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Housing Hope opens Twin Lakes Landing

 

December 13, 2017 | View PDF

Christopher Andersson

Thirty-eight families who are currently homeless will soon be transitioning to new homes in Lakewood with the opening of Housing Hope's Twin Lakes Landing project. Housing Hope opened the new development with a ribbon cutting on Dec. 8. The nonprofit organization supports affordable housing in the Snohomish County region and their new 50-unit community is the largest development they have built. In addition to the 38 families who are currently without permanent housing that these new homes will help, there are 12 other low-income local families who plan to move in soon as well. "There will be 38 homeless families that will have a roof over their heads in the first time in a long time," said Bobby Thompson, housing director of Housing Hope. Local officials said that housing for low-income families is important for the area. This is the first Housing Hope location in Marysville, although one exists nearby in Smokey Point. Marysville City Council president Kamille Norton said it was important to have facilities such as the Housing Hope Twin Lakes Landing in a city. "This helps fill such a need within our community," said Norton. "We are so grateful to have this facility here. It's beautiful and we're excited for the families that will be able to call this home," she said. In addition to providing housing, the Twin Lakes Landing center will also help residents connect to skills classes and job training programs to help them get on their feet. "This is so big for Snohomish County. To have a place that people can call home, that those less fortunate can have a community where they can learn skills and get themselves onto the right path is an amazing asset," said Ken Klein, an Arlington resident and former Snohomish County Council member who now works in the county's executive office. The project was also the largest affordable housing project using modular construction in the state, said Thompson. Modular construction is a method where buildings are constructed in a factory and transported to their destination. "This was lifted into place in a matter of eight days," said Thompson. Justin Stewart, of Synergy Construction, who did construction work on the development, said that full modular construction may be a "game changer" when it comes to providing affordable housing. "The challenge now is providing more affordable housing in much a more efficient manner," he said. "We're faced with difficult budgets and trying to stretch those budgets." The modular construction required some convincing with the bank and city as well. "To say, 'yeah, the building is on a trailer in Idaho and it could go anywhere, so go ahead and fund that loan.' Believe me, I'm a former banker, and that is a big stretch for a banker to take," said Fred Safstrom, chief executive officer for Housing Hope. There were also some obstacles getting the property ready for buildings. "When we were looking at the property everyone said 'don't do it, don't do it. Everyone's passed on it, you don't want to go there,'" said Thompson. The water table at the time was just seven feet under the ground, and required a project to move water out of the ground to be ready for a building foundation. The Twin Lakes Landing project also required a lot of funding to get off the ground. "It takes tremendous resources to put together a project like this," said Safstrom. Many local organizations provided funding and support, including Impact Capital, the Snohomish County Council, Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines, Chase Bank, Wells Fargo, the Tulalip Tribes and the city of Marysville. "I'm excited that we're able to work with great organizations to provide funding that provides a roof over the heads of so many homeless people," said Klein.

Thirty-eight families who are currently homeless will soon be transitioning to new homes in Lakewood with the opening of Housing Hope's Twin Lakes Landing project.

Housing Hope opened the new development with a ribbon cutting on Dec. 8.

The nonprofit organization supports affordable housing in the Snohomish County region and their new 50-unit community is the largest development they have built.

In addition to the 38 families who are currently without permanent housing that these new homes will help, there are 12 other low-income local families who plan to move in soon as well.

"There will be 38 homeless families that will have a roof over their heads in the first time in a long time," said Bobby Thompson, housing director of Housing Hope.

Local officials said that housing for low-income families is important for the area. This is the first Housing Hope location in Marysville, although one exists nearby in Smokey Point.

Marysville City Council president Kamille Norton said it was important to have facilities such as the Housing Hope Twin Lakes Landing in a city.

"This helps fill such a need within our community," said Norton.

"We are so grateful to have this facility here. It's beautiful and we're excited for the families that will be able to call this home," she said.

In addition to providing housing, the Twin Lakes Landing center will also help residents connect to skills classes and job training programs to help them get on their feet.

"This is so big for Snohomish County. To have a place that people can call home, that those less fortunate can have a community where they can learn skills and get themselves onto the right path is an amazing asset," said Ken Klein, an Arlington resident and former Snohomish County Council member who now works in the county's executive office.

The project was also the largest affordable housing project using modular construction in the state, said Thompson.

Modular construction is a method where buildings are constructed in a factory and transported to their destination.

"This was lifted into place in a matter of eight days," said Thompson.

Justin Stewart, of Synergy Construction, who did construction work on the development, said that full modular construction may be a "game changer" when it comes to providing affordable housing.

"The challenge now is providing more affordable housing in much a more efficient manner," he said. "We're faced with difficult budgets and trying to stretch those budgets."

The modular construction required some convincing with the bank and city as well.

"To say, 'yeah, the building is on a trailer in Idaho and it could go anywhere, so go ahead and fund that loan.' Believe me, I'm a former banker, and that is a big stretch for a banker to take," said Fred Safstrom, chief executive officer for Housing Hope.

There were also some obstacles getting the property ready for buildings.

"When we were looking at the property everyone said 'don't do it, don't do it. Everyone's passed on it, you don't want to go there,'" said Thompson.

Christopher Andersson

Marysville City Council president Kamille Norton, center, is joined by business leaders and local officials as she cuts the ribbon during the opening of Housing Hope's Twin Lakes Landing project on Dec. 8.

The water table at the time was just seven feet under the ground, and required a project to move water out of the ground to be ready for a building foundation.

The Twin Lakes Landing project also required a lot of funding to get off the ground.

"It takes tremendous resources to put together a project like this," said Safstrom.

Many local organizations provided funding and support, including Impact Capital, the Snohomish County Council, Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines, Chase Bank, Wells Fargo, the Tulalip Tribes and the City of Marysville.

"I'm excited that we're able to work with great organizations to provide funding that provides a roof over the heads of so many homeless people," said Klein.

 

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