Grants boost two affordable housing projects in Vancouver

The grants help mitigate rising development costs due to the pandemic, supply chain issues and increasing material costs


Two affordable housing projects – one nearing completion and one in the planning stages –recently received grants from the Washington State Department of Commerce. 

The city of Vancouver received $1,059,085 for Laurel Manor and $161,907 for The Meridian to cover sewer, water or stormwater improvements and/or waive system development charges. 

The Meridian. Photo courtesy Vancouver Housing Authority
The Meridian. Photo courtesy Vancouver Housing Authority

Vancouver Housing Authority Development Director Victor Caesar said the grants help mitigate rising development costs due to the pandemic, supply chain issues and increasing material costs. 

VHA is a development partner for The Meridian, a supportive housing project from Housing Initiative LLC, a subsidiary of Council for the Homeless. Opening in early summer, The Meridian will house people exiting homelessness who have behavioral health challenges. VHA will manage the property and coordinate services while SeaMar-Community Services Northwest will provide case management. It features 46 one-bedroom, garden-style apartments with trauma-informed design. 

The Meridian. Photo courtesy Vancouver Housing Authority
The Meridian. Photo courtesy Vancouver Housing Authority

“We don’t want it to feel institutional,” said Brendan Sanchez, principal at Access Architecture. “People should be able to choose what they want to do and where they want to be.”

Sanchez said using wood and wood-look materials, large windows that let in lots of daylight and calming, desaturated accent colors throughout the property help decrease stress and promote positive health outcomes. The Meridian features community gardens, a courtyard and secure bike parking. 

Laurel Manor. Photo courtesy Vancouver Housing Authority
Laurel Manor. Photo courtesy Vancouver Housing Authority

Columbia Non-Profit Housing, which was established by VHA, is developing Laurel Manor; it will house seniors age 62 and older in a four-story, 82-unit development complete with onsite service coordinators, community spaces and gardens, recreational courts and a walking path. Developers considered input from seniors at other VHA properties.

Laurel Manor. Photo courtesy Vancouver Housing Authority
Laurel Manor. Photo courtesy Vancouver Housing Authority

VHA COO and CNPH Executive Director Andy Silver said CNPH was created in 1981 to use Section 202 – a federal program aimed at building affordable housing for seniors that only nonprofits can access. 

“It’s a way to bring more resources into the community that otherwise wouldn’t be here without that partnership,” Silver said.

Laurel Manor is the first phase in what will be a multigenerational property. It will be located near Fourth Plain and Andresen Road across from Columbia River Mental Health Services. 

Information provided by Vancouver Housing Authority.

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Georgette bozovich
Georgette bozovich
7 months ago

I lived I a Vancouver Housing Authority managed apartment for 12years. I moved out because they failed miserably at keeping the place safe and free from tenants harassing, stalking and generally making it unpleasant and unsafe for others.
I requested another elsewhere within VHA but was told to get on the list. It has been almost three years and I am still waiting .
VHA is using a lottery system so I may never hear from them. I have pleaded with them, having made one unit available for someone I should have been able to get another, wrote
The executive director who did not even design to respond.

So am not impressed with this agency whose mission seems to be keeping a bunch of bureaucrats on the payroll rather than helping the seniors they pretend to help with their housing needs.

jane
jane
7 months ago

Ms. Bozovich, I sincerely hope your comment here will prompt a review of your application. I agree if you were already a tenant with VHA, they should have allowed you to request and be placed in a safer more pleasant apartment..

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