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For more information contact:
Rhonda Rosenberg, Director of Communications
King County Housing Authority
(206) 574-1185

King County Housing Authority starts $10M rehabilitation project in Auburn

King County Housing Authority starts $10M rehabilitation project in Auburn

March 28, 2012 — Auburn

A major renovation of Green River Homes − one of the King County Housing Authority’s oldest public housing developments – is currently breaking ground. The $10 million project will transform the worn-out, box-like structures at the 59-unit public housing complex into a modern, attractive rental housing community.

These improvements are intended to complement the work being done by the city of Auburn at Les Gove Park and on the M Street corridor.

“This is another great partnership with a caring organization that is updating their housing in our city,” said Auburn Mayor Pete Lewis.

“As buildings age they require more repairs and more maintenance.  Eventually, roofs, windows, and heating systems just wear out,” said King County Housing Authority Executive Director Stephen Norman. “The good news is that we’ve been able to leverage private investments to refurbish these 60-year-old buildings. Not only will this work improve the quality of life for residents, it also improves the community’s appearance and increases energy efficiency. Repairs will also generate well-paying construction jobs. It’s a terrific investment in the community.”

Green River Homes was built in 1957.  Although habitable, the site and buildings are in need of complete renovation to extend their useful life for another four to five decades.  The buildings are serviced by an old KCHA-owned gas distribution system with a single meter.  The water distribution system is undersized and lacks adequate fire flow.  Floor plans are outdated as are plumbing, heating and ventilation systems in the units.

The project includes roof replacements on each of the 30 single-story structures, and the installation of new exterior siding and energy-efficient windows.  The project is designed to meet Evergreen Sustainability Development standards.

The new exterior façade will look more appealing and modern with fiber cement siding that adds texture, insulation, durability and color.

Other improvements include utility rooms accessible from outside for easier maintenance and redesigned entryways with gables. Six residential units have modified bathrooms, kitchens, and living areas to accommodate residents with mobility problems. Renovated apartment interiors will include new doors, cabinets, countertops, wall finishes, and floor coverings.

The project will also improve the community’s open space.  New playground equipment suitable for toddlers and older children will be installed.  The basketball court will be replaced. Large caliper trees and new landscaping will be planted throughout the site. All curbs and sidewalks will be replaced.  The stretch of L Street that runs through the development will be resurfaced.

New water and gas lines will be installed as part of the project.

Eligible residents who moved off-site during construction but wish to move back have the first right of return.  The first group of residents will return this summer when the first phase of construction has been completed.   The remaining residents will return by the end of the year.

The project is being financed with a combination of federal low-income housing tax credits and tax-exempt and taxable financing, supported by project-based Section 8 rents. KCHA’s status as a Moving to Work agency provides flexibility to combine different funding streams and makes this financing structure possible.

Architectural services are being provided by CNJA Architects. The general contractor is Synergy Construction, Inc.  Approximately 30 subcontractors and 155  workers from a variety of trades and occupations will be employed on the project.

Well-paying construction jobs play an essential role in reinvigorating the economy. A national study by the Econsult Corporation has measured the economic impact of investing in public housing.  It showed that every construction dollar generates an additional $2.12 in economic activity through secondary job creation, spending by vendors and suppliers, purchase of goods and services, and consumer spending by workers.

The city of Auburn has been especially cooperative during the permit approval process for this complicated rehab project.

KCHA administers a range of quality affordable rental and homeownership programs in the Puget Sound region.  The Authority serves more than 17,000 households on a daily basis.

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