The Vancouver Housing Authority will soon help Washougal increase its inventory of affordable housing.

The VHA has purchased two parcels of land in downtown Washougal and plans to build workforce housing complexes – generally defined as affordable housing for people earning 60-120% of the median income of a region – over the next few years.

“We are really excited to be developing this property,” VHA Director of Development Victor Caesar said at a Washougal City Council meeting Aug. 8.

Caesar said the VHA hopes to launch the project in 2024 or 2025.

The VHA, the largest provider of subsidized housing and housing assistance in Clark County, is governed by a six-member board appointed by the Mayor of Vancouver. The agency works with government entities and other partners to provide affordable housing and has helped create more than 1,600 unsubsidized apartments in Clark County for people earning less than 80 percent of the area’s median income.

The median household income in Clark County is $106,500. Half of all families who rent a house or apartment in Clark County are “rent-charged” or pay more than one-third of their salary for housing costs.

Caesar said the VHA would tap into several sources of funding to pay for the development, including low-income housing tax credits, Washington State Department of Commerce housing trust funds, and resources. local communities in Clark County, such as the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s HOME program. , Community Development Block Grants and local sales taxes.

Caesar told council members that the complex could include up to 80 units if the VHA takes advantage of affordable housing incentives.

Advisor Michelle Wagner told Caesar she was “amazed” by the “beauty” of the VHA properties.

“It makes me happy that we can get something (similar),” Wagner said, adding that the property planned for the VHA housing complex is “a gateway to our city.”

The VHA developed Camas Ridge Apartments in the Prune Hill neighborhood of Camas, which offers 51 one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, half of which are available to those earning 80% or less of the median income.

Washougal Mayor Rochelle Ramos said she lived next door to Camas Ridge Apartments and thought the complex was “beautiful”.

The mayor said she felt the property – located in the 1500 block of A Street, which welcomes people into the city from Washougal River Road – was “one of the eyesores of the city” and she is “delighted “that the VHA has chosen the site for its future building complex.