Mt. Baker Housing Receives Broad National Recognition for Mt. Baker Village Apartments as Project Named 2019 Affordable Housing Finance Readers’ Choice Award Winner
Firm Receives Prestigious Honor from Affordable Housing Finance
for Unique Financing, Outstanding Renovations and New Construction Elements
Preservation Project Also Awarded 2019 Novogradac Journal ‘Development of Distinction’ for Existing Affordable Rental Housing Project Preservation
Seattle – September 30, 2019 – Seattle area non-profit affordable housing developer Mt. Baker Housing (www.mtbakerhousing.org) (MBH) today announced that its Mt. Baker Village preservation project has been named 2019 Affordable Housing Magazine (AHF) Readers’ Choice Award Winner.
Recognized for its unique financing, outstanding renovations and new construction elements, MBH transformed the four-story, seven-building Mt. Baker Village Apartments into a modern, transit-oriented development two blocks from Seattle’s Mt. Baker Light Rail Station.
The company also received an esteemed ‘Development of Distinction’ Award from the Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits at Mt. Baker Village for outstanding achievement in the development of affordable rental housing using the low-income housing tax credit.
“It is an incredible honor to be acknowledged on a national scale for our efforts with this meaningful project,” said Mike Rooney, Executive Director at Mt. Baker Housing. “Through its completion, we’re able to help keep a very special and important Seattle community intact for decades to come.”
Preserving One of Seattle’s Largest Affordable Housing Assets
Featuring 156 one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom apartment homes affordable at 30 to 60 percent area median income, the Mt. Baker Village Apartments located at 2900 McClellan St. in Seattle’s Mt. Baker neighborhood was built in 1957 as garden-style market rate apartments.
As Mt. Baker Housing’s namesake property, MBH was formed in the late 1980s to purchase and update the apartments in order to make it a safe community for residents, who are largely Southeast Asian Cambodian and Vietnamese refugees who relocated to the Seattle area in the 1960s and 1970s.
At the time of its purchase, MBH’s 1988 renovation of Mt. Baker Village represented an early use of the low-income housing tax credit program in Washington State. The new renovations—designed to ensure the project remains affordable—include fully-updating the existing 107 one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom units and upgrading common spaces including the community kitchen/entertainment rooms and gathering lounge.
Additionally, MBH also acquired a small neighboring property as part of the project—allowing the construction of an additional 49 new units to meet the needs of Seattle’s aging population, including via accessible units and a new elevator.
In addition to its large scope of construction and renovations, financing for the Mt. Baker Village project was also unique—with the firm creatively using debt, tax credit equity and seller note funds. MBH was also one of the first Seattle firms to utilize a new HUD program to leverage more debt.
“A project of this size almost always requires public support, however, we were able to move forward without utilizing anything beyond the public funds committed to the 1988 renovation,” said Conor Hansen, Director of Real Estate at Mt. Baker Housing. “I’m incredibly proud of Mt. Baker Housing for the unique, innovative and successful nature of this financing.”
MBH began as a community redevelopment project focused on the Mt. Baker Village Apartments—which had been poorly maintained by its previous owner, leaving hundreds of refugee families in unsafe conditions—and it has since developed seven low-income/affordable housing properties which it now owns and operates. As MBH’s namesake company, Mt. Baker Village started it all.
Project team members for Mt. Baker Village included Mt. Baker Housing (Developer), Rafn Company (General Contractor) and ARC Architects (Architect, Interior Designer) and Beacon Development Group (Development Consultant).
Additionally, financing partners included National Equity Fund, Union Bank, Washington State Housing Finance Commission, Seattle Housing Authority, Seattle Office of Housing and Mt. Baker Housing. Construction is expected to be fully- complete by October 2019.
The Mt. Baker Village project is featured in the November/December issue of Affordable Housing Finance magazine and online at: https://www.housingfinance.com/developments/seattle-nonprofit-rehabs-expands-key-housing-development_o.
The company will be officially recognized for its AHF Readers Choice Award within the 2019 Affordable Housing Developers Summit on November 18—20th, 2019 in Chicago, IL. Mt. Baker Housing will also be officially recognized for its ‘Development of Distinction’ Award at the Novogradac 2019 Credit & Bond Financing for Affordable Housing Conference on Oct. 4th, 2019 in New Orleans, LA.
About Mt. Baker Housing Association. Founded in 1988, Mt. Baker Housing Association (MBHA) is a Seattle-based nonprofit low-income housing developer. Its mission is to improve lives and strengthen communities by creating quality, affordable housing and supporting residents in southeast Seattle—including renovating existing properties and pursuing new construction projects. Since its first project, rehabilitation of the nine-building Mt. Baker Village Apartments complex, MBHA has since developed (and now owns and operates) seven low-income and affordable housing properties totaling over 400 units. By furthering its vision that all people, regardless of income, will have secure, affordable places to live—MBHA has improved residents’ lives by providing vibrant, affordable communities that residents are happy to call home. For more information, visit: www.mtbakerhousing.org.