Scaffolding covers a section of the sidewalk in the 100 block of West First Street to support workers as they upgrade the the facade on Lee Plaza. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Scaffolding covers a section of the sidewalk in the 100 block of West First Street to support workers as they upgrade the the facade on Lee Plaza. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Affordable housing units get upgrades

Scaffolding in downtown Port Angeles evidence of one of several PHA projects

PORT ANGELES — Scaffolding lining a portion of one block of First Street in downtown Port Angeles is among the Peninsula Housing Authority efforts to revamp the look and operation of some of their affordable housing units.

The units include the Lee Plaza at 112 W. First St., Mount Angeles View Manor at 323 E. Second St., Mount Angeles View Villa at 401 E Fifth St., and Mount Angeles View Terrace at 114 E. Sixth St.

“All of these projects are having significant rehabilitation done,” said Sarah Martinez, executive director of the Peninsula Housing Authority (PHA).

Work includes “things that are necessary for the longevity of the affordable housing, but also items that were requested by tenants and deferred maintenance items that needed to be handled.”

Some of the work on these units includes new roofs, siding, and landscaping as well as upgrades to units’ energy efficiency and access to parking.

“The Terrace is a significant project,” Martinez said. “The building as it currently stands had stucco on it, which is not an efficient siding for our environment, so going to a cement fiber board siding is a lot easier to maintain and will protect the structure for a lot longer.

“We did certain upgrades for energy efficiencies in all of the units. Because of the type of funding that we received to do this we were required to comply with the Evergreen Sustainable Design Standard which was put in place by the state,” Martinez said.

The efficiencies include low-flow toilets, faucets, and showers as well as LED lighting and new windows.

Total costs for these projects will be about $16.6 million.

The PHA completed a low-income housing tax credit financing transaction last year with the state and received a $300,000 grant from the City of Port Angeles to go toward these rehabilitation projects.

“The Manor and the Villa are nearly complete. The Manor is waiting on a gate that had been on back order because of COVID-19,” Martinez said.

“We have had some challenges with obtaining some construction materials because of supply chain issues.

“The Lee Plaza and the Terrace are currently under construction. All of the units are being rehabbed on the inside and the scaffolding is there on First Street because we are doing significant maintenance to the exterior of the building,” she added.

The work on the Lee Plaza is expected to continue until fall.

Summer is the most ideal time to perform any masonry work when it is dry and warm, a rarity on the Peninsula other times of the year.

“We are confident that the work will be done on time and it will give the Lee Plaza a face lift and protect that facade from further natural deterioration,” Martinez said.

”They have completed the back side and the west side of the building so now they are working on the front and on the east side as well.

“We really took into a lot of consideration things that we were hearing from our residents, things that would prolong the life of this affordable housing,” Martinez said.

”I think something that doesn’t always get talked about is how we continue to preserve what we have versus always talking about needing to add more units,” she added.

”If we’re not taking steps to preserve the housing that we have over the long-term, those units may not be available any longer.”

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Reporter Ken Park can be reached by email at [email protected]

Scaffording and protective material covers the front of the Lee Plaza in downtown Port Angeles as the building is prepared for facade work. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Scaffording and protective material covers the front of the Lee Plaza in downtown Port Angeles as the building is prepared for facade work. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

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