The City Council cast two unanimous votes at their February 6 meeting including the purchase of land for a shelter for women and families experiencing homelessness and paving the way to preserve affordable housing in Kirkland.
The purchase of property located at 11920 NE 80th Street fulfills part of the Council’s 2015-2016 City Work Program to “Partner with A Regional Coalition forHousing [ARCH] and non-profit organizations to site a permanent Eastside women’s shelter in Kirkland.” The property, purchased from Holy Spirit Lutheran Church for $600,000, is a portion of land occupied by the Salt House Church. The City and the property owner have been working through the necessary details and hope to close the transaction in early 2018.
The Shelter will be an important link in the pathway to housing on the Eastside and will provide a permanent location for services that are being provided on an emergency basis in temporary locations. Catholic Housing Services has been identified as the developer of the Shelter and the service providers are expected to be Catholic Community Services (families with children) and The Sophia Way (adult women). Staff continues to work with ARCH and the non-profits and faith community to bring this project to fruition.
The Council vote to preserve affordable housing in Kirkland involves the City-owned Houghton Court Apartments. The property includes 15 units in two apartment buildings at 6705 and 6711 106th Ave. NE.
The deal involves a building swap with the King County Housing Authority (KCHA) which owns a building the City leases and uses for Parks Maintenance at 1129 8th St. The swap will result in the City owning the Parks Maintenance building, and KCHA owning Houghton Court Apartments. KCHA has committed to deal with immediate repair needs and fund upgrades at Houghton Court Apartments, while operating them as public housing.
The Council’s actions result in a win-win situation that retains affordable housing in Kirkland and keeps the Council on track to achieve another 2017-2018 Work Plan item to “Expand Maintenance Center capacity to meet the service needs of the larger City.”