With modular apartments behind him, Bryce Knoth, a carpenter, works on framing at Twin Lakes Landing, a complex for families who struggle with consistent housing, on Tuesday in Marysville. Housing Hope teams up with Snohomish County on what is called coordinated entry for those who need a place to live. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Twin Lakes Landing will provide stable housing for families

SMOKEY POINT — Five of six foundations are in at Housing Hope’s newest and largest build.

Prefabricated apartments, made in Idaho, are stored on the property next door. A 400-ton crane will drop them into place over a two week period once the base work is done, said Carl Remick, site manager with Synergy Construction. After finishing touches such as siding and landscaping, the buildings are designed to look like any other apartment complex.

This complex is meant to provide homes for dozens of families who have struggled to keep a roof over their heads.

Twin Lakes Landing, west of I-5 near the Marysville lakes it’s named for, is quickly taking shape. On Tuesday, a construction crew and friendly German shepherd made their way through a maze of dirt where workers are building the final foundation for the two-story buildings.

Talk of the project started more than five years ago. The nonprofit Housing Hope purchased property in 2013. Construction began in January and should be done by October. Using modular buildings shaves several months off the timeline. It’s a method Remick expects to see more in the future.

Housing Hope owns 2.5 acres on which the $15 million project is being built, and another 3.5 acres where it could someday expand. Work is paid for through a mix of tax credits, grants, donations and financing.

The complex is expected to house 50 families. Of those, 38 would be coming from living spaces that are not considered fit for human habitation, such as a car or shack.

Housing Hope teams up with Snohomish County on what is called coordinated entry for those who need a place to live, said Bobby Thompson, the nonprofit’s housing director. The wait-list can be prioritized by need. Housing Hope works mostly with families. The nonprofit sees a stable home for children as critical to overcoming generational poverty.

In 30 of the 50 units, tenants would pay about a third of their income toward rent and the rest would be subsidized, Thompson said. Other units will have rates calculated to be affordable for someone who makes half the area’s median income. For a family of four, half the median income is $45,150.

There will be rules for residents.

“This is drug-free housing,” Thompson said. “We realize that we have families who come in with backgrounds and histories of substance abuse or other issues, and that’s why we have our model.”

The model includes classes and one-on-one coaching, along with connections to other local programs, meant to help with money management, mental and physical health issues, employment, education and addictions.

Each apartment is around 800 square feet, or less. Families are not given a time frame for how long they are allowed to stay. They leave when they are able to support themselves in other housing.

“Homeless housing used to be time-limited,” Thompson said. “It’s not that way anymore. Every family is different. Some families could be here nine months, some three or four years.”

Plans for the site include a playground, hard-surface sports court, community garden and a room for adult life skills classes with an adjoining classroom for children. A family support coach also will work on site, Housing Hope spokeswoman Sara Haner said.

“It’s serving as that hub for families so they don’t have to go to Everett to get services,” she said. “We want to remove those barriers.”

Twin Lakes Landing is expected to open in early October. It likely will hold the title of Housing Hope’s largest project for about a year. Designs are in the works for a 65-unit complex in Everett at HopeWorks Station.

Families who will be moving into Twin Lakes Landing should be selected over the next five months. To get on the list for help with housing and other services, call 2-1-1.

Kari Bray: 425-339-3439; kbray@heraldnet.com.

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