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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.