by Diane Urbani de la Paz, PDN
PORT TOWNSEND — In the state’s largest contribution of the current funding cycle, the state Department of Commerce has awarded $11,303,188 to the Olympic Community Action Programs’ Seventh and Hendricks affordable housing project.
Construction will start this year on the project, estimated at a total development cost of $15,217,345, OlyCAP executive director Cherish Cronmiller said, adding she hopes to apply for permits by February.
The single building, at 50,950 square feet, will include apartments of various sizes plus a childcare center for low- and middle-income residents, she said.
“It will be open to everybody,” as in all income-qualified families in the surrounding community.
The new complex also will provide support to residents who are dealing with homelessness, health issues, developmental disabilities and domestic violence — and it will be a net-zero energy-efficient building, she said.
All of those factors helped OlyCAP land the funding.
Port Townsend is one of 18 cities to receive Department of Commerce grants and loans to build affordable housing.
Of the $97 million awarded across the state, $85.3 million comes from Washington’s Housing Trust Fund, while $11.7 million was provided through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) HOME and National Housing Trust Fund programs.
“There is very little local money in the [Seventh and Hendricks] project,” Cronmiller said, noting that about 1 percent comes from local public and private sources, including Jefferson County, the city of Port Townsend and the Port Townsend Noon Rotary and Kiwanis clubs.
She’s meeting with developers this week and looking for ways to trim expenses — and raise more money at home.
“There are some things we can tweak,” she said, to lower the cost of constructing the 43-unit building.