Hike funding

Commerce awards $17.5 million in infrastructure funding to spur affordable housing development in 11 counties

The grants fund utility connection fees and upgrades needed to connect affordable housing to municipal water and sewers.

OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington State Department of Commerce today announced $17.5 million in funding for 26 projects that will support the development of nearly 2,100 affordable housing units across the state. The funds will reduce the effective cost of fit-up by approximately $8,000 for each unit.

“Communities receiving grants have already made affordable housing a priority with local tax levies. This program supports and helps accelerate this work at a time when affordable housing projects across the state are facing significant cost increases,” said Lisa Brown, the state’s director of commerce.

The Connecting Housing to Infrastructure (CHIP) program allocates priority projects that include home ownership units under a community land trust, providing affordable housing in perpetuity.

The South Sound Family Support Center project in Olympia received funding in the first round of CHIP grants awarded in February this year to support its water, sewer and stormwater infrastructure. This rendering of the project shows the planned buildings and the retention pond. The project, developed by Bellwether Housing, will include 62 affordable housing units and provide services to the west side of the city. (Illustration courtesy of Family Support Center of South Sound & John Braund, Inc.).

Commerce provided funding for projects in 11 counties. They were selected from 44 applications received in the second round, including those not funded in the first round, and representing more than $40 million in applications.

  • Clark County
    • $1,335,605 to the City of Battlefield for the Weaver Creek Commons project of 80 affordable housing units with an accessible trail along the creek.
    • $345,900 to the City of Vancouver for the Fourth Plain Commons project with 106 affordable units in a mixed-use development.
  • Island County
    • $110,876 to the City of langley for the Heron Park project with seven affordable property units in a community land trust.
    • $70,245 to the City of langley for THINC Homes projects with 10 affordable units in a chalet setting.
  • King’s County
    • $1,228,000 to the City of Nice view for the Polaris project at Eastgate with 360 affordable units, including an early learning center.
    • $611,678 to the City of Eyelet for the Sno Valley project, with 15 affordable housing units for seniors in the area.
    • $464,370 to King’s County for the Samma Seniors project in Bothell with 76 affordable housing units for the elderly.
    • $1,098,844 to King County for the White Center HUB project with 76 affordable units adjacent to Dick Thurnau Memorial Park.
    • $316,020 to the City of renton for the Watershed Apartments projects with 145 affordable housing units, including several units for families with children.
    • $708,708 to the City of Seattle for the Boylston Housing project with 111 affordable housing units for formerly homeless seniors.
    • $1,245,023 to the City of Seattle for the Madison House project with 248 affordable units including a children’s play area.
    • $1,257,108 to the City of Seattle for the Rose 2 project with 181 affordable housing units in the Rainier Beach district.
    • $1,348,429 to the City of Seattle for the Yesler Family Housing project with 156 affordable housing units with daycare.
    • $625,000 to the City of Seattle for the PAHO project with 19 affordable property units in a community land trust.
    • $367,429 to the City of Littoral for the permanent supportive housing project with 100 affordable units demonstrating modular housing.
  • Kitsap County
    • $430,000 to the City of Bremerton for the Manette housing project with nine affordable units targeting itinerant families with children.
    • $240,000 to the City of Poulsbo for the Nordic Cottages project with six affordable units for women and families.
  • Kittitas County – $395,000 to the City of Ellensburg for the Stuart Meadows project with 18 affordable property units in a community land trust.
  • Mason County – $445,776 to the town of Shelton for the Quixote Communities project with 30 affordable housing units for veterans.
  • Pierce County – $700,000 to the city of Tacoma for the 15and and the Tacoma project with 86 affordable housing units supported by the Korean Women’s Association.
  • San Juan County – $159,417 to the City of Friday Harbor for the Holliwalk Homes project with eight affordable property units in a community land trust.
  • Snohomish County
    • $1,440,817 to the City of Lynnwood for the Housing Hope project at Scriber Field with 52 affordable housing units for homeless families in the Edmonds School District.
    • $1,361,011 to the City of Edmonds for the Housing Hope project at Lutheran Church Field with 52 affordable housing units.
  • Whatcom County – $502,302 to the City of Bellingham for the Samish Commons project with 102 affordable housing units in the Samish Urban Village.
  • Yakima County
    • $471,710 to the City of Yakima for the Genesis housing project with 32 affordable housing units serving low-income agricultural worker households.
    • $185,352 to the City of Yakima for the Rod’s House project with 12 affordable housing units designed for homeless youth.

CHIP grants provide up to $2.5 million per project for sewer, water, or stormwater improvements and/or system development fee waivers for new affordable housing projects. Applicant must be a city, county or public utility district in partnership with an affordable housing project. The goal is to help build more homes faster, covering upfront infrastructure costs and connecting homes to municipal systems.

The program will also help local governments reduce connection fees per unit, which are used to pay for area-wide improvements to water or wastewater systems. When utilities reduce these connection charges for affordable, multi-family or infill projects, it can help encourage the development of more of these housing options, which tend to be more affordable and make more efficient use of expensive infrastructure.

Next round soon open

Applications will soon be open for a third round of grants to be awarded this summer. More information is available on the CHIP webpage.