Bellevue approves $1.8 million to affordable housing, shelter projects

The need for affordable housing is felt across the region.

The Bellevue City Council unanimously approved more than $1.8 million to help thwart homelessness across the region on Monday.

The funding was recommended by A Regional Coalition for Housing’s (ARCH) executive board and will serve projects being built in Kirkland, Redmond, Issaquah and the greater Eastside area.

ARCH is a comprised of Eastside city councils, a citizen advisory board, an executive board and staff, and was established in 1992 after a Citizens Affordable Housing Task Force in Bellevue did a study confirming the need for affordable housing on the Eastside.

The city of Bellevue’s funding comes from the city’s Housing Fund to ARCH, which was established in 1991 to “fund the creation and preservation of affordable housing for low-and-moderate-income households,” according to city documents.

Esterra Park

Although Bellevue gave $213,883 in 2017 to Esterra, the city council approved an additional $498,264 towards Imagine Housing’s 130-unit rental project. The site is in Redmond near Bel-Red and the Overlake Transit Center. Not only will rent be affordable, but the YWCA will operate a childcare facility.

Esterra Park will include 50 units that will serve those making 30 percent, 40 percent and 60 percent of the area median income, which is currently $67,200 for one person and $96,000 for a four-person household in King County. Approximately 80 units will be available for those making 50 percent and 60 percent of the area median income and between 8-16 units will be available for those with Section 8 vouchers. Units for homeless and disabled people will also be available.

Approximately $250,000 of the $1.8 million is slated for contingency on this project, Those funds came from the 2018 City Commitment to the Trust Fund.

According to city documents, Imagine Housing is co-developing the property with Pryde + Johnson, who will build a 9-story, 126-unit residential structure in the same area.

Trailhead Apartments

The city of Bellevue allocated $807,558 to the King County Housing Authority’s new transit-oriented development project in central Issaquah near the transit center. The 155-unit project will serve households at or below 60 percent of the area median income and 24 units will serve those households who make 40 percent of the area median income, which will be supported with vouchers.

Spectrum Development Solutions is partnering with the King County Housing Authority on this project and will develop 200 of its own market rate and affordable housing units, including a new child care center, an adult family home for people with special needs, a community space and commercial space for supportive services.

Women and Family Shelter

Organized by Catholic Community Services and The Sophia Way, a permanent winter shelter for women and families is being proposed for the Salt House Church located in the Rose Hill neighborhood of Kirkland. The city of Bellevue allocated $203,670 towards this shelter, which will replace the temporary winter shelter and day centers on the Eastside. The building will be 19,075-square-foot and be divided into two shelters and day centers on separate floors. The women’s shelter will house 48 women and the family shelter will hold 50 people.

According to city documents, the day center will provide case management, food preparation and service, a computer lab and storage of belongings and pets.

Men’s Group Homes

The Congregations for the Homeless, which currently operates Bellevue’s temporary men’s winter shelter at Lincoln Center, plans to remodel a single family home somewhere on the Eastside. To help with this project, the city of Bellevue distributed $60,567 from their fund.

Although the location hasn’t yet been determined, they anticipate the house will be five-to-six bedrooms for five-to-six homeless men. The men would be referred to the home through coordinated entry or if they’ve “graduated” from other programs within the organization. Congregations for the Homeless would own this house as opposed to leasing it, which they already do for 10 other leased group living homes on the Eastside. According to city documents, the organization reports a 90 percent success rate when using the graduation model from shelter to group living and, eventually, independent living.

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