Ardea at Totem Lake Groundbreaking

Published on May 03, 2024

CIty Council at the Ardea at Totem Lake groundbreaking

On Thursday, May 2, Mayor Kelli Curtis was joined by Deputy Mayor Arnold, and Councilmembers Black, Falcone, Sweet, and Tymczyszyn at the groundbreaking of Ardea, an affordable housing development in Totem Lake. 

Photos courtesy of Amazon and Jason Redmond. 

Mayor Kelli Curtis Speech Delivered at Ardea Groundbreaking Event

Thank you all for coming out today to mark this major milestone for housing affordability in Kirkland.

I’m Mayor Kelli Curtis, and it’s my honor to represent my colleagues on the Kirkland City Council at today’s event. I’d like to introduce DM Arnold, CM Black, CM Falcone, CM Sweet, and CM Tymczyszyn.

We all know we have a housing affordability crisis in our region.

People can’t afford to live where they work or learn, resulting in more traffic and emissions.

People can’t age in place as they get costed out of their family home where they’ve lived for decades.

People are at greater risk of losing their homes and experiencing homelessness.

Housing affordability is a serious problem. And it’s also a complicated one. There’s no single, magic strategy that will solve it. And there’s no single sector of society that will solve it alone.

Government absolutely plays a part in solving this crisis. And Kirkland continues to do our part in coordination with fantastic partners.

The Kirkland City Council has for many years championed a multi-faceted approach to housing. Kirkland was a founding member of A Regional Coalition for Housing when it was formed in 1992. Lindsay, thank you for your and ARCH’s work over the years supporting the creation of 6,840 affordable housing units across the region.

The Kirkland City Council has invested in housing policies that have led to the construction of 754 affordable housing units, with an additional 952 units planned for development over the next five years. Our partners in the non-profit sector help make these happen – Yi, thank you for Imagine Housing’s work in developing affordable housing and building welcoming communities on the Eastside.

The Kirkland City Council also adopted a robust middle housing program in March 2020. Since then, we’ve issued permits for over 315 units of middle housing such as ADUs, cottages, and duplexes or triplexes. And the Kirkland City Council proactively adopted affordable housing targets before it was a requirement of the State and County.

In short, Kirkland is doing our part to ensure our actions rise to the level of this generational challenge.

Our agency partners at the County are doing their part, too. I’m glad that Division Director Simon Foster is here today from King County’s Housing and Community Development Division.

But government can’t do our part without committed partners like you.

So today, I am beyond thrilled to be here to celebrate our partners in the business sector and thank them for stepping up to help solve the complicated problem of housing affordability.

Amazon’s 16-million-dollar commitment through its Housing Equity Fund helped create the 170 new affordable homes for seniors that will be built here. With views of the gorgeous wetland, mountains on both sides, and situated literally right next to transit, shops, and services, this project will create homes for older adults who need them. Thank you, Amazon, for your incredible generosity.

And thank you also to TWG, the development partner who is literally bringing this vision into reality. Thank you, Allen and the TWG team!

It is investments of money, time, and goodwill that will help us through this housing affordability crisis. On behalf of the City of Kirkland, thank you, Amazon, for the generous contributions to these new homes and others. And thank you to all of our amazing partners that walk with us on this journey. 

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