Groundbreaking for a retirement home | To free
OMAK – Affordable housing for seniors is one step closer to reality as the Housing Authority of Okanogan County inaugurated a new 16-unit facility last week.
A notice to proceed with the construction of the 16 Meadowlark Senior Housing units was signed on March 29. Two days later, a groundbreaking ceremony was held at the site’s location, 624 N. Pine St.
Yvonne Bussler-White, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Housing Authority of Okanogan County, said as she presided over the groundbreaking ceremony, “that the mission of the Housing Authority is to expand the possibilities housing for low-income families throughout Okanogan County Meadowlark Senior Housing is one of many recent projects that have enabled us to fulfill this mission.
Okanogan County Commissioner Chris Branch also spoke at the ceremony, noting how happy he was to see the Housing Authority fulfilling this mission.
“We need all kinds of housing in this county; affordable housing for working families, housing for farm workers and housing for the elderly, ”Branch said. “Each new unit makes a difference in our communities.
The project is adjacent to the Pine Meadows Senior Living, which was built in 2012 and has been managed by the Housing Authority since that time.
“This property was purchased at the same time as the Pine Meadows property and has always been for the development of affordable housing,” said Nancy Nash-Mendez, executive director of the Housing Authority of Okanogan County. “We were just waiting for help with the funding. ”
The state, with its housing trust fund program, after a rigorous selection process, eventually became the main funder of the Meadowlark project. Other partners include the Federal Home Loan Bank and the Rural Community Assistance Corporation. As the price of building materials has skyrocketed recently, the Okanogan County Affordable Housing Registration Fee Fund has been asked to contribute to the remaining $ 135,000.
The total construction cost of the project is $ 4,135,000.00.
“Any kind of development is a monumental task,” Nash-Mendez said. “Coordinate all logistics, financing requests, negotiations with lenders and cooperators, planning, etc. It’s intimidating, especially for a small agency like ours.
“This is why we have partnered with the Rural and Agricultural Housing Bureau. “The office is a Yakima-based non-profit organization that has been helping small rural agencies like HAOC for forty years, providing housing development expertise and advice,” said Nash-Mendez.
“Events like this are very important to our city,” said Mayor Cindy Gagné, who, along with other city employees, attended the inaugural event. “Providing housing opportunities for our seniors is a way for a city to thrive and we are very grateful that the Housing Authority is taking affordable housing development to a new level. “
Construction is expected to be completed by April. The Housing Authority of Okanogan County is expected to start accepting applications from low-income seniors (55 and over) from October.
For more information on services or to apply for one of our existing affordable housing complexes, visit okangoanhousing.org or call 509-422-3721.