Housing Hope celebrates Groundbreaking for new Madrona Highlands in Edmonds
EDMONDS, Wash., May 24, 2023—Well over one hundred residents attended Housing Hope’s groundbreaking ceremony for its new 52-unit affordable housing community, Madrona Highlands, on Tuesday, May 23, in South Edmonds. The $30 million dollar project will be the first of its kind for Housing Hope by working with churches owning “excessive land,” in south Snohomish County to offer housing options.
Located at 236th Street SW, near Highway 99, the new building will hold six one-bedroom, 34 two-bedroom, and 12 three-bedroom low-income units to address the region’s affordable housing crises. Residents can expect to move into Madrona Highlands by October of 2024.
The introduction to Edmonds Lutheran Church came from Duane Leonard, Executive Director of HASCO, who Housing Hope’s former CEO Fred Safstrom, told the Lynnwood Times last year, he is “indebted to” for the introduction. This introduction led to a memorandum with the church in November 2020 allowing Housing Hope acquisition land for its housing project.
Currently, 22% of Snohomish County’s rental households are paying more than 50% of their income for rent and utilities and one third of Snohomish County residents are renters, Safstrom told the Lynnwood Times in a March interview last year.
In attendance for Tuesday’s Groundbreaking was the Housing Hope Board of Directors, Snohomish County Councilman Strom Peterson, Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson, Lynnwood Mayor Christine Frizzell, Edmonds City Council Members Susan Paine, Will Chen, Neil Tibbott, and Diane Bushnis, Lynnwood City Councilman George Hurst, Mountlake Terrace City Councilman Dr. Steve Woodard, Edmonds Municipal Court Judge Whitney M. Rivera, Hazel Miller Foundation Board of Director Alicia Crank and it’s Executive Director Maria Montalvo, and representatives from Senator Cantwell’s Office, Congressman Rick Larsen’s Office, and Rep. Suzan DelBene’s Office.
“This is great,” Lynnwood Mayor Frizzell told the Lynnwood Times. “We need more affordable housing, we need more places where people can be safe and know that they have a bed to sleep in at night, and our kids have stable places to grow up in.”
After some live music and light refreshments, Donna Moulton, Housing Hope’s new CEO, began by saying a few words about the project.
“We’re gathered here to share our vision and our common goal to address the pressing need for affordable housing in our community,” said Moutlon. “This groundbreaking marks the beginning of a transformative journey, one that will empower families by providing them the solid foundation in which they can build their lives, and their dreams.”
Following Moulton’s introduction, Edmonds Lutheran Church Pastor, Tim Oleson, took to the stage sharing his own excitement for the project. The project will be built on the vacant field on the east side of the church’s property. Oleson explained it had been a dream of Edmonds Lutheran Church to utilize the property for something meaningful for some time but it all came down to finding the right partner.
Other speakers included Maria Montalvo, Executive Director of the Hazel Miller Foundation, County Councilman Peterson, and a representative of Senator Cantwell’s Office, and Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson.
“It is really, really, inspiring to me that now we’re going to have 52 families in our city who are going to be able to have an opportunity,” said Mayor Nelson. “An opportunity to be treated as humans, as people who are morally equal, people who deserve a chance, deserve an opportunity.”
Bobby Thompson, Chief Housing Officer for Housing Hope, closed out the ceremony by thanking the project’s many partners.
About Housing Hope
Housing Hope owns and operates 541 affordable units at 23 locations throughout Snohomish County and has helped 301 households attain home ownership through their sweat equity Team HomeBuilding program. In Housing Hope’s first decade, its focus was in and around Everett. In its second and third decades, the focus shifted to north and east counties, and now, in its fourth decade, the strategic focus has been in south county.
After completing this current project in Edmonds, Housing Hope’s next major venture will be in Lynnwood at Scriber Field to provide up to 60 housing units for homeless students and their families within the Edmonds School District.