Benton County will award $400,000 in grants to support projects that provide affordable housing to low-income residents.
Applications for the 2060 Affordable Housing Program grants are due by June 27 and can be requested by email: Mari.Clark@co.benton.wa.us.
The grant budget is supported by recording fees people pay when they file documents with the county. The money is split with the state, with the county’s share dedicated to rehabilitating and building housing for very low-income households.
The county received about a dozen proposals in 2019, when it awarded $500,000 in grants to five projects.
An additional $190,000 is available in Franklin County. The money must be spent in the county where it originated, said Kyle Sullivan, human services manager for Benton and Franklin counties. Past grants have supported capital improvements to properties reserved for low-income residents and paid for a roof for a private home run by a domestic violence operator.
Restrictive covenants ensure the projects that get public funds to provide low-income housing keep their commitment.
The county grant funds can be paired with additional funds to support larger projects such as apartment complexes that block out some units for residents earning $39,000 or less, which is 50 percent of the area median income of $78,000.
The Kennewick Housing Authority used county funds in tandem with federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit finance to build the 28-unit second phase of Nueva Vista, a low-income apartment complex that opened on North Union Street in 2019.
The program is open to certified nonprofits as well as governmental agencies that provide affordable housing and for-profit developers.
Applications will be reviewed July 13-14 and the recommended projects will be presented to the Benton County Commission for approval by early August.
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