City Council members will discuss affordable-housing dollars tonight

January 25, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 6 a.m. Jan. 25, 2010

City Council members will consider $150,000 in loans and a grant for A Regional Coalition for Housing, a group of Eastside cities and King County formed to increase low- and moderate-income housing.

The organization requested the money from Issaquah — $100,000 in long-term loans for a Kirkland affordable-housing project — and a $50,000 grant toward housing for people with disabilities.

Members of the Council Services & Safety Committee — called the Services & Operations Committee last year — will discuss the legislation today. The committee meets 5 p.m. in the Eagle Room at City Hall, 130 E. Sunset Way.

City Council members already approved $150,000 for ARCH low-income housing projects. The measure will steer the money to ARCH projects.

For the Kirkland project, the St. Andrew’s Housing Group proposed 60 affordable rental units in the Totem Lake area. Plans call for the residences to be completed by next spring.

In the same bill, the City Council will consider grant money for Foundation for the Challenged group homes. The foundation proposed to buy and remodel two four-bedroom houses to serve up to eight low-income people with developmental disabilities.

At the Services & Safety Committee meeting, members will also consider the ARCH work plan for the coming year.

Councils in member municipalities have authority for review and approval of annual ARCH work programs, budgets, interlocal agreements and Housing Trust Fund recommendations. The group asked the Issaquah City Council to review the proposed 2010 work program earlier in the month.

ARCH staffers will assist city employees with the Issaquah Highlands YWCA development and the Habitat for Humanity of East King County project in the highlands. Municipal employees will assist during construction and the leasing and selling of units at both sites.

ARCH will also work with the city to develop options to encourage and incentivize affordable housing in Central Issaquah — a large swath of the city eyed for eventual redevelopment.

City Council members approved $13,700 for ARCH administrative costs within the 2010 budget passed last month.

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