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HUD # 06-WA-02
Pamela Negri
(206) 220-5356
For Release
January 9, 2006



Editor's Note: You may contact Steve Moss, Executive Director, Blue Mountain Action Council at (509) 529-4980.

SPOKANE – Arlene Patton, Spokane Field Office Director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, announced today a capital advance of $719,700 to Blue Mountain Action Council to build an 8-unit independent living project for the chronically mentally ill in Walla Walla. An additional five-year rental subsidy of $115,000 is also a part of the overall grant. Residents will pay 30 percent of their adjusted income for rent and the federal government will pay the remainder from this subsidy.

Blue Mountain Action Council will work with the proposed owner, Wellington Arms Housing Group, and the consultant, G&B Real Estate Services of Spokane. The 8-unit project will consist of 7 one-bedroom units for the residents and 1 two-bedroom unit for a resident manager. This housing will be built on land adjoining Melrose Place, another HUD funded project that opened in December 2004.

"The need in our community for safe and affordable housing for such a critical population continues to grow," said Steve Moss, Executive Director, Blue Mountain Action Council. "This is the fifth special needs housing grant we've been awarded by HUD and we appreciate the confidence HUD has shown in our efforts."

The Blue Mountain Action Council grant, which is the only 811grant awarded in Washington, is part of $135.8 million competitively awarded nationally in HUD Section 811 grants. The Section 811 program provides housing for households with one or more very low-income individuals, at least one of whom is at least 18 years old and has a disability, such as a physical or developmental disability or chronic mental illness. The program allows persons with disabilities to live independently in their communities by increasing the supply of rental housing with the availability of supportive services.

To be classified as "very low-income," a household income cannot exceed 50 percent of the area median income. However, most households that receive Section 811 assistance have an income less than 30 percent of the area median.

HUD provides the Section 811 funds to non-profits in two forms:

  • Capital advances. This is money that covers the cost of developing the housing. It does not need to be repaid as long as the housing is available for at least 40 years for occupancy by very low-income people with disabilities.
  • Project rental assistance. This is money that goes to each non-profit group to cover the difference between the residents' contributions toward rent and the cost of operating the project.

HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.


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