YAKIMA — After five years of planning, a tiny homes project intended to house homeless people in Yakima is coming to fruition.
Justice Housing Yakima made the final payment on the land near Milroy Park for the project, thanks to a recent $13,000 donation from a local business.
“This is a big step in terms of moving this whole project forward,” said JHY Executive Director David Helseth. “This really sets it up. We can go after some major grants.”
The project — Cottage Hill Village — will consist of 25 tiny homes on about 2 acres just east of the park.
Justice Housing Yakima initially purchased the 3.34-acre parcel from the Baur family for $452,000. Later, the Yakima Housing Authority purchased a third of the land from Justice Housing for $161,000. The Housing Authority is planning a separate project for the portion of land it purchased.
Justice Housing was making payments to the Baur family for the remaining $291,000.
So far, community members, including businesses, have helped the project raise nearly $300,000, Helseth said.
“We really appreciate the people in the community who are supporting us,” he said. “We’re looking forward to making this a reality.”
Having the land paid off places the project in good position for state funding, Helseth said.
“I think that lets people know: ‘Yeah, this is serious business now,’ “ he said.
Justice Housing will apply for state funding this summer and should have an answer next fall, Helseth said.
Any awarded funds will pay for predevelopment of the project, which will pinpoint actual construction costs, he said.
The property is zoned for multi-residential housing, which is appropriate for the project, Helseth said.
The tiny homes will be constructed on foundations and have bedrooms, bathrooms, showers, kitchens, heating and air conditioning, he said.
They will be permanent supportive housing units and residents must meet certain requirements to stay there and follow rules, he said.
“This is not just a little house that’s a shelter,” he said. “This is real housing.”