State awards $200,000 to San Juan Community Home Trust

Submitted by San Juan Community Home Trust

San Juan Community Home Trust has been awarded $200,000 by the Washington State Housing Trust Fund to partially fund the building of four affordable homes. The Washington State Department of Commerce announced the list of awardees on March 22. The home trust is one of 13 homeownership organizations across the state to receive an award, and one of only five located in a rural area.

The home trust applied to the Housing Trust Fund last October, requesting a grant for Sun Rise II-C, the third and final phase of the Sun Rise II development, which is about to begin construction at 473 Grover St.

“San Juan Community Home Trust was excited to be notified of the Housing Trust Fund grant only a day after the barging of two houses from Vancouver Island,” said David S. Gow, executive director of the Home Trust. “The great part is that they granted us the amount we requested, about a quarter of the project budget. The state’s commitment will put us at 60 percent of our ambitious 2018 goal of $850,000 for construction,” he said.

The Housing Trust Fund earlier funded the five-house first part of Sun Rise II, Phase II-A. When Phase II-C is complete at the end of 2018, the Housing Trust Fund will have subsidized nine of the 12 Sun Rise II homes. The Home Trust is searching for another two houses to fill the last spots at Phase II-C.

Founded in 2001, the San Juan Community Home Trust was created by San Juan Island activists for the purpose of creating permanently affordable housing for low- and moderate-income residents, promoting economic diversity and development, and supporting a sustainable island community while practicing responsible stewardship of the rural environment. In the years since, the Home Trust has built the Salal and Sun Rise I neighborhoods, and is currently working to complete Sun Rise II.