Church to Build 61-Unit Affordable Housing Project

SEATTLE, WA (November 18, 2011) – The community development arm of the Emerald City Bible Fellowship, an Evangelical Covenant Church congregation, has been awarded a $5.9 million grant to build a 61-unit affordable housing project.

The City of Seattle and the Washington Housing Trust Fund awarded the money to Urban Impact for the project, which will be located in the city’s Rainier Beach neighborhood. Impact Family Village will offer a mix of affordability levels – from families earning minimum wage to those earning about $40,000 a year, which is 50 percent of the area’s median income for a family of three, says Pastor Harvey Drake.

Twelve of the units will be set aside for households with a member who is disabled. The ground floor commercial space will be home to Rainier Health and Fitness, a nonprofit fitness facility run by Urban Impact, which is currently housed on the site in a mobile structure.

“We continue to see the impacts of the economic recession as more individuals and families are finding themselves struggling to afford housing,” said Mayor Mike McGinn in announcing the grant. “The city’s investment will provide affordable apartments while creating living-wage construction and building operation and maintenance jobs.”

“This awards unlocks the door for the tax credits and the small conventional loan that we will need to complete the funding necessary begin construction between April and June 2012,” says Drake. Another $350,000 still is needed for the project, he adds.

Drake and the church have been involved in projects to benefit the poor for a long time. Click here to read a Seattle Post-Intelligencer profile of Drake.

The grant given to the church was one of seven awarded organizations constructing affordable apartments. The investment primarily will help create 476 new permanent apartments, including some set-aside for seniors, families, homeless and veterans.

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