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King County Housing Authority
King County Housing Authority and City of Shoreline Celebrate Completion of Fire-Life Safety System Upgrades and Remodeled Spaces at Paramount House
Enhancements improve building's safety, quality, and comfort for seniors and residents with disabilities
The King County Housing Authority and the City of Shoreline have completed a $2.5 million renovation of the 70-unit Paramount House apartment complex, installing fire sprinklers and other safety upgrades for its 77 elderly and disabled residents. On Thursday, June 11, Shoreline Mayor Cindy Ryu and other city officials will gather with residents at Paramount House to celebrate.
"One of our top priorities is to maintain the highest possible standards of safety and well-being for our seniors and for persons with disabilities," said Stephen Norman, executive director of the King County Housing Authority. "The renovation of Paramount House not only ensures the long-term viability of this publicly owned housing, it improves the safety and the comfort of these long-term residents."
Paramount House is one of eight public housing complexes that received vital safety improvements and remodeled community spaces as part of a recent $25 million financing transaction. Additionally, the City of Shoreline allocated $60,000 to this project from their share of the King County Community Development Block Grant Program.
"The City of Shoreline is pleased to be a partner with the King County Housing Authority to help provide high quality housing for our most vulnerable residents," said Mayor Ryu. "Paramount House is beautiful; the building looks bright, comfortable, and attractive. Most importantly, however, the building is safer and contributes to the health and safety of our elderly and disabled neighbors."
In 2000, the Authority developed a multi-year plan to install fire sprinklers, update fire safety systems, and make critical building improvements to its portfolio of 22 apartment complexes housing senior and disabled households. However, continued federal funding cuts to public housing slowed the pace of the rehabilitation work to one-and-a-half buildings per year. To accelerate this pace and assure the safety of its residents, KCHA developed an innovative financing solution involving federal tax credits and tax-exempt bonds. The financing was completed in August 2007, and all of KCHA's housing for seniors now has fire sprinklers and other upgrades.
At Paramount House, the scope of improvements included:
- Replacement of the fire alarm and communication system and installation of a fire sprinkler system
- Upgrading of emergency stairways with new railings, flooring, and lighting
- Addition of new lighting and finishes for hallways, lobby, elevator, and laundry room
- Replacement of doors and hardware at unit entries, common areas, and main entry
- Replacement of the building entry ramp, improving handicapped accessibility
- Reconfigured lobby and supportive services offices
- Improved unit and common area ventilation and
- New roof and cleaned and resealed exterior siding.
W.G. Clark was the construction contractor. Apollo Equity Partners was the tax credit syndicator. Nationwide Insurance is the tax credit investor.
KCHA administers a range of quality, affordable rental and homeownership programs for residents of King County. The Authority serves more than 17,000 households daily, including family, elderly, and disabled households.