WCCDA
Located on the corner of SW 100th Street and 13th Avenue SW, SOPI will have 30 apartments ranging from one-bedrooms to three-bedrooms for low-income families.

Strength of Place Village groundbreaking set for Sept. 15

The White Center community is preparing for the groundbreaking of Strength of Place Village, a new construction project of 30 units of affordable rental housing near the business district, close to public transit, shopping and services.

During this challenging economic climate for affordable housing developers, the White Center Community Development Association, Capitol Hill Housing and Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association have combined resources through an innovative partnership to develop Strength of Place Village.

Located on the corner of SW 100th Street and 13th Avenue SW, the project will have 30 apartments ranging from one-bedrooms to three-bedrooms for low-income families making less than about $55,000 per year. Strength of Place Village will also deliver living-wage construction jobs to White Center and will be green built to the Washington State Evergreen Sustainable Development Standard.

Long-time White Center resident Laushonda Barquet remarks that Strength of Place Village "would be very beneficial to the White Center community because many residents have financial barriers that don’t permit us to find well managed, good quality homes we can afford.”

Executive Director of the White Center Community Development Association, Aileen Balahadia, says "Strength of Place Village represents a significant community achievement, working with the King County Sheriffs Office to identify a troubled corner property, meeting our residents' desire for quality, family-sized housing, reviving a walkable business district, and pulling together the resources and team to make these 30 units a reality. We believe the project is a true model for how to construct affordable housing the White Center way."

This project is one of five projects in Washington State that received American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Tax Credit Assistance Program funding administered by the Washington State Housing Finance Commission. In a time when low-income housing tax credits are scarce, the partnership’s combined strengths made it feasible for the project to secure tax credit equity and this stimulus award.

Capitol Hill Housing is the lead housing developer, the White Center Community Development Association is the local sponsor and Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association secured the site in 2008 and will provide construction management services for the project. The project is currently owned by a tax credit Limited Liability Company in which all three non-profit organizations have an ownership stake.

Christopher Persons, Executive Director of Capitol Hill Housing says “we are honored to have been invited into White Center to partner on this unique project. It is a model for collaboration and the development of affordable housing in a community context.”

Derek Birnie, Executive Director of Delridge Neighborhoods Development, the agency that originally purchased the property and started the development process, agrees that it has been an honor to be asked into the White Center neighborhood. He also states that “with all the changes that have been happening in both the financial and real estate sectors, this type of exciting collaboration between agencies is how nonprofits will be able to continue to develop quality affordable housing projects”.

Funding for this project is provided by Annie E. Casey Foundation, Impact Capital, King County, the State of Washington, Washington State Housing Finance Commission, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Tax Credit Assistance Program, National Equity Fund, Bank of America, Washington Community Reinvestment Association and the Bill & Melinda Gates Sound Families Initiative.

Construction will begin later this summer, preceded by a ceremonial groundbreaking and community BBQ on September 15, 2010. The project is scheduled to open in summer 2011.

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