Catholic Charities of Spokane says it has agreed to purchase 25 acres of land in Airway Heights for about $430,000 and will partner with two other nonprofits here to develop several types of affordable housing on the property at a total cost of about $26 million.
The organization will collaborate with Habitat for Humanity-Spokane and Spokane-based Community Frameworks to build 180 units of multifamily, single-family, and factory-built homes on vacant property near 6th Street and Garfield Road, just south of the Airway Heights Corrections Center and near the Northern Quest Resort Hotel, says Tobby Hatley, spokesman for the nonprofit.
He says some living units in the development likely will be ready to occupy in the next two to three years, and the overall project is expected to take at least five years to complete.
The development will be intended for people whose incomes don't qualify them to rent or purchase a residence through traditional methods.
Of the housing units, roughly 100 will be built by Catholic Charities, 50 will be Community Frameworks factory-built homes, and 30 will be new single-family homes built by Habitat for Humanity.
The estimated total project value includes the cost of acquiring the property, installing infrastructure, and constructing housing.
The two-parcel property currently is owned by FBA Land Holdings LLC, of Coeur d'Alene, and the Kalispel Tribe of Indians. FBA Land Holdings is owned by Metropolitan Creditors Trust, successor to Metropolitan Mortgage & Securities Inc., of Spokane, which declared bankruptcy in 2004.
FBA Land Holdings was established to sell Metropolitan Mortgage-owned property for the benefit of the defunct company's creditors.
The planned affordable-housing development is part of The Fairchild Air Force Base Accident Potential Zone Relocation Project that aims to provide alternative housing options for roughly 600 people currently living in mobile homes and apartments south of U.S. 2, east of the base.
That section of residential property is considered to be in a crash zone, Hatley says. Public or private entities likely will look to acquire that property in the future, after it's vacated, to prevent people from moving back into the crash zone, thereby helping to protect Fairchild, he says.
In a press release outlining the project, Catholic Charities Executive Director Robert McCann said, "There are many people living in great need beneath Fairchild's flight path. It is our hope to assist them to find safer housing alternatives and paths to more stable and healthy lives."
Preston Ramsey, real estate consultant for the Metropolitan Creditors Trust, said in the release, "Moving forward with this widely supported plan clearly signals to everyone, including the Defense Department, that our entire region supports Fairchild and the effort to help people have better lives."
Kent Caputo, COO for the Kalispel Tribal Economic Authority, said, "The Kalispel Tribe has been working closely with Catholic Charities on this effort for quite some time.
"Overall, it's great for the community, the base, and the people who will eventually have higher quality housing in a much safer area of Airway Heights."
Hatley says serious discussions about the planned affordable housing development have been going on for the last year.
The project is expected to be funded through a mix of federal, state, and local dollars.
Social service agency Catholic Charities of Spokane is based here at 12 E. Fifth, and specializes in providing family, senior, and disabled housing. It also offers counseling, child birth, and parenting assistance, among other services.
Last year, Catholic Charities opened the $8 million, 51-unit Father Bach Haven low-income housing development at 108 S. State downtown.
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