San Juan County Awards $1.7 Million for Affordable Housing

Ongoing construction at OPAL’s April’s Grove affordable housing project on Orcas Island. / Contributed Photo

The San Juan County Council discussed applications received for the 2020 Home Fund affordable housing project on Tuesday, Sept. 29.

The council approved Home Fund grants and funding commitments to five projects totaling $1,782,734.

These funds will contribute to the construction of 59 total new affordable housing units, and the preservation of another 19 affordable housing units.

All units funded will have long-term affordability restrictions. Total estimated project costs for the five projects amount to $26,523,437.

Insulated panels from Salish Way III on Lopez Island, funded in part by the Home Fund. / Contributed Photo

This year is the second annual funding round for the Home Fund program.

The Home Fund is a 0.5% Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) unique to San Juan County and approved by county voters in November 2018.

Home Fund dollars are used for the development of affordable housing, including acquisition, building, rehabilitation, and maintenance of housing for very low, low, and moderate-income persons and those with special needs.

Eligible recipients of these funds are nonprofit agencies, housing authorities, private for-profit affordable housing providers, and other public agencies.

On July 1, 2020, San Juan County Health & Community Services released a Notice of Funds Available to solicit applications from eligible recipients for affordable housing projects to be funded by the Home Fund. The county received five eligible applications with total funding requests amounting to $3,532,551.

County staff and the Housing Advisory Committee reviewed and scored the applications, heard presentations from the applicants at their August 12th, 2020 meeting, and provided the county council with funding recommendations. The council considered the applications and funding recommendations from staff and the Housing Advisory Committee.

The council awarded full grant funding to the following projects:

  • $900,000 in supplemental funding to OPAL Community Land Trust for the April’s Grove construction project on Orcas Island.
  • $32,000 in supplemental fund to Lopez Community Land Trust for the Salish Way III construction project on Lopez Island.
  • $150,734 to the Opportunity Council for the Harborview Apartments preservation project on San Juan Island.

The council also committed partial funding to the following projects:

  • $300,000 in contingent funding to Housing Lopez for the FishBay Cottages construction project on Lopez Island.
  • $400,00 in contingent funding to San Juan Community Home Trust for the Holliwalk Homes construction project on San Juan Island.

Completed re-roofing project in the Salal neighborhood on San Juan Island. / Contributed Photo

These awards on contingent on the two projects receiving full funding over the next two years.

With these awards, the council has now awarded over $2.9 million dollars for affordable housing projects in our county since 2019. Since the inception of this fund, the Council has desired to put these funds to work as soon as possible in the community.

Information about the next funding round for 2021 Home Fund projects will be made available in Spring 2021.

Health & Community Services would like to thank all of the applicants for their efforts during this process. For more information on the Home Fund, visit https://www.sanjuanco.com/1595/San-Juan-County-Home-Fund.

Posted on October 6, 2020 at 6:00 am by

Categories: Community, Government

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