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Mt. Baker Housing announces plans for affordable housing development in Rainier Beach

Including a new home for the Rainier Valley Food Bank

Courtesy of Mt. Baker Housing

Nonprofit affordable housing developer Mt. Baker Housing announced a new, mixed-use development this week: 160 affordable units near the Rainier Beach light rail station, Rainier Beach High School, and Rainier Beach community center.

Units will range from studios to three-bedroom units, and be priced for those making 50 to 60 percent area median income—currently $33,600 to $40,320 for a single person or $48,000 to $57,600 for a family of four. While some will specifically be affordable under Mandatory Housing Affordability, or MHA, guidelines, the whole building is set to be affordable. The current project plan for the Rainier Beach site is dependent on new MHA rezones, which could be voted on later this year.

The project will also include a new, 8,400-square-foot facility for the Rainier Valley Food Bank, which plans to operate its offices and a “community food center” from the location. The new building will offer a chance to move from its current home in Columbia City, which it describes as “crumbling.”

The building will replace a New Star Mini Mart and a vacant lot at 8600 Rainier Avenue S, at the southeast corner of Rainier and Cloverdale. The developer acquired the two parcels of land from the sellers for $4.23 million.

Courtesy of Mt. Baker Housing

But because it can get expensive to live near transit, right as the Sound Transit 3 measure to expand light rail (among other things) was approved, nonprofit Enterprise Washington created the Regional Equitable Development Initiative (REDI), which commits $21 million to low-interest loans for affordable developments located near transit.

This project is the first REDI-funded project to pop up in Seattle. The first project funded statewide is an affordable housing project in Tacoma.