Kulshan CLT breaks ground on efficient, affordable home

Nearly four years after finishing Matthei Place in Fairhaven, Kulshan Community Land Trust is taking on a new construction project...

Kulshan Community Land Trust, in partnership with Cascade Joinery, broke ground April 28 on its first new construction project since finishing Matthei Place in Fairhaven in 2008.

The new home, located at the intersection of Madrona Street and West Indiana Street in the Columbia Neighborhood, was designed by Cascade Joinery to be energy-efficient. Construction should take six to eight months, after which the home will be tested for LEED gold and Built Green five-star certification, John Miller, CEO of Cascade Joinery, said.

The final piece of funding fell in place just minutes before the groundbreaking ceremony — Whatcom County Executive Director Pete Kremen signed a bill at the event to allocate a portion of the county’s Economic Development Investment (EDI) fund to pay for impact fees on affordable housing projects. The Whatcom County Council voted in favor of the ordinance, which was part of a larger budget, at its April 26 meeting.

“I think it’s an extremely wise and prudent way to use the EDI funds,” Kremen said, adding that it supports smart growth and could help the struggling construction industry.

For the new Kulshan home, EDI funds will cover $19,345 in impact fees. EDI funds are loans that are eventually paid back to the county. Kulshan uses a combination of public and private investment to build new affordable homes and purchase existing homes.

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