.67 million in funding to local organizations around King County to create affordable housing opportunities for hundreds of residents.
The eight projects – including in Burien and SeaTac – were awarded funds in late December 2022 through King County’s Housing Finance Program (HFP), within the Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS).
Each project will bring new construction, preservation, or acquisition of affordable rental homes, totaling 994 units spread throughout south and east King County and Seattle. All the units will house low-income individuals or families, with half providing housing to previously homeless households, veterans, and persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“These new projects, funded by more than $24 million through our Housing Finance Program, are critical investments that will allow us to develop nearly 1,000 new units to help meet the growing demand for affordable housing throughout our region,” Constantine said. “By building more homes, especially near transit, we can better provide equitable access to opportunities, and create a more connected and inclusive community.”
Contracts will be coordinated through the Housing, Homelessness, and Community Development Division of DCHS.
The following organizations and projects are receiving funds:
- Habitat’s Burien II, Burien – Focused on affordable homeownership, this is the 20-unit phase two of a new, 40-unit affordable housing development across nine structures with onsite parking spaces. The project also provides a range of transportation options, including a planned Rapid Ride line and multiple bus routes within a mile.
- Mercy Housing’s Angle Lake, SeaTac – Adjacent to light rail, Mercy Housing Northwest’s Angle Lake Family Housing development will include 130 units of affordable housing. Together with The Arc of King County, an organization committed to safeguarding the rights of people with disabilities, the project will reserve 26 units for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.
- BRIDGE Housing’s Spring District, Bellevue – Located at Sound Transit’s Spring District site in Bellevue, this development will provide 235 units of affordable transit-oriented housing. A total of 20 units are reserved for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and youth.
- Imagine Housing and Together We Grow’s Ardea at Totem Lake, Kirkland – Located in Kirkland’s Totem Lake neighborhood, this 170-unit affordable housing development will serve both seniors and veterans. Close to both rapid transit and a light rail station that is expected to open this year, the project will leverage existing partnerships to provide a wide range of services and recreation activities for residents.
- Snoqualmie Valley Senior Citizens’ Sno-Valley Senior Apartments, Carnation – Close to the Carnation Senior Center and downtown Carnation, this development is a 15-unit senior affordable housing project. Designed for one- or two-person senior households, five units are reserved for senior veterans.
- BRIDGE Housing and Community Roots Housing’s Northgate, Seattle – With 232 affordable housing units, this development within King County Metro’s Northgate Park and Ride site will include 24 Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) units. LEAD will work closely with community groups to connect community-based services to those who need them most.
- Downtown Emergency Service Center’s 15th Avenue, Seattle – A 105-unit permanent supportive housing development in Seattle’s Interbay neighborhood will serve individuals who have experienced chronic homelessness. Many are elderly and have physical or developmental disabilities. The development is conveniently located near a Rapid Ride line, allowing for reliable bus service to resources located in downtown Seattle.
- Plymouth Housing’s Pacific Apartments Rehab, Seattle – This rehabilitation project will result in 89 units of permanent supportive housing for people experiencing chronic homelessness. The building will include 53 studio and one-bedroom units, complete with full bathrooms and kitchenettes to improve the quality of life of their residents.
Additional progress on creating more affordable housing
Two additional projects previously funded through HFP are now underway in King County.
On February 1, a 334-unit affordable housing development project broke ground in Federal Way’s Redondo Heights community. The project received $11 million from the County, spread across three years in 2019, 2020, and 2022.
A partnership between the nonprofit Multi-Service Center (MSC) and housing developer Shelter Resource, Inc., the affordable apartment complex will also include an on-site community resources navigator for its tenants, and a satellite food bank to serve North Federal Way communities. Adjacent to a Park and Ride, the complex is also close to public transit, including the 272nd Link Light Rail station extension. Additional project funders include Amazon and the Washington State Department of Commerce Housing Finance Unit.
“We are excited to bring 334 additional quality affordable housing units to South King County with our Redondo Heights Project. This project reflects several years of planning and many partnerships from private funders, community organizations, and all levels of government,” said Robin Corak, MSC Chief Executive Officer. “Redondo Heights will help meet the growing need for affordable workforce housing while also providing improved access to resources such as onsite resource navigation for residents and a satellite food bank for both residents and the surrounding community.”
On January 20, a separate groundbreaking ceremony was held for a project in Seattle’s North Beacon Hill neighborhood. Known as North Lot, King County supported the project in 2016 with a $1.7 million acquisition loan to secure the property and provided an additional $1.7 million permanent loan which closed in October 2022 at the start of construction. The community-driven development will provide 160 units of affordable housing, including two, three, and four bedrooms to meet the needs of multi and intergenerational families in the area. Early learning programs, childcare, and other services are also available to nearby residents.
Located along the historic Pacific Hospital campus, North Lot is made possible through financing and partnerships from multiple public and private sources and is owned and managed by the Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority (SCIDpda). The project addresses the need for more affordable housing in Beacon Hill and the Chinatown International District (CID) – communities that are at high risk of displacement due to gentrification and increasing development pressures.
“Unique community development projects like the North Lot require the support, collaboration, and trust from a multitude of partners, funders, and advocates to bring the vision into fruition,” said Jamie Lee, SCIDpda’s Co-Executive Director. “We’re grateful to break ground on a project that will provide housing and services for generations to come.”
“The cold concrete of the interstate freeways destroyed so much of the International District and its warm and vigorous and glorious Communities of Color who have lived here for generations,” State Representative Frank Chopp said. “So, it is so fitting and proper that the county and state provided funding for this project to acquire this site and help build this property, rejuvenate this neighborhood, and to make up for decades of disruption and destruction of this community.”
Photo credit: Mel Ponder Photography