Press Release: Imagine Housing and Red Vines 1 Break Ground on New Affordable Housing for Seniors


Kirkland – On September 9, 2016, Kirkland-based nonprofits Imagine Housing and Red Vines 1 will break ground on a new community in Kirkland.  The nonprofit partners have been building supportive affordable housing in the area for 29 years. Athene, located in the Totem Lake neighborhood next to Imagine Housing’s existing Francis Village, will provide 91 new studio, 1- and 2-bedroom apartments for seniors earning up to 60% of area median income.  Twenty apartments will be reserved for seniors experiencing homelessness.

With construction underway, Athene plans to begin leasing in the spring of 2017.  The sustainably built community will feature attractive and inviting community spaces; free common area wi-fi; and easy access to Eastside shopping, services, and transportation.  On-site supportive services will enhance health, wellness, and community engagement. The new community will help serve the many seniors who, despite living and working in the community for years, can no longer afford Eastside rents.

“I’m on a fixed income – social security,” said one local senior who is in search of affordable housing. “That doesn’t really match a person’s living needs.” She shared that her current rent is nearly 90% of her social security check, due to rising rents that outpace increases in social security payments.

Community members joining Imagine Housing and Red Vines 1 to celebrate Athene’s groundbreaking include King County Executive Dow Constantine, King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci, and Kirkland Mayor Amy Walen; event sponsors JP Morgan Chase Community Investment Banking and Raymond James Tax Credit Funds, Inc.; and Ankrom Moisan Architects and Venture General Contracting LLC.

“We are proud to partner with supporters and experts who share an understanding that building quality, affordable housing strengthens the Eastside and allows all members to thrive,” said Chris Jowell, Executive Director of Imagine Housing and Red Vines 1. “We look forward to opening Athene to provide more of our senior neighbors the opportunity for quality housing in their chosen community.”

Funding for the development of Athene is provided by: JP Morgan Chase Community Investment Banking, Raymond James Tax Credit Funds, Inc., Washington State Department of Commerce, King County, Washington Community Reinvestment Association, Washington State Housing Finance Commission, Impact Capital, and King County Housing Authority. Funding is also provided by the Eastside Housing Trust Fund, administered by A Regional Coalition for Housing with funding from the cities of Bellevue, Clyde Hill, Hunts Point, Issaquah, Kenmore, Kirkland, Medina, Mercer Island, Newcastle, Redmond, Sammamish, Woodinville, and Yarrow Point.

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Imagine Housing empowers individuals and families, supports diversity and strengthens communities by developing permanent affordable rental housing and providing supportive services.  Since 1987, Imagine Housing has built affordable apartment communities so that, regardless of income, individuals and families in East King County have stable housing and strong support in diverse communities that empower success and foster a high quality of life.  For more information on Imagine Housing and its services, call 425.576.5190.

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