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The preliminary plat has been approved and plans to move forward on the 18-unit, affordable housing subdivision north of the intersection of Water and Bender are underway.

Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King County Director of Development Patrick Sullivan said plans are to break ground in early December.

“We’re looking to get the simple infrastructure work done before the end of the year,” Sullivan said. “The city of Ellensburg has been great to work with. Permits take time, so we’re just working through the different steps and work with the city on the approvals that make a good product.”

The plat for the Stuart Meadows subdivision was approved at the Aug. 16 council meeting to utilize the surplus property currently owned by the city. The city council still needs to approve the agreement for the land and the affordable housing sales tax fund and that will come, but things are underway.

The project is expected to be completed in three years. The city is contributing $765,000 in affordable housing funds from the sales tax measure passed in 2017 and 3.00 acres of property.

All 18 units will be preserved as affordable housing for 50 years to serve low income home buyers in the 80% Area Median Income (AMI) or less. Three units will be reserved for 60% AMI or less.

“Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King County will use the Habitat land trust to ensure permanent affordability through its 99-year renewable, inheritable lease that includes resale restrictions and a resale formula that allows for equity creation that provides the owner an average of $48,300 in equity creation, based on past land trust resale properties,” Sullivan said.

Each house will be 1,250 square feet with three bedrooms and two baths, a front and back yard and driveway. According to Sullivan, the model provides a clear and permanent pathway to equity creation and intergenerational wealth building for the owners.

Habitat uses a “sweat equity” model for home ownership where buyers help build their own home, help build other homes, complete home ownership classes, and/or volunteer for service.

“The workforce will be a combination of the two. The home owners will put in a number of hours. But we will also have a construction staff provided by Habitat to do the rest,” Sullivan said. “We’re shooting for about six (units) a year, so we’re planning on completion in three years.”

Rodney Harwood: award-winning journalist and columnist. Lover of golf and the written word. I can be reached at rharwood@kvnews.com

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