Submitted by J Hutchins.
LASA is happy to announce an award of $3.5 million dollars towards their $11 million dollar housing project, Gravelly Lake Commons. Pictured is Jani Hitchens along with LASA staff and board members, painting in the arrow to the $3.5 million mark. The arrow represents the funds LASA needs to build 25 units of affordable housing.
Ms. Hitchens represents the 6th district on the Pierce County Council which includes Lakewood, where the housing will be built. The $3.5 million award is coming from Pierce County Human Services and is utilizing ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds.
LASA, a Lakewood nonprofit organization has provided services in Pierce County for the past thirty years. Their mission is to prevent homelessness and recurrent homelessness. To meet this mission, LASA’s strategy to meet community needs encompasses a four-phase approach:
Phase 1: Develop a Client Services Center along with 15 units of permanent supportive housing for families who have experienced homelessness. The units provide one-, two-, and three-bedroom units along with a case manager to provide services to help the family stabilize. This was accomplished in 2015.
Phase 2: Build a Hygiene Center to add sanitation services offered at LASA’s Client Services Center. The Hygiene Center will include two showers and three washers and dryers. A multipurpose room will be built adjacent to LASA’s Center and can double as a warming and cooling center in extreme weather. This project has received permits and will be going out to bid in the next few days.
Phase 3: Build 25 units of one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments at the intersection of 59th Street and Fairlawn Drive. The project, Gravelly Lake Commons will set aside units for households at the 30 to 60% AMI rate. The cost of the project is expected to cost in the neighborhood of $11 million dollars and will not start until the rest of the capital f is pledged.
LASA is in discussion with the City of Lakewood and will be making a formal request for funds mid-October. LASA has also submitted a formal request to the Washington State Department of Commerce (DOC) for over $4 million dollars.
Both the DOC and city of Lakewood will announce their awards by the end of this year. LASA’s Executive Director, Janne Hutchins, stated “… with a little luck it is conceivable we may be fully fund by the end of the year. In that case groundbreaking could occur sometime in late 2023.”
LASA’s Board President, Walt Sommers added “This can’t come too soon, our community is in crisis because of the severe lack of affordable housing. The results are evident with homeless people on the street, families living in their cars and an overwhelming number of school children receiving free and reduced lunch. The Hygiene Center and the Gravelly Lake Commons apartments will greatly enhance the quality of life for our most vulnerable citizens.”
Phase 4: Build 25 additional units along with a low-income day-care center. Once this is accomplished the land under LASA’s control will be fully developed. Further development may mean reaching out to the community to add mobile services.