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Affordable housing project across Yakima Valley on hold after late Capital Budget

Affordable housing project across Yakima Valley on hold after late Capital Budget.

YAKIMA, Wash.- Affordable housing is used to help get homeless people off the streets and keep low-income families in their homes.

However, the delay of the Capital Budget has put a pause on those housing projects across the state.

Applications were due on January 17 to receive federal funding, but projects needed to have state funding first to be submitted for consideration.

With the Capital Budget not being passed until the 19th, groups were forced to apply anyway.

Washington State Housing Finance Commission Director Kim Herman said this means the projects aren't fully funded and won't be eligible for federal funding.

"We can only usually fund 12 to 15 projects a year. So, it's not a big number of projects but if you're one of those projects, it always hurts," he said.

The Yakima Housing Authority is one of those groups that applied before the deadline without state funding.

They're currently working on turning the old Marine Corp reserve armory into a center for homeless veterans.

Executive Director of the Yakima Housing Authority Lowel Kruger said the two-day late Capital Budget could push construction to 2019.

"If that doesn't mean that our project can be funded this year, then that means we're probably going to have a one year delay,” he said. “So right now, we're kind of in limbo."

Kruger said it was stressful counting down the days to the deadline.

He said there are other projects they are working on, but if something isn't figured out soon the old armory will just sit there for another year.

"I don't know what we were thinking as much as we were praying quite frankly,” Kruger said. “All of the us were in that, but we are trying to figure out strategically what we would do."

The Washington State Housing Finance Commission is going to meet Friday to see if they can find another way to get funding.

However, as of right now, everyone seems to be wondering what happens next.

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