Imagine Housing celebrated the 30Bellevue grand opening last week, introducing the newest affordable housing community in Bellevue that now offers 63 apartments for low-income individuals and families.
30Bellevue is a joint project between Imagine Housing and St. Luke’s Lutheran Church with support from numerous local organizations, donors and volunteers who all aim to make Bellevue affordable for its workforce of teachers, service workers, veterans and first responders. Officials from Imagine Housing, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, A Regional Coalition for Housing (ARCH), King County, the city of Bellevue and the Washington State Senate joined together to cut the ribbon on June 4.
“It is truly a privilege to be here on behalf of the 15 member cities that make up the ARCH coalition to celebrate with you the opening of 30Bellevue,” executive manager Lindsay Masters said. “The 63 homes in this project are going to provide a stable foundation for people to live and thrive. They are going to create a lasting community for residents and neighbors. A project like this stands as a reflection of our values, and that is the value that housing is a human right and that affordable housing is an essential component of any healthy community.”
The project began in 2014 when St. Luke’s partnered with Imagine Housing and offered a portion of their property to build an affordable apartment community. Pastor Mark Griffith of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church attended the event and cut the ribbon as he stood with the numerous officials involved with and supportive of the project.
“[We] hope that other organizations with available real estate will see our partnership with Imagine Housing as a template and road map for how to join forces to make a significant impact in the community. We know the need is so much more,” Griffith said in a press release.
King County’s Regional Affordable Housing Task Force estimated that 157,000 new homes are needed now to solve the current housing crisis, according to Imagine Housing.
“Microsoft is making the incredible investment of half a billion dollars in housing at multiple levels. We’ll see exactly how that works out, but we need to produce more and we need to produce it here in Bellevue,” Bellevue Mayor John Chelminiak said. “A city is a catalyst for building a great community. This is a perfect example of the city working with the private sector and with the public to build a better community. We will have 63 new neighbors living with us here in this housing, and it is a step in the right direction of having mixed income neighborhoods across all of Bellevue and the Eastside.”
The grand opening event was standing room only and featured tours of the facility after several speeches from attending officials, including Chelminiak, Masters, Griffith, Sen. Patty Kuderer, King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci, Kim Herman, executive director of the Washington State Housing Finance Commission, and Dan Watson, deputy director of King County Housing Authority.
“The grand opening of 30Bellevue is truly a celebration of a community coming together to address a need,” said Villette Nolon, president and CEO of Imagine Housing, who hosted the event. “We are grateful for our partnership with St. Luke’s Lutheran Church and the city of Bellevue and for their vision and understanding of how affordable housing strengthens our communities.”