Sunny View Village is a new construction project that consists of one, two and three bedroom apartments and addresses the demand for affordable family housing on Whidbey Island.
Working for over 6 years to acquire appropriate permitting to break ground on an affordable housing project might deter some developers, but not Teri Anania with the Housing Authority of Island County (HAIC). Anania recognized the need for affordable family housing in Rural Whidbey Island, Washington and her team worked tirelessly with City Planners, County Commissioner, environmentalists and investors to obtain appropriate approval and permitting to move the project forward.
Whidbey Island is home to some of the highest income earners in the state of Washington, with a median home price exceeding $499,000. Historically, there has been little investment in multi-family housing on Whidbey Island, proving it difficult for families looking for the affordable option. Sunny View Village has been able fill this void, offering rents well below market rate. The new construction consists of four buildings, each building containing walk-up garden-style one, two and three bedroom apartments. Of the twenty-six units, seven units have Project Based Section 8 rental vouchers and are set aside for homeless and very low-income families, the remaining units are set aside for those earning 50% of area median income (AMI) and 60% of area median income (AMI). One unit is designated for the project manager.
It is the first development on South Whidbey Island to provide transitional housing. Seven units have project based Section 8 rental subsidies, these units are supported in partnership with Housing Authority of Island County (HAIC) to provide referrals, case management and other services at no cost to the residents or the project. The support services are designed to “help people help themselves”, from immediate crisis to addressing long-term support. This program works as a catalyst for positive change within the community. All services continue until residents either no longer need them or the family is ready to transition into a self-support program.
Sunny View Village is located in an under developed rural area outside Freeland, Washington. The project serves young teachers, grocery store clerks, bus drivers and other service industry providers on Whidbey Island. These workers would otherwise commute over an hour by ferry and public transportation from the mainland, at a high daily travel expense. Local merchants were great supporters of the development, realizing the convenience for their employees to have affordable housing close to their work. The development is two blocks from a shopping center with a Payless Foods, Ace Hardware and a few locally owned “Mom and Pop” markets. Many current tenants are employed by Payless Foods.
NDC Corporate Equity Fund XI partnered with Common Ground and the Housing Authority of Island County, using a combination of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, Tax-Exempt Bond Financing, Island County HOME Funds, and Island County 2063 Funds to help finance and develop the $7.9 Million project.