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Yesterday, the Washington State Department of Commerce announced 47 million dollars in infrastructure improvements to support 43 construction projects that will provide more than 3-thousand units of affordable housing statewide. They are grants from the Community Housing to Infrastructure Program, also known as CHIP. While that may be good news, what's troubling is that only a quarter-million dollars of that is going to North Central Washington. 276-thousand dollars is earmarked to the Town of Winthrop for the Cascade Meadows North project.

Not surprisingly, 10-point-7 million dollars is going to projects in King County, the City of Seattle gets another 5-and a half million. Bellevue gets three million.

Projects in Eastern Washington as a whole will get some eight million dollars. But those have been awarded to Adams County, Pasco, Kennewick, Yakima and Spokane.

The Commerce Department says they received 74 applications in the latest round of applications for a total of 79 million dollars. With only 55 million dollars appropriated by the legislature for this biennium, there was more demand than resources available.

It could also be that there were no eligible cities or counties in North Central Washington for the grants; criteria include that the city or county applying must have imposed a sales and use tax for affordable housing, and tht the new housing development must include at least 25 percent affordable units at or under 80 percent area median income.

In any event, another application round is expected this fall, with another 12-point-7 million dollars available.

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