Five homes will be built in Channel Cove this year, said Home Trust of Skagit Director Jodi Dean during a phone call Monday. “Five families, five homes, Christmas 2020 is our target” is her mantra. That 2019 goal was not met. Completing the development near Caledonia Street and Maple Avenue stalled last summer over funding and getting an extensive environmental assessment done.
Home Trust was awarded $600,000, part of $5.1 million granted by the Washington Department of Commerce Washington State Housing Trust Fund Dec. 19. The Housing Authority of Skagit County received $3 million and Catholic Housing Services was awarded $1.5 million.
The funding for Home Trust of Skagit is supported by the Skagit County Home Consortium, comprised of Skagit, Island, Whatcom, and San Juan counties. “It was a great effort to get everybody together to support Home Trust, the county and the Town of La Conner,” Dean said. “We did everything to communicate with the powers that be in Olympia.”
Dean explained, “the goal is coming up with permanent affordable housing for people who live and work in the La Conner area. We applied for this money and it finally came through.”
The next step is having five families apply who are eligible to purchase those homes. “It’s a great opportunity to get a family in a house, maybe someone is couch surfing; or they are an employee or employer wanting to live where they work,” Dean said.
When the environmental assessment is complete construction will begin in the spring. Dean has another mantra: “It is 120 days and a month. If we are breaking ground this spring we will have families in homes this Christmas.”
The Channel Cove homes will be three bedroom, two baths and 1,300 square feet. They are priced at $225,000 and financing will be for $175,000. Home Trust provides $50,000 in gap financing.
Home Trust makes purchasing possible for people living in Skagit County earning up to 80% of the area median income: $42,560 for one person and $70,560 for a six person household. An application starts the process that includes a home buyers education class, prequalifying for a loan, getting pre-approved from a lender and working with Home Trust staff through steps leading to home inspection. Staff are a resource to help already qualified homebuyers through the process of home purchasing.
As a community land trust, Home Trust of Skagit, owns the land underneath the homes.
Home Trust of Skagit has owned the Channel Cove neighborhood since 2011. Their Mount Vernon properties are the Summerlynd neighborhood and some scattered housing.
Dean’s dream: “At this time next year I would like to see five smiling families calling Channel Cove home.”