Housing Hope to expand affordable housing

  • Sun Apr 1st, 2012 9:06pm
  • News

By Alejandro Dominguez Herald Writer

SNOHOMISH — Housing Hope is planning to buy an apartment building to provide affordable housing for the community.

The nonprofit wants to create 10 apartments in the building at 131 Ave. E. The nonprofit is seeking a $600,000 county grant to buy the building, which is priced at $1 million.

If the nonprofit does not obtain the grant, they would start work elsewhere. The group already has plans to build affordable housing in Monroe, Smokey Point and in south Snohomish County.

“It’s do or die,” Housing Hope executive director Ed Petersen said. “If we don’t get the grant, we will need to let the Snohomish project wait.”

A decision by the County Council is expected in May. If approved, the money would be available a few months later.

Getting the property is part of Housing Hope’s long-term goal to create 100 affordable houses or apartment units in east Snohomish County.

The plan started in 2002 when residents from Sultan approached Housing Hope seeking help in reducing endemic homelessness in Sultan and Monroe.

As a result, the Everett-based nonprofit created the Housing Hope East County Board to guide the task.

The first project was acquiring five apartments in Sultan in 2004. After that, they started housing projects in Monroe and Sultan. By 2009, the nonprofit had 16 houses and 24 apartments between these two cities.

This year, Housing Hope has started several projects in Monroe. If it acquires the apartment building in Snohomish, Housing Hope this year would create 30 more houses and apartments.

“We had 40 homes built in east county in 10 years,” board president Tom Fahey said. “Now we are looking to build 90 more in the next two years. We want to have a presence everywhere the community asks.”

Alejandro Dominguez: 425-339-3422; adominguez@heraldnet.com.