Hope House garners $13 million for downtown project
Low-income apartments, shelter near full fundingMay 9th, 2019
The Washington State Housing Finance Commission has approved $237 million for construction or preservation of nearly 1,000 affordable apartments throughout the state, including $13 million in tax-credit equity for the 60 units to be built at the planned Hope House shelter and low-income apartment complex.
The project owner, Volunteers of America of Eastern Washington & North Idaho, is expected to break ground this fall on the $15 million Hope House, which is slated to open next year at 1301 W. Third, the longtime site of Linnie’s Thai Cuisine restaurant. Hope House will have 120 emergency shelter beds on the ground floor and 60 studio apartments on the other three floors.
The housing credit program allows developers to sell tax credits to investors to raise capital for construction. Those investors offset their corporate income taxes and gain equity in the project. The planned new Hope House building was one of five affordable housing projects statewide financed this year through the finance commission’s competitive low-income housing tax credit program.
Hope House will operate under the nonprofit organization Volunteers of America of Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho. The organization will use the funds to finance 60 apartments planned for the top three levels of the four-story building, says Fawn Schott, Volunteers of America of Eastern Washington & Northern Idaho president and CEO.
“The money constructs the building and allows enough to provide one support staff for the building,” Schott says. “All of the operations and maintenance of the building are also included in the long-term funding of the building.”
Schott says the low-income studio apartments, which will occupy about 11,000 square feet on each of the top three stories, will be open exclusively to single men and single women who previously have been homeless and who have a documented disability.
“We’re really excited to bring the shelter and another 60 permanent housing units on board so that we can meet the needs of our women and our singles that are coming off the street in finding stabilization and permanent housing, and helping them on their journey to self-sufficiency,” Schott says.
In addition to the tax-credit equity funding, Hope House received $1 million from Premera Blue Cross, $500,000 from the state Legislature, $200,000 from the Smith-Barbieri Progressive Fund, and $100,000 from a private donor. Including the tax-credit equity funding, the project has so far received a total of $14.8 million.
Spokane-based Inland Construction & Development Co. is the contractor on the project. Chris Weiland, of Architecture All Forms, designed the building.