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Will the City of Olympia act to support housing for working people?

One proposal reflects the City’s goal for its Boulevard Road property of “maximizing affordable housing for working class people.”  Or will they go for more “market rate?”

South Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity.  SPS Habitat proposes to build 110 permanently affordable home ownership units for families with incomes from 30% to 80% of the Thurston County’s Area Median Income (AMI) of $90,200.  It is the only proposal offering home ownership; all others are rental projects. The average person buying their homes has an income of 45% of AMI. Their last home sold for $171,000 with a $950/month mortgage.  The average house sale price in Thurston County as of December 2021 was $481,500. Habitat ensures affordability in perpetuity with a Community Land Trust model. (Our Westside Statement of Principles calls for prioritizing housing for folks with incomes at 40% of AMI.)

Ken and Julie Brogan.  The Brogans (140 unit Views on 5th) propose the exact opposite from Habitat.  They propose to build, own and then management 180 rental units in nine buildings with HUD financing. No mention of possible rental prices.

Great Expectations.  They want to build 180 units with an emphasis on middle income families.  They want to implement the City’s 2020 Missing Middle Ordinance. Their average monthly rental is $1,822/month and their renters have an average income of 86% of the AMI of $90,200.

Dove Development. They plan to build 180 rental units. Their focus is on seniors and the middle income brackets. Their apartments will rent for $2000/month and their shared cottages for $2250/month. They state no rental price for their 118 units of shared congregate senior living.

Wolff Company. Their rental project is aimed at residents making 80% to 120% of the AMI of $90,200 and consists of two-and three-story buildings.  Their projects generally are built using the Multi Family Tax exemptions (MFTE).  They want the City to expand the use of their property tax exemptions.   (Our Westside Statement of principles opposes the City’s use of MFTE)

Inland Group. They plan 180 rental units to create ‘an active adult and affordable townhouse community’ with “attainable” rents using Olympia’s density bonus by building for families with incomes at 80% of $90,200.

RJ Development.  RJ sees this site as “ideal for people migrating to the area.” It will be designed for middle income families with incomes between 70% and 100% of the AMI of $90,200. They do not mention possible rental or sale prices.

Shelter Resources, Inc.  They plan a housing development of townhouses and high-density apartment flats with emphasis on middle income families. They do not mention number of units or price of rentals.

LMC – Lennar. Lennar clear cut 9.4 acres of woodland in SW neighborhood for 57 homes priced at $500,000+against the total opposition of the SW neighborhood. They now plan “best-in-class multifamily housing community” with a plan “not to designate certain units as “‘affordable.’ “

Southport Financial.  180 rental units with a low-income deed requiring incomes of 60% or less of AMI, but they twice suggest the City will reject their proposal because it wants middle income housing.

Summary by Dan Leahy.  Read more about the history of the Boulevard Road project.


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