Housing Hope hits snag in property acquisition
EVERETT- A Snohomish County request for a second appraisal on a property Housing Hope wants help with purchasing in Snohomish may put a kink in the nonprofit’s plans.
Housing Hope is asking for $600,000 in county grant funds to help it buy 131 Ave. E in Snohomish, which is on the market for $1.07 million. Housing Hope wants to convert the site into affordable housing for the working poor. The nonprofit would get a bank loan to cover the remaining $407,000, group president Ed Petersen said previously.
The property is priced on the high end of the market, which prompted the county to require a county-approved appraiser to assess the 10-unit complex.
The request is unprecedented but necessary, said county Office of Housing and Community Development supervisor Dean Weitenhagen, who made the recommendation.
“I felt the county should not pay any more than what the project is valued at,” Weitenhagen said.
If Housing Hope can’t reach a deal with the seller under the new appraised price, the grant funding would not be given to Housing Hope, Weitenhagen said. The county’s appraisal determines how much Housing Hope should pay for the property, he said.
The County Council is expected to vote Wednesday, May 9 on a slate of grant proposals funded by federal dollars, including Housing Hope’s request. A public hearing will take place Monday, May 7 in the eighth-floor Jackson Board Room at the county campus at 3000 Rockefeller Ave. in Everett.
Housing Hope anticipated it would need to get a second appraisal, but the nonprofit’s housing director would not comment on what happens if the group cannot reach a deal.
“We’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” housing director Bobby Thompson said last week.
The nonprofit isn’t looking at any other properties in Snohomish, Thompson said.
Housing Hope wants this property because it is new enough to last another 40 years, Thompson said.
The complex was built in 2006 after a fire gutted the previous building.
By MICHAEL WHITNEY
Published May 2, 2012