HUD funding gives boost to Walla Walla housing project

The agency awarded about $1.7 million to help build housing for low-income, elderly residents.

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WALLA WALLA -- A project that will help provide housing for the elderly got a significant boost from the federal government this week.

Blue Mountain Action Council received more than $1.7 million to aid in constructing and operating 13 one-bedroom units for the elderly on two sites in Walla Walla.

The money is part of $29.8 million awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to develop 200 units of accessible housing, provide rental assistance, and facilitate supportive services for very low-income elderly and persons with disabilities in Bremerton, Colville, Kennewick, Seattle, Spokane and Walla Walla.

Every $1 million in such grants generates an estimated 20 jobs in the construction and service sectors, according to a HUD news release.

In Walla Walla, the federal housing grant will provide very low-income people 62 years of age or older with the opportunity to live independently in an environment that provides support services to frail and elderly residents, HUD officials said.

BMAC Executive Director Steve Moss said his agency applied for the grant in mid-summer and received the requested amount. However, more will be needed and these projects are traditionally paid for by multiple sources, he said.

Some of the new units will be built on Eagan Street and the others on Wellington Avenue.

Moss is hopeful construction can begin within the next year and may take up to three years to finish -- that schedule will largely depend on construction costs, he added.

Whatever the move-in date, "we're looking forward to providing area seniors with more housing options."

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