A private investment of $32 million will allow the Housing Authority of Grays Harbor County to launch a major renovation effort to preserve its 10 existing affordable housing properties.
The infusion is coming from the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program, the Housing Authority said Thursday.
The work is expected to begin in April.
The Housing Authority also said the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher wait list will open Oct. 30. The last time the wait list opened was for three weeks in December 2015, according to Lisa Boone of the Housing Authority.
“The renovation will address millions in deferred capital improvements and will help allow the projects and the authority to be less dependent on federal funds, long term,” said Housing Authority Executive Director Jerry Raines. “Some of the developments have had minimal updates since constructed in the 1960s and 1970s, and the modernization will be the largest in the Housing Authority’s history.”
According to the authority, residents may need to relocate temporarily, but the project team will work to minimize the impact on residents as much as possible.
The funding model allows the authority to have the work done without using public funds, according to a statement released Wednesday. Under this structure, a private investor will fund the project in exchange for access to tax credits.
The Housing Authority of Grays Harbor will act as the general partner of the partnership; after the 15-year timeline, it is expected that the Housing Authority will acquire the investor’s interest in the partnership.
The renovation projects will fall under the operational title, Herman Johnson LLLP.
Residents will continue to pay at least 30 percent of their income in rent and utilities under two federal housing programs: the Housing Choice Voucher Program and the Project-Based Section 8 Program, according to the release.
The Section 8 wait list will remain open from Oct. 30 “until further notice,” and those in need of low-income housing are encouraged to sign up as soon as the list opens. Applications are available at the administration office at 602 E. First St. in Aberdeen starting at 8 a.m. Questions should be directed to 360-532-0570 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Housing Authority notes that people who live or work in the county will be eligible for a residency preference.
The influx of private construction funding will bring “a major boost for the residents as well as the local economy,” according to the authority’s statement. “The construction will be carried out by Walsh Construction, a Pacific Northwest company, which will set up shop in Aberdeen in order to be available locally for the duration of the project. The team also intends to do as much local product purchases and hiring as possible.”
The Housing Authority will host a community meeting to discuss the scope of the work and economic opportunities for local contractors in addition to general information for the community. It will be held at the Rotary Log Pavilion at 1401 Sargent Blvd. in Aberdeen on Tuesday from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.