Multi-Service Center breaks ground on Federal Way veterans housing project | Slideshow
by RAECHEL DAWSON, Federal Way Mirror Reporter
Jun 2, 2015 at 2:49PM
Members of Federal Way’s Multi-Service Center, city officials, council members and legislators congregated for the ground breaking of a $13.8 million veterans housing project on Tuesday morning.
To be located at 29404 Pacific Highway South, the 44, one-to-three bedroom units will serve veterans and their families.
“Service men and women need our help,” said 30th District Sen. Mark Miloscia, R-Federal Way, before the ground breaking.
According to the Multi-Service Center, 43 percent of King County’s veterans reside in South King County with a portion of them facing disabilities, poverty and financial emergencies.
Robin Corak, CEO of the Multi-Service Center, said the housing project came together through a community approach following Councilwoman Dini Duclos’s vision five years ago.
As a veteran himself, King County Councilman Pete von Reichbauer worked closely with Attorney General Bob Ferguson and was pleased when the King County veterans and human services levy passed by more than 70 percent in 2011. That levy generated $3.5 million for this project, which was the “largest award given to a local project,” he said.
“Our history has been shaped by veterans,” von Reichbauer said, noting public officials who have served, including Councilman Bob Celski.
Mayor Jim Ferrell acknowledged U.S. Sen. Patty Murray’s bi-partisan work towards acquiring 33 vouchers for the project, while Rep. Linda Kochmar, R-Federal Way, recognized the $1.5 million from the state.
Bill Block, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development regional administrator, stated King County has joined the challenge to end veterans’ homelessness, which has a goal of “no unsheltered veterans” in participating cities, counties and possibly states in the future.
“[The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development] is very pleased to be putting 33 vouchers toward this project,” Block said.
Those vouchers will make 33 fully furnished apartment units eligible for rental subsidies through the Department of Housing’s VASH Program, which is in partnership with the King County Housing Authority. This allows veterans to pay rent based on affordable housing guidelines.
In addition to affordability, services such as case management, employment assistance and child advocacy will be offered at the apartment building.
Classes in education, financial management, technology skills, job readiness, outreach, mental health and substance abuse counseling from the Department of Veterans Affairs and King County Veteran’s Program will also be available. Amenities will include on-site parking, an exercise room, community rooms, computer labs and security, according to a news release.
In addition to the King County levy, the project was funded through several resources, including the Washington State Department of Commerce Housing Trust Fund, King County Housing Authority, Federal Home Loan Bank as Umpqua Bank as the sponsor, the National Equity Fund and MetLife Foundation, LISC/Impact Capital, Bring Them Homes Initiative, The Home Depot Foundation, Washington Federal Bank, tax credits through the Washington State Housing Finance Commission, as well as the Multi-Service Center and Shelter Resources, Inc.