County invests local behavioral health funding to develop supportive housing

Clark County is using behavioral health funds to help finance The Elwood, which will break ground on Mon., Feb. 17 and will include 46 apartments of supportive housing

VANCOUVER — As housing costs rise in Clark County, people who have behavioral health needs, and often fixed incomes, have been disproportionately affected. Clark County has responded by utilizing a portion of local behavioral health funding for capital costs to build affordable housing that serves people with behavioral health needs.

This innovative approach has already helped create housing projects for this population such as Meriwether and Rhododendron, with more in the development pipeline.

Clark County is using behavioral health funds to help finance The Elwood, which will break ground on Mon., Feb. 17 and will include 46 apartments of supportive housing. Housing Initiative LLC, the Council for the Homeless’ affordable housing development company, is the developer of The Elwood and has partnered with Access Architecture, Otak, and TEAM construction.

The Elwood, which will take about 12 months to construct, will serve people who are exiting homelessness and need supportive services for behavioral health conditions. 

All apartments will be subsidized through the Vancouver Housing Authority so people do not pay more than 35 percent of their income towards rent and Sea Mar-Community Services Northwest will be providing the supportive services.

“This project will help get some of our highest-need, most-vulnerable neighbors off the street and into housing that will help them address their needs,” said County Councilor Temple Lentz. “This project was funded by a true community partnership: the County ($1,000,000), the City of Vancouver ($850,000), and the Vancouver Housing Authority ($304,811) worked together, in tandem with 9 percent tax credits from the Washington State Housing Finance Commission. These sorts of projects are only possible with strong community collaborations like this one.”

Information provided by Clark Co. WA Communications.

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