October 5, 2008 in Business

Martindale would house homeless


Housing Solutions hopes to resuscitate 50 units lost when the Martindale Apartments, 5313 N. Regal St. in Spokane, closed earlier this year after financial trouble.

Though it does not have funding lined up, the organization bought the historic structure at auction last month for $651,000. Housing Solutions wants to tap federal, state and city sources, including tax credits.

Of the 50 units, 38 will be reserved for the homeless. All will be intended for people making less than 40 percent of the area median income for Spokane County, which translates into rents of $392 a month or less. Housing Solutions also intends to set up on-site case-management services.

Like the Helen Apartments, the Martindale requires a major gutting and revitalization, officials said. A former high school, it was built in 1912.

Housing Solutions staff considered building a new structure in Hillyard to replace the units but found parking and code requirements would make that plan unfeasible, said Executive Director Steve Cervantes.

Also, there is a stigma around building low-income housing, he said.

“To go to a new neighborhood and try to develop this type of assisted housing is not typically embraced,” Cervantes said.

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