September 15, 2022
Saratoga recently had the privilege and opportunity to work with Mercy Housing in their recent acquisition of Evergreen Ridge, a 143-unit apartment complex in Bellingham. The property’s deed restriction was expiring and being listed as market-rate housing. There were multiple prospective buyers, but Mercy Housing was able to work collectively with local and state agencies to secure the funding that allowed the preservation of this affordable housing community. The conversion to market rate housing would have displaced many individuals and families from their homes.
Often, these types of acquisitions can take up to two years while encompassing the property analysis, funding, capital needs assessment and general planning phases – Evergreen Ridge presented an urgent community need with the risk of so many families and individuals being displaced and due to the short timeline presented by the market rate sale, was completed in less than six months. This project inclusion into the Mercy Housing mission ensures the affordability housing piece will be in place for another 50 years.
Our Saratoga team was grateful to have been able to participate with Mercy Housing and support such an integral and valued component of our Bellingham community. It was an honor to bring our real estate knowledge and expertise to this complex negotiation and finalized transaction.
As defined on their website (https//:mercyhousing.org) Mercy Housing is one of the nation’s largest affordable housing organizations. (They) participate in the development, preservation, management and/or financing of affordable, program-enriched housing across the country. (They) acquire and renovate existing housing, as well as develop new affordable rental properties.
Mercy Housing was founded in the early 1980’s by Sister Timothy Marie O’Roark, a Sister of Mercy of Omaha, a legal aid attorney in Omaha, Nebraska, who was working with families facing eviction. After seeing the conditions they were living in, and lack of resources available when trying to access affordable housing, she vowed, “We can do better.”
Seeing how stable housing could positively influence health and education, the objective was to provide opportunities for residents to both thrive and achieve stability. With this end goal in mind, Mercy Housing combines services and resources such as Health and Wellness, After School Programs, Financial Stability, Community Involvement, and Housing Stability along with affordable housing in a holistic approach to ending the poverty cycle.
If you would like to make a donation to Mercy Housing or to learn more about their organization, please visit: https://www.mercyhousing.org/northwest/donate/