City, County, State and Chamber Pledge $650,000 for Workforce Housing
CHELAN – The CVHT has announced the receipt of $650,000 in pledges, over the next 10 years, from the City of Chelan, Chelan County, and the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce to build homes for the valley’s wage earners.
“This kind of financial commitment from our local government speaks to the public’s support of our mission,” says CVHT Executive Director Mike Cooney. “It’s an enormous boost.”
Cooney reports that Chelan County has pledged $20,000 a year for the next 3 years with an option of additional 2 years based on CVHT’s performance. Chelan County Commissioner Doug England states, “We are happy and eager to partner with hard working families to create reasonably priced homes in the Lake Chelan Valley.”
The City of Chelan has also committed $20,000 a year for the next 5 years to help the land trust’s efforts. In addition, the City has earmarked $100,000 to help offset hookup fees for affordable housing projects including those of CVHT. “We so appreciate Mayor Goedde and the council’s support,” says Cooney. “It’s great they understand what our group is doing here.”
Cooney also reports that the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce is dedicating $10,000 a year for the next 10 years to the CVHT. President of the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce Sandy Calicoat explains, “We recognize the challenge employers face when trying to hire employees. The high cost of housing in our valley is a difficult hurdle for families and business owners alike. That’s why our board is committed to helping address the housing shortage head on by partnering with the CVHT.”
The State of Washington has also come on board, thanks largely to Representative Michael Steele’s efforts, committing $250,000 to utility costs for a future CVHT project.
Cooney says he keeps the generous amount of public funding in perspective, considering the size of the housing problem. Providing subsidies to make homes affordable takes significant resources, he elaborates. “Land and infrastructure is just plain expensive. Our goal is to leverage this public money with private donations to get where we need to go. Our studies show an immediate need for an additional 80 affordable housing units in the Chelan valley, so we’ve got a long row to hoe.”
The CVHT is now taking applications for Emerson Village, its five townhome development being built at the corner of North Emerson Street and East Chelan Avenue in Chelan. These 1179 square foot townhomes will be two-story, two bedrooms, 1.5 baths and built with quality in mind, for $200,000. The townhomes are available to homebuyers who earn up to 110% of the valley’s average median income. On-line applications are available at chelanvalleyhousing.org/own.
The CVHT is also supported by private individuals and organizations throughout the valley. Its foundation donors include Karen Feek, Goodfellow Brothers, Campbell’s Resort, Lake Chelan Wine and Jazz Festival, Guy Evans Real Estate, and North Cascades National Bank.
Visit chelanvalleyhousing.org to make a donation, gift land, serve on the board, volunteer, become involved and learn more.