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05/18/2021 12 Resolution authorizing a Letter of Intent with the Yakima Housing Authority regarding development of affordable housingBUSINESS OF THE CITY COUNCIL YAKIMA, WASHINGTON AGENDASTATEMENT Item No. 12. For Meeting of: May 18, 2021 ITEM TITLE: Resolution authorizing a Letter of Intent with the Yakima Housing Authority regarding development of affordable housing SUBMITTED BY: Robert Harrison, City Manager Sara Watkins, City Attorney SUMMARY EXPLANATION: The City of Yakima owns a number of properties in the downtown Yakima core that could be used for affordable housing. With the requests from our federal legislators for projects that could be eligible for federal funding, City staff reached out to the Yakima Housing Authority to gauge interest in partnering with the City to work towards development of an affordable housing complex with parking under roof and first floor commercial space that could include an early childhood learning center for the residents of the complex and other families who work and live downtown. The project would be developed for either farmworker housing or permanent supportive housing for the homeless. There is both a lack of affordable housing and early childhood learning centers in the downtown core. This Letter of I ntent will solidify the working relationship between YHA and the City so that we can jointly seek funding and develop property. Both parties intend to put available resources towards the project. This is the first step in the partnership. The intent is to submit this letter with other supporting documents, to Senator Murray to seek federal funding for a project that fits the goals of the Letter of Intent. APPROVED FOR SUBMITTAL BY THE CITY MANAGER RECOMMENDATION: ATTACHMENTS: Description Upload Date Type reso 5/14/2021 Cover Memo htent 5/14/2021 C o\er Memo RESOLUTION NO. R-2021- A RESOLUTION authorizing a Letter of Intent with the Yakima Housing Authority regarding development of affordable housing. WHEREAS, the Yakima Housing Authority ("YHA") develops, maintains and operates affordable housing units within the City of Yakima; and WHEREAS, the City of Yakima is currently experiencing a housing shortage, including a shortage of affordable housing units, as evidenced by vacancy rate statistics and preliminary drafts of the Housing Action Plan; and WHEREAS, the City Council has indicated that housing and partnerships are both strategic priorities of the City; and WHEREAS, the City owns a number of properties within the downtown core, where it has also been determined there is a significant lack of early childhood learning centers for downtown residents and workers; and WHEREAS, the YHA has expertise in developing affordable housing projects, and the parties seek to develop either affordable housing for farmworkers and their families or permanent supportive housing for the homeless; and WHEREAS, the City and YHA are both committing to providing resources at their disposal towards bringing the conceptual project to fruition; and WHEREAS, the City and YHA seek to collaborate on an affordable housing development which will be able to score well to receive funding, provide housing units to residents of Yakima in need, and have a first floor commercial element that includes an early childhood learning center; and WHEREAS, to provide an opportunity to maximize housing units constructed as part of the project, the parties agree that the design will include parking under roof and the parties will work together to find necessary resources to cover this extra expense associated with the project; and WHEREAS, the Letter of Intent outlines the intention of the parties to work together towards this goal, which both parties agree is needed in the community; and WHEREAS, the City Council of the City of Yakima finds that it is in the best interest of the City and its residents to enter into the Letter of Intent with the Yakima Housing Authority to develop an affordable housing complex in the downtown core, now, therefore, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF YAKIMA: The City Manager is hereby authorized to execute the Letter of Intent with the Yakima Housing Authority regarding development of affordable housing. A copy of the agreement is attached hereto and is fully incorporated herein. ADOPTED BY THE CITY COUNCIL this day of 2021. Patricia Byers, Mayor ATTEST: Sonya Claar Tee, City Clerk May 13, 2021 Re: Letter of Intent regarding a proposed housing project located in Yakima for either farmworkers and their families, permanent supportive housing for the homeless or a similar affordable housing project This Letter of Intent represents an intent by the Yakima Housing Authority and City of Yakima to work together to develop an affordable housing project with a first-floor commercial that would include an early childhood learning center for residents of the facility and other low income residents in the City of Yakima downtown core. Both parties are excited about this prospect, and see the value in this much-needed housing and supportive services project. 1. Description of the parties The Yakima Housing Authority (hereinafter referred to as “YHA”) was created in 1977 by the City of Yakima to provide safe, decent and sanitary housing for low- and moderate-income residents of the City of Yakima. YHA currently administers multiple HUD programs that fund many key services provided by YHA and is knowledgeable and familiar with compliance requirements associated with receiving federal funds. The City of Yakima is a first-class charter city in Central Washington with a population of over 93,000. According to the U.S. Census bureau, the median household income (in 2019 dollars) is $44,950.00. Over 20% of the population is considered to be persons in poverty. According to the Washington State Employment Security Department (“ESD”), agriculture is the top industry sector in Yakima County, with 31,638 jobs, or 27.3% of the share of employment. However, the agricultural jobs only supply 21.8% of the total wage income. According to ESD that is in part due to the fact that many agricultural jobs are seasonal. Couple that with a severe housing shortage in Yakima, and there is a significant need for affordable housing within the City of Yakima. 2. Description of the project YHA and the City intend to work together to build affordable housing for families in the City, specifically on a parcel of property in the downtown core which is currently owned and controlled by the City. The possible property locations are within HUD designated Qualified Census Tracts, meaning that 50% of households in the area earn less than 60% Area Mean Income. The affordable units would be either for farmworkers and their families, permanent supportive housing for the homeless, or a similar affordable housing project. In addition to affordable housing units, the project also intends to include a first floor day care and/or early childhood learning center for the residents of the building and other nearby families. In addition to a severe housing shortage, there is a shortage of child care providers, especially in the downtown area of Yakima. Not only would the project bring much needed affordable housing to downtown Yakima, it would also provide an opportunity for child care services nearby 4 for parents living or working downtown. The conceptual first floor early childhood learning center would be operated through a partnership with a non-profit provider, such as Enterprise for Progress in the Community (“EPIC”) or another qualified entity, to keep the services affordable for the residents and neighbors. Parking will be under roof in order to maximize the amount of square footage for housing. 3. Commitment The City is committed to providing resources to help fund and develop this project. Similarly, YHA is committed to providing the expertise necessary for development of the project and is willing to partner with the City to bring this project to fruition. Both the City and YHA are committed to findings ways to bring more affordable housing to Yakima to help individuals and their families, as well as addressing the child care “desert” that exists in the area. As part of this commitment, the parties will work together to apply for funding and provide any necessary documents, personnel, or information associated with funding opportunities for this project. The parties intend to collaborate and use their available resources as appropriate to bring this project from concept to reality. The economy of Yakima County depends on farmworkers, many of whom live within the City. There is also a need for permanent supportive housing for the homeless, and affordable housing for all residents of the City. With the housing shortages that are being experienced in Yakima, and the lack of available child care, this project would create much needed affordable housing and child care services for individuals and families living in the City. The parties intend to work with each other to create these opportunities for City residents. Approved by the Yakima Housing Authority Board on May _____, 2021; and approved by the Yakima City Council on May _____ , 2021. YAKIMA HOUSING AUTHORITY CITY OF YAKIMA Lowel Krueger, Executive Director Robert Harrison, City Manager Yakima Housing Authority City of Yakima 5