New affordable housing complex underway in Hillyard neighborhood

New apartments will be popping up soon in northeast Spokane as organizers just held a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday, celebrating a place where rent will be reduced.

The homes are being built for people who are having a tough time finding an affordable apartment.

With a housing crisis in Spokane, local groups teamed up to give the less-fortunate a chance for a place to call home.

For Spokane Housing Ventures, this is their 19th construction project. For the Empire Health Foundation, who partnered with Spokane Housing Ventures, this is their first project in housing.

The complex will be located near Market Street and Francis Avenue in Hillyard, costing about $11 million to build.

“All parts of Spokane deserve a place to stay near where people want to live. There’s been a lack in Hillyard. We think this will help Hillyard people stay in Hillyard. It will help people who find services in Hillyard close to their home,” said John Hancock, the executive director for Spokane Housing Ventures.

“We’re in a place in our city where our community members need our support, and we need to be building housing,” said Kate Burke, Spokane city councilwoman.

The new complex is dubbed Jayne Auld Manor, after a community activist whose passion was to help people find housing.

Jeffrey Bell, the interim president of Empire Health Foundation, said he is excited to be part of this, as their organization helps people in need.

“The housing stock in this community is so low, as we know. We need to get involved in housing projects for low income people that we’re working with and have a place to go,” Bell said.

They plan to have 48 apartment units for the three-story complex, housing about 100 people.

“They’re designed for people seeking a safe place to live, including families and kids. Working people, seniors, people with disability, people coming out of other supportive services into their, maybe, first home or maybe some people coming out of their cars,” Hancock listed.

Rent will range from $300 to $600 depending on how much the renter will be getting from the government and their annual income.

“The need goes on and on. We haven’t yet made a house for everyone in Spokane for everyone to live in but the federal government has the idea that all Americans have a chance to have a stable place to live,” Hancock said.

He said the government has incentives and encourages projects like this one they’re working on.

“It all comes together in a very complicated, but promising way,” he said.

Construction has already started for the complex. They hope to have people move into the complex in October 2020.

Visit the Spokane Housing Ventures website for more information on how to help or apply for housing.