This year Imagine Housing submitted a request for funding to The Washington State Department of Commerce, Housing Trust Fund for our Totem Lake Phase II – Senior (TL II) project in Kirkland. Totem Lake Phase II would be built next door to our current Francis Village apartment homes. This building would offer 95 senior residents an affordable, modern apartment community.
We were saddened to learn last week that we did not secure funding from the Housing Trust Fund this budget year.
The good news is that 14 projects throughout the State did receive funding which will provide nearly 800 low income families with homes in Washington. The projects that secured a total of $28,620,000 are located in the following communities: Seattle (3), Olympia, Shoreline, Vancouver, Snohomish, Chelan, Mattawa, Othello (2), Pullman, Longview, Kelso, and Everett. The funds will be used to leverage additional monies to provide homes for homeless veterans, farm workers, residents with developmental disabilities, and low income/formerly homeless seniors. Our Eastside successfully secured $180,000 as part of a 3-bedroom group home project in Bothell and Kirkland. Commerce is to be commended on stretching extremely limited resources and funding 15 of the 17 projects submitted in 2014. Funding was designated to these projects in the order of priority are prescribed by the legislature when the LEAP (Legislative Evaluation & Accountability Program) List was established in 2012. Totem Lake Phase II – Senior was 16th on the list out of 17 projects.
Even with this unexpected setback, Imagine Housing is still exploring out of the box ideas (private investment, corporate sponsors, benefactors) to break ground on this project.
There is still a critical need and demand for affordable senior housing in Kirkland and strong support for Totem Lake Phase II – Senior from the City of Kirkland, the Kirkland Senior Advisory Council, the Kirkland Senior Center, and the surrounding community. Imagine Housing’s current waitlist has over 3,000 households seeking affordable housing on the Eastside. At least 450 households, or 15 percent of the waitlist would be eligible for senior housing. We anticipate at least 50 percent, or roughly 225 of those senior households, would be interested in living at Totem Lake Phase II – Senior. This is in addition to interested senior households that are not currently on our waitlist.
We hope that you will ask your legislators to support adequate funding for the Washington State Department of Commerce, Housing Trust Fund in the 2015-2017 biennium budget so that we can continue building affordable homes for our neighbors on the Eastside.
~Sibyl Glasby, Director of Housing Development