Housing for low-income families coming to Edmonds Lutheran Church property

Artist’s conception of the 52-unit housing project planned for the vacant lot adjacent to the Edmonds Lutheran Church on 236th Street Southwest near Highway 99.

A new building that will house 52 low-income families is planned for South Edmonds. Led by Housing Hope of Everett in partnership with Edmonds Lutheran Church, the new project will be built on the church’s open lot, located on 236th Street Southwest near Highway 99.

The site is the former location of the proposed Blokable Project, a collaboration between Compass Housing Alliance, housing manufacturer Blokable and the Edmonds Lutheran Church. She fell victim to a combination of shifting priorities at Compass and funding challenges. Originally calling for the transfer of ownership to Compass, the project ‘rolled out’ in early 2020 and ownership of the property ultimately remained with the church.

The new Edmonds Lutheran property development is being led by Housing Hope of Everett as part of its mission to “promote and provide affordable housing and tailor-made services to reduce homelessness and poverty for the residents of Snohomish County and of Camano Island ”. Incorporated in 1987 through the efforts of the North Snohomish County Council of Churches, Housing Hope has developed 479 residential units at 22 sites and 301 owned units in Snohomish County (see map).

In business for 34 years, Housing Hope of Everett has overseen the construction and management of nearly 50 low-income projects in Snohomish County.

During its first three decades, Housing Hope developed projects in the Everett area and the northern and eastern sections of the county, but the organization is now focused on South Snohomish County. In addition to the Edmonds Lutheran project, a 60-unit building is being planned for Marysville. And a 52-unit building – slated for the Scriber baseball field owned by the Edmonds School District in Lynnwood – is in the design phase. More details are available on the Housing Hope website.

“When the Compass deal was struck, we saw the opportunity and began discussions with the church about who we are and what we can do,” said Fred Safstrom, CEO of Housing Hope.

This led to a memorandum of understanding with the church in November 2020 that set out Housing Hope’s plans to acquire the land and build a 52-unit complex for low-income people. It will consist of six one-bedroom units, 34 two-bedroom units and 12 three-bedroom units.

“Our goal is for half of these homes to be occupied by currently homeless families,” said Safstrom. “In addition, half of the tenants will have incomes at 50% or less of the median income for the region. (Note: In 2019, the median income for the Snohomish County area was $ 89,260).

Artist’s impression of the construction site seen from above, with 236th Street Southwest to the right.

“Basically, we operate on a Housing First model,” continued Safstrom. “Families come to us with all kinds of backgrounds. We work with them, help them overcome the obstacles that prevent them from earning an adequate income and achieving self-sufficiency. We are an agency that doesn’t just provide housing. We pair it with a rich program of services that helps families overcome barriers like homelessness and poverty, and then helps them move on.

The programs include basic skills such as how to budget and manage a household, be an effective parent, and maintain personal health. While many of these services are provided in-house, Housing Hope also works with specialist providers to focus on areas such as work experience (for example, on-the-job training) and chemical dependency.

Edmonds Lutheran pastor Tim Oleson said the project fits perfectly with the mission and overall goals of the congregation.

“The use of our lot is for affordable housing is a long-awaited dream of this religious community,” said Oleson. “We take seriously our gospel call to care for those in need of help and support, and we know that affordable and stable housing is a serious need, and the health and healing that come with it. safe accommodation. We are delighted to have found a new partner in Housing Hope, who has an excellent track record and strong examples of housing management and management. We are happy to partner with them and have them as neighbors. “

According to Safstrom, CEO of Housing Hope, funding for the project is currently being finalized, and if all goes well, it should be completed by the end of 2021. A permit application has not yet been filed with of the Town of Edmonds, but construction is expected to start. by mid-2022, and the building would be ready for occupancy by the end of 2023.

– By Larry Vogel

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