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Credit Unions Supporting Affordable Housing

By VerityCU September 02, 2021 Community

Earlier today I attended a ground breaking for a new affordable housing project—the Solera Project in Renton, is located in an area that has seen a lot of gentrification, forcing many working families out of the area in search of more affordable accommodations. With the Evergreen Impact Housing Fund (EIHF) investment, and $11.1 million in capital from five area credit unions, Solera will be able to provide more affordable, family-size units, for working families.

This project really impacts people, planet AND prosperity. Solera is an environmentally sustainable project that includes extensive use of solar panels. It exceeds the requirements of the Evergreen Sustainable Development Standard through its design, landscaping, construction waste management, select construction materials, and more.

Solera is funded by a unique combination of public funding and private capital. Five area credit unions—BECU, Salal, Sound, Verity, and WSECU—joined forces to contribute $11.1 million to EIHF. This project highlights the power of credit unions coming together to invest in community.  As member-owned credit unions, we work together collaboratively for the good of the community.  Affordable housing is a dire need in our communities, and credit unions want to be a part of the solution, so we’re investing in our communities and our members to create a brighter future with financial sustainability.

Solera shows how private capital can augment scarce public funding for affordable housing. The Washington State Housing Finance Commission awarded the project $61.5 million through its bond-cap program in January 2021. EIHF complements this critical public funding, filling a gap that allows the project to move forward.

ABOUT SOLERA

  • 270+ family-size affordable housing units
  • Affordable housing units will be leased to households earning an average of 50% of King County area median income (AMI), approximately $54,000-58,000
  • Easy access to public transit that connects to jobs, schools, shops, and other community services
  • Close to community services partners that provide housing assistance, childcare resources, and other supports for working families

 

Contributed by Tonita Webb, CEO of Verity Credit Union