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State awards $15.1 million to preserve nearly 1,000 affordable housing units

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Nearly 1,000 affordable housing units at 32 housing preservation projects will receive $15.1 million in grants and loans to complete preservation work. The money, from the state’s Housing Trust Fund, will be used in communities throughout Washington.

Of the 934 multifamily units, nearly half (432) will be occupied by extremely low-income households earning 30 percent or less of the area median income, according to an announcement from the Washington State Department of Commerce. Approximately 70 percent of units currently in the state’s Housing Trust Fund portfolio house people with extremely low-incomes and special needs.

Partnerships with private, public, nonprofit and community organizations will enable completion of the preservation work, which is estimated to cost more than $1 million. Each state dollar invested is expected to leverage about two additional dollars from thee other sources.

Commerce Director Lisa Brown said maintaining the quality and availability of the current housing inventory serving the state’s most vulnerable residents “is a high-priority, cost-effective investment. These funds strengthen communities across the state by preserving safe, decent, affordable housing for those in need,” she added.

Lawmakers allocated $10 million during the 2019 legislative session for competitive funding to preserve existing affordable housing units in the state portfolio. Legislators appropriated an addition $5 million during this year’s session.

Applicants from 33 projects requested $15.7 million to preserve 1,018 units statewide.

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