City Receives Affordable Housing Grant for Liberty Park Project

Brian Walker, Communications Manager, 509.655.1387

Wednesday, February 9, 2022 at 8:50 a.m.

The City of Spokane has been awarded a $680,460 grant from the Washington State Department of Commerce to help revitalize an affordable housing campus in the Perry District in the East Central Neighborhood.

The funds for Liberty Park Terrace Phase 2 will be used to pay for utility connection fees and improvements needed to connect 54 affordable units to the City’s water and sewer systems.

The City’s Community, Housing and Human Services (CHHS) and Integrated Capital Management departments applied for the Connecting Housing to Infrastructure Program (CHIP) grant.

“This award is critical to support much-needed development of affordable housing in Spokane as well as spark a project that will reduce or prevent homelessness,” said George Dahl, CHHS Housing Manager. “This grant will help offset significant infrastructure costs unique to the property location and presence of basalt rock.”

The property for Liberty Park, a mixed-used community, was purchased with $402,345 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds through CHHS in 2018.

The upcoming phase to be developed by Kiemle Hagood for property owner Proclaim Liberty will add three residential buildings to the Liberty Park project that are scheduled to be completed in late 2023. Proclaim Liberty is a nonprofit that owns the existing Liberty Park Apartments and the new Proclaim Liberty Early Learning Center in the Perry District.

The existing campus of 48 units of affordable family housing was built in 1974 and has been renovated.

“We are extremely pleased in the award of the CHIP funding that takes us one step further toward completing 54 units of much needed housing in the community,” said Brian Grow, Board President of Proclaim Liberty. “Our vision of a much expanded campus of affordable housing with an early learning facility is becoming a reality due largely to the strong support of Spokane City officials and staff and our state legislators. We are grateful for this collaboration, which demonstrates what can be done in working together to care for our neighbors.”

Commerce announced $18.6 million for 16 projects statewide that will support the development of more than 1,500 affordable housing units in seven counties. The projects were selected from 40 applications requesting $41 million. Funds will lower the cost of development by about $12,000 for each housing unit.

“The communities receiving grant funds have already made affordable housing a priority with local tax levies,” said Lisa Brown, State Commerce Director. “This program supports and helps accelerate that work at a time when affordable housing projects throughout the state are facing significant cost increases.”

CHIP grants provide up to $2.5 million for sewer, water or stormwater improvements and/or waived system development charges for new affordable housing projects. The applicant must be a city, county or public utility district in partnership with an affordable housing project. The goal is to help build more housing units more quickly, by covering upfront costs of infrastructure and connecting housing to municipal systems.

The program will also help local governments reduce per unit connection fees, which are used to pay for area-wide improvements to water or wastewater systems. When utilities reduce connection fees for affordable, multifamily, or infill projects, it can help encourage development of more of these housing options, which tend to be more affordable and make more efficient use of costly infrastructure.

(EDITORS: A rendering of what the full Liberty Park Terrace campus will look like when completed is attached. The new Proclaim Liberty Early Learning Center sits diagonally in the upper right portion of the site. The three residential buildings that will be constructed next are on the one on the far right and the two on the far left, bracketing existing housing and creating an integrated campus.)

Related Photos