Investing In Our Community

Renton is committed to providing needed resources to assist those in our community who need help. This includes, but is not limited to, housing, shelter, human services, and critical resources.

Below are the steps the city has taken and continues to take to provide these critical needs.

 

Willowcrest TownhomesSunset Oaks ApartmentsSunset GardensSunset CourtSoleraLa FortunaFamily First Community CenterJune Leonard PlaceSunset Neighborhood CenterSunset Neighborhood Park

Willowcrest Townhomes

Sunset Oaks Apartments

Sunset Gardens

Sunset Court

Solera

La Fortuna

Family First Community Center

June Leonard Place

Sunset Neighborhood Center

Sunset Neighborhood Park

Affordable Homeownership Projects

June Leonard Place

Photo of June Leonard Place

June Leonard Place
215 Whitworth Ave S.
Renton, 98057

The city worked with the Low-Income Housing Institute (LIHI) on June Leonard Place.

  • Opened spring 2019 in downtown Renton

  • 5-story, 48-units: 1-, 2-, & 3-bedrooms

  • Designed for lower wage earners and homeless households, including families with children and homeless veterans.

  • Located near transportation, parks, schools, and shopping

  • Built Green and meets the Washington State Evergreen Sustainable Development Standard, including green features such as water-conserving fixtures, an enhanced building envelope, Green roof for storm water detention and an optimized ventilation design.

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Sunset Court Apartments

Photo of Sunset Court apartments

Sunset Court
1144 Harrington Ave NE
Renton, 98056

Opened in fall 2018, the $20 million, 50-unit Sunset Court project became Renton Housing Authority's third affordable housing replacement project for the former Sunset Terrace public housing project in the Sunset Area.

The city assisted RHA with acquiring property for the project and in securing a critical 9 percent Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) allocation from the Washington State Housing Finance Commission as part of the city’s 2016 HUD Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grant application.

  • 50 units: 1-, 2-, & 3-bedrooms

  • Green space in the middle for families

  • Use of Low-Income Housing Tax Credit funding reserves a number of units for lower-income families. Households must earn either less than 50% or 60% of the area median income (depending on the set-aside option chosen by the property owner) to qualify for these units. Rents in these units are capped at a maximum of 30% of the set-aside area median income (adjusted for unit size).

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Renton Housing Authority Modernization Projects

In 2020, Renton Housing Authority (RHA) completed a three-year effort to modernize all of its older affordable housing projects in Renton, most of which are in the Sunset Area/Renton Highlands community.

The modernization work included nine (9) projects with a total of 643 affordable apartments. RHA completed more than $57 million of renovations to update building systems, apartment units, common areas, and sites to improve the quality, energy efficiency, livability, and long-term viability of the affordable housing projects.

Sunset Oaks

Sunset Oaks Photo

Sunset Oaks
1073 Harrington Ave NE
Renton, 98056

The city took an advocacy lead in assisting Renton Housing Authority (RHA) in securing $5 million in countywide lodging tax/work force housing funds for the Sunset Oaks affordable housing project adjoining the new Sunset Neighborhood Park. The city also provided a $700,000 grant and about $100,000 in impact fee waivers in 2019 to help complete financing for this $27 million project.

  • 60 units, with studio, 1- and 2-bedroom units, 1BR and 2BR

  • Units are a combination of Tax Credit units and Project Based units.

  • Located across the street from Sunset Neighborhood Park

  • Construction is scheduled to be completed late summer 2021.

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Project Fact Sheet

 

Solera

Drawing of the Solera project

Located along Sunset Blvd. NE between NE 100th St. and Kirkland Ave. NE.

The city is working with Devco on Solera, a mixed income apartment community on the site of the Greater Highlands Shopping Center in the heart of the Sunset Area.

  • 5,800 square feet of commercial space

  • 9,000 square feet of childcare

  • 101 attached townhomes

  • 551 for rent apartments with residential amenities.

  • Approximately 275 units will have limits on rent to provide workforce housing to residents and families.

  • Underground parking garage

  • Amenities include indoor basketball court, indoor swimming pool, and commercial daycare facility
  • Construction start planned for fall 2021

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Sunset Gardens

Rendering of Sunset GArdens

Proposed location
2900 NE 10th St.
Renton 98056

The city is helping Renton Housing Authority (RHA) secure funding to redevelop RHA's current headquarters site in the Sunset Area into a proposed 76-unit mixed-use project with permanent supportive housing for homeless, seniors, disabled, and veteran members of our community.

The city plans to use part of its HB 1590 funding to support the project and help leverage additional funds.

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Willowcrest Townhomes

Rendering of Willowcrest Townhome

Willowcrest Townhomes
1132 Edmonds Ave NE
Renton, 98056

The city has partnered with the Homestead Community Land Trust (Homestead) on Willowcrest Townhomes.

The city helped Homestead secure net-zero and WaterWorks grant funding to finance the affordable homeownership project. The city also provided $357,000 in grants and density-fee transfers for the project.

  • First multi-unit homeownership project in King County that is both affordable to low- and moderate-income households

  • Built on land land donated by Renton Housing Authority

  • 12 three- and four-bedroom permanently affordable townhomes

  • Pricing is to be affordable to those who make between 60 and 80% of area median income.
    Energy-efficient design; economical to own; minimal impact on the environment through reduction in utilities costs and climate impacts through ultra-high energy efficiency and the elimination of fossil fuels

  • Near transit, Sunset Neighborhood Park and Highlands Library

  • The project is scheduled to be completed in May 2021.

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La Fortuna

Rendering of La Fortuna

La Fortuna
17286 127th Ave SE
Renton, 98058

The provided a $75,000 grant for the first phase of the La Fortuna project to help start the development.

Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King County is currently completing the last 12 units of a multi-phased 35-unit affordable homeownership project in the Cascade/Benson Hill community. 

  • 12 units in 3 buildings, each building will have two 4-bedroom end units and two 3-bedroom interior units; 1 accessible unit

  • Sustainable units that are certified to Evergreen Sustainable Development Standards

  • Applicants must make less than 80% AMI and must be willing to partner and complete sweat equity. Also must reside/employed in King County for at least one year

  • Open to households of 1-8 people

Rolling Hills Affordable Homeownership Demonstration Project

The city is in the early stages of this project through a collaboration with its public utility and a Cascade/Benson Hill community church, utilizing 4 acres of surplus utility property and church property to create what it hopes can be more than 60 units of affordable and “missing middle” homeownership.

Shelters and Support

Center of Hope

The city has partnered for years with the Renton Ecumenical Association of Churches (REACH) on Center of Hope, a 24-hour emergency shelter project.

The city first supplied space in city hall to make the project possible. With the onset of COVID-19 the city collaborated with REACH to relocate the shelter to Highlands Community Center. The Center for Hope is scheduled to move into a permanent location in April 2021.

The city has also been a direct financial contributor to REACH and the shelter, including funding $120,000 in 2020 and 2021.

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Renton Community Church

Renton Community Church
316 S. Third St.
Renton, WA 98057

The city has partnered with Renton Community Church (formerly Harambee Church) on emergency shelter operations to feed the hungry and those in need.

Homelessness Resource Events

The city partnered with Village of Hope (a group of local churches), King County Library System, Wellsprings, and other agencies to provide a location for the homeless or near homeless to access services.

Four events were held before COVID. Over 120 individuals received services, including flu shots, behavioral health, housing assistance, legal counseling, sheltering options and more. Attendees also received free backpacks and socks.

When COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, we will again provide this service.

Funding of Affordable Housing, Homeless Services, Human Needs, and Mental Health Services

HB 1590 Funding

Rendering of Sunset GArdens

Renton is among several cities imposing a new 0.1% sales tax (starting Jan. 1, 2021) to address affordable housing, homelessness, and mental health needs.

The funding is granted through authority by the 2020 Legislature (HB 1590). It is estimated it will generate close to $3 million a year. The Mayor’s Office presented to the city council an initial “Early Action Plan” for use of 2021 funds. Included in the is $1.5 million in funding for Renton Housing Authority's Sunset Gardens (photo above) permanent supportive housing project.

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SHB 1406

The city helped lead the lobbying effort to get SHB 1406 passed and enacted by the state legislature. The ordinance allows the use of state sales tax credit funding for affordable housing.

In 2020, Renton used initial funding towards sub-regional housing and homelessness efforts led by the South King Housing and Homeless Partnership (SKHHP).

Affordable Housing

The city has provided more than $1 million in funding for affordable rental and homeownership projects since 2019.

The city also has a generous fee waiver policy for new affordable housing projects which allows the City Council to waive building permit and plan review fees, system development charges, and transportation, parks, and fire impact fees -- resulting in substantial project savings for affordable housing developers.

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Emergency rental and food assistance

In 2020, the city utilized $650,000 in CARES Act funding to provide food assistance and emergency rental assistance to those in need.

The funding was also used to serve free meals to seniors out of the Renton Senior Activity Center.

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Human Needs Funding

The city is allocating just over $562,000 in human needs funding that will be allocated to 51 programs to address basic needs:

  • housing and homeless services
  • economic opportunity
  • domestic violence/sexual assault prevention
  • health and wellness.

Renton City Council has directed that the city ramp up this funding level in years to come.

Mental Health Services

The city is allocating a minimum of $350,000 from its first-year HB 1590 funding toward mental health professionals and navigators to assist those in need of treatment and services.

Related Content (TWIR: 2/25/21)

 

Community Development Block Grants

Community Development Block Grants fund development activities that provide affordable housing, anti-poverty programs, and infrastructure development.

The city has dedicated almost $200,000 from 2018-2020 to assist low income residents safely remain safe in their homes. We’re estimating another $60,000 in assistance in 2021.


Utility Help

The city also subsidized reduced utility rates for 245 seniors/disabled low income residents in the amount of $79,263 in 2020. This assistance allowed residents to remain in their homes.

Homeless-Feeding Program, Cold-Weather and Wrap-Around Shelter

Relocation of Temporary Facilities at Renton Airport

The city is working with a corporate partner to lease space in South Renton for what will be a permanent relocation of the city's homeless feeding program and cold-weather shelter. This facility has been temporarily housed in a building near the Renton Airport.

The new facility will allow space for the homeless feeding program, cold-weather shelter, hygiene facility, and other wrap-around services. Funding will be in part from HB 1590.

Community Multi-Service Centers

Sunset Neighborhood Center

Photo of the front desk

Sunset Neighborhood Center
2902 NE 12th St

The city teamed with Renton Housing Authority, Neighborhood House, and other community agencies to re-purpose and renovate the former Renton Highlands Library into the Sunset Neighborhood Center, a multi-service center in the Sunset Area/Renton Highlands.

Along with contributing a $400,000 grant to help with the renovations of the facility, the city worked with Neighborhood House on successful advocacy for a $1 million allocation in the 2019-21 State Capital Budget.

Services

  • Adult Medical
  • Behavioral Health
  • Children's Medical
  • Diabetes Care & Education
  • Family Planning
  • Immunizations
  • Physical & Annual Exams
  • Whole Family Medical

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Family First Community Center

Drawing of the Family First Community Center

Cascade Elementary School
160222 116th Ave SE
Renton 98058

The city has partnered with retired Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin, the Baldwin Foundation, and HealthPoint on the Family First Community Center.

The center will bring much-needed recreation services for family and youth to the Cascade/Benson Hill area, a neighborhood that has been historically underserved.

Programs will include sports and recreation, health and wellness, classes in technology, music and English as a second language. Cost of the project is $15 million.

The location is adjacent to Cascade Elementary School on land contribution by the Renton School District. 

Physical Space

  • Approx. 25,000–26,000 square feet
  • Gymnasium (approx. 8,000 sq ft)
  • HealthPoint Partner (approx. 2,500 sq ft)
  • Fitness Gym (approx. 2,400 sq ft)
  • Entry & check-in counters, classrooms, lockers/showers, multipurpose rooms, and offices (approx. 12,100 sq ft)

Family First Programs

  • Youth and Children
    After School programs
    Youth Sports
    Art Classes
    Music Classes
    Technology Classes
  • Health & Wellness
    Group Exercise
    Health Education
    Cooking Classes
    Personal Training
    Fitness Floor
    Yoga
    Life Management
  • Sports Recreation
    Adult Leagues
    Performance
    Drop-In Sports
  • Potential Programs
    Gardens/kitchen so kids can help grow and have healthy food and snacks. Place to have summer lunch program.
  • After School tutoring/mentoring
  • Parenting skills
  • English as a Second Language Classes
  • Computer classes
  • Job Training for youth and parents
  • Health clinic

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Plans and Partnerships

Renton Housing Authority

Renton has had a nearly eight-decade-long partnership with Renton Housing Authority (RHA), which uses Housing Choice (Section 8) Vouchers, Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) and bond financing, state and local funds, and other tools to build and maintain affordable housing predominantly in the Sunset Area/Highlands community.

RHA has been the city’s lead partner in the Sunset Area Community Revitalization and Transformation efforts over the past 15 years.

South King Housing and Homelessness Partnership (SKHHP)

Renton was one of the driving forces behind the formation of the South King Housing and Homelessness Partnership – or SKHHP. The city contributes annual membership dues to SKHHP and sits on its executive board.

Housing Action Plan

Renton successfully applied for state funding through 2019 legislation (ESHB 1923) to develop a Housing Action Plan. As part of this grant funded project, the city collaborated with five other South King County cities and South King Housing and Homeless Partnership (SKHHP) to complete a sub-regional housing needs and policy assessment. The Renton Housing Action Plan is scheduled to be adopted by the City Council in May 2021.

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Housing and Human Services Needs Assessment

Renton is in the midst of a housing and human needs assessment that will include data, interviews, and needs assessments to support the long-term use of its HB 1590 funding. The assessment is anticipated to be completed in spring 2021 and designed to help the city better understand the needs, current services, and gaps for affordable housing, homeless, and mental health facilities and/or services relative to HB 1590 target populations and eligible uses of the funds.

Related content (TWIR 2/25/21)

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