Vancouver will work to secure a loan to help fund the next phase of the Fourth Plain Commons project, a multimillion-dollar investment that will bring housing and a community space to the Fourth Plain corridor.
This week, city councilors unanimously gave staff the green light to pursue a $3.5 million loan from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The program — called a Section 108 loan — allows municipalities to multiply their Community Development Block Grant funds for projects, offering loans up to five times the amount of the grants.
According to Peggy Sheehan, Vancouver’s community development manager, the loans have a 20-year repayment plan. The city has accessed them before to fund $5.4 million in improvements to Grant and Esther streets.
“It’s a very popular program, the city of Vancouver has used it once before,” Sheehan told the council this week. “It has very flexible financing — you can use it for anything CDBG authorizes us to use it for.”
The Fourth Plain Commons is the largest single piece of the city’s broader Fourth Plain Forward strategy, which has been in the works since 2015.