More than $8 million in grant funding from the Washington Department of Commerce (DOC) will allow two local housing agencies to acquire about 30 combined units of housing for currently homeless people, the department announced Thursday.
Commerce awarded about $50 million to housing agencies across the state, which will provide 214 housing units and 70 beds, through the Rapid Housing Acquisition Program, including $7.9 million to The Moore Wright Group and $856,000 to the Coastal Community Action Program.
Using that funding, the housing agencies will buy or rent property and convert it to anything from emergency shelter space to transitional or permanent housing, according to the DOC application.
According to a press release, The Moore Wright Group will acquire or rehabilitate 30 units of low-income housing into “permanent supportive housing units,” serving homeless families with children.
At least some of those units will be supplied via adaptive reuse, the conversion of old or non-housing buildings into affordable housing.
The funding will contribute to “Moore Wright Legacy Housing Scattered Sites,” according to the press release. Scattered-site housing enters homeless or low-income people into a variety of unit types instead of being concentrated into one area.
The Moore Wright Group Executive Director Tanikka Watford couldn’t be reached by press time, but told The Daily World earlier this month that the group already owns 16 homes, which were being readied for a similar purpose. The nonprofit operates out of a 44,000-square-foot warehouse on Simpson Avenue, which was formerly a Swanson’s grocery store, and served as an emergency warming shelter this year.
The Coastal Community Action Program’s award will go toward the purchase of a fourplex in Long Beach. CCAP Executive Director Craig Dublanko said the agency has already accepted an offer on the building, which is next door to CCAP’s Pacific County office, pending the arrival of the grant funds.
That housing will serve homeless people in Pacific County, Dublanko said, adding he didn’t know exactly when the property would be ready for someone to move in, but all the inspections have been completed.
Dublanko said CCAP has also applied for funding for 12 units of modular housing through a similar grant program and is waiting to hear back.
In 2022 the Washington state Legislature appropriated $300 million in supplemental funding to the 2021-2022 capital budget for acquisition of property to be converted into homeless housing. About $20 million of those funds were set aside for rural areas or underserved communities.
This award was the second round of competitive grant funding for the acquisition funding. Commerce awarded about $65 million in round one last year.
“We have far more work to do, but this latest round of investments will quickly bring more housing options online and maintain them for the future,” said Department of Commerce Acting Director Kendrick Stewart in a press release.
Contact reporter Clayton Franke at 406-552-3917 or firstname.lastname@example.org.