New apartments at old Baker Heights site
has units housing 67 once-homeless families
Rendering courtesy Everett Housing Authority
A conceptual rendering of the larger Park District apartment and mixed-use complex being built at Baker Heights.
EVERETT — Families have already been moving into an apartment complex that, for many, will help stabilize their lives.
The Everett Housing Authority opened the doors of Madrona Square. Sixty-seven of the units here give a home to once-homeless families.
About 200 students under the McKinney-Vento Act program will be served, Heather Stults, a manager at the housing authority said. The other 38 units are not subsidized but are considered affordable.
The Madrona Square apartments represent the first fruits of the housing authority’s much larger redevelopment of the 16-acre Baker Heights complex, where it intends to build up to 1,500 units here over the next 10 years. More buildings could start rising in 2025, Jason Morrow, the housing authority’s director of development, said.
The Madrona site will also include an early learning facility*. Early learning was built into this plan in its early stages, Morrow said.
Everett Schools has nearly 1,500 students who meet the definition of homelessness under the McKinney-Vento Act, district McKinney-Vento liaison Amy Perusse said.
“This number has grown by about 350 students since the Covid pandemic era,” and is about 6% of Everett’s students, Perusse said.
The federal act lets students stay at their home school even if their disrupted living situation puts them out of the area. After moving in, they may enroll in an Everett school.
“The application process and the timeline for moving in has been a very long journey for some, with so much relief and restored hope as they sign their lease and receive keys to their new apartments.” Perusse said by email, adding that with how the Everett community rallied around the families, “it really has been a beautiful example of a strong community coming together to lift each other up; this is family and community resilience in the making.”
Formal construction for Madrona Square started in April 2021. “This project has probably been a decade-long process from initial idea to today,” Morrow said.
The whole redevelopment, called the Park District, is a couple of blocks east of Broadway, from 12th to 15th streets and between Poplar and Pine avenues.
The plans for who’d live in these individual buildings vary, from senior living to workforce-affordable housing to mixed-use retail space.
The acreage used to be 244 small wartime houses who were Everett Housing Authority tenants. The last residents were evicted in 2019.
No more than 244 units of the Park District will be subsidized housing, Morrow said. The city asked to cap the number to avoid
overconcentration of subsidized housing in the neighborhood, Morrow said.
The housing authority is an independent government agency focused on Everett.
One of its recent acquisitions it finished in 2022 was the Huntington Park Apartments, a 381-unit complex across the road from the Everett Mall. It bought it using a loan which it converted into a $122 million bond. The housing authority reported about two-thirds of the tenants in these units use project-based voucher funding.
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