A $2 million grant from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development brings 14 Tri-Citians with disabilities closer to having their own apartments in Kennewick.
The department announced Wednesday that it is awarding Shalom Ecumenical Center about $1.8 million in capital money and $163,500 in rent subsidies to build an apartment complex in Kennewick that will house people with physical and developmental disabilities.
The complex will be built by Modern Living Services, a nonprofit formed in 2008 by families of people with developmental disabilities who worried about their loved ones' futures in a climate in which government funding for services is being reduced.
The goal of Modern Living Services is to build safe, affordable housing and provide job opportunities for people with developmental disabilities -- two crucial ingredients in the recipe for the independence and dignity they say every person with developmental disabilities deserves.
"For us to be able to get something like this even for 14 individuals is a huge step in the right direction," said Andrea Mallonee, the nonprofit's president.
Modern Living Services bought land at Kennewick Avenue and Perry Street in Kennewick, where the 14-unit complex will be built.
Mallonee said nine of the units will be for people with developmental disabilities, and the other five will be home to people with other types of disabilities.
Residents will have to undergo an application process, and Mallonee said the waiting list is likely to be lengthy.
But this building is just the first, she said.
"Our goal is to continue to build adequate housing," she said.
No ground-breaking date has been set -- the nonprofit first needs to meet with the developer who will build the apartments and talk about a timeline.
Modern Living Services also needs to continue raising money through grants and donations. About another $1.1 million is needed, Mallonee said.
Anyone interested in helping can go to www.modernlivingservices.org or call Mallonee at 947-0704.