What is the Home Fund?
A critical part of getting people off of the street is building more housing for our lowest income neighbors. The Home Fund Levy that was passed in 2018 will provide more than $2 million in new revenue each year to develop and sustain supportive housing and affordable housing in our community.
The Home Fund will be partnering with non-profit and for-profit developers to grow more traditionally produced affordable housing units, and look for new ways to build affordable housing in Olympia.
What is the City Doing with Home Fund Dollars?
65 percent of Home Fund dollars (around 1.3 million in 2019) are dedicated to construction of affordable housing and shelter. The other 35 percent will go to operations of homeless and housing programs.
On June 18, 2019, City Council awarded 1.1 million to a partnership that is planning 60 new shelter beds and 60 new supportive housing apartments at 2828 Martin Way. That partnership is led by Interfaith Works and the Low Income Housing Alliance. They will also be pursuing state Housing Trust Fund dollars and federal Low Income Housing tax credits to help fund construction. The property for this development was purchased by the Home Fund.
In June of 2020, the City Council approved the second competitive Home Fund Capital Construction award. Council reviewed and approved the Home Fund Advisory Board’s recommendation to grant $1 million to the Family Support Center of South Sound for construction of 62 new units of housing for homeless children and their families as well as survivors of domestic violence on 7th Avenue in west Olympia.
In the first year of operation the new housing is expected to serve 209 children, parents and survivors of domestic violence. The total construction cost for this project is currently estimated at $15.7 million. Other funders include Thurston County ($372,000) the Washington State Housing Trust Fund ($3.3 million) and federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits authorized by the Washington State Housing Finance Commission ($10 million). These apartments are slated to be fully occupied in 2023.
Both grants were the result of a competitive process that was publicly advertised on the City’s website, The Olympian, and Builder’s Exchange.
When Will Housing be Built?
Two apartment complexes for people currently experiencing homelessness hope to break ground in 2020 and 2021 with a mix of public resources from the City, County, State and other sources.
The 2828 Martin Way project will break ground in the winter of 2020. That project is being developed by the Low Income Housing Institute and will be staffed by Interfaith Works.
The 3524 7th Avenue Family Support Center project is scheduled to break ground in 2021. That project is being developed by Bellwether Housing and will be managed by the Family Support Center of South Sound.
What Kind of Housing will be Built?
Generally, the Home Fund will help build apartment buildings - but lots of approaches to developing affordable housing are possible. Often supportive services could be provided on site.
Where Will Housing be Built?
Local nonprofits will usually identify land suitable for new affordable apartment’s based on available land and its proximity to services (like transit, schools or social services). Sometimes the City or others could buy the land and donate it for affordable housing.
How Will Decisions About Home Fund Dollars be Made?
A Home Fund Advisory Committee (View Member List) was formed in 2019 to make recommendations on the use of Olympia’s Home Fund Levy.
Meeting details, agendas and minutes are available online at https://olympia.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx.
Contact Cary Retlin, Home Fund Manager, at 360.570.3956 or email@example.com