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Willowcrest Affordable Townhomes


Saturday, May 15 |  9 am – 11:30 am

Site Description

FEATURES: Advanced Building Envelope, Design Innovation, Electric Vehicle Charging, Energy Efficient, Energy Starr Appliances, Equity Endeavor, Indoor Air Quality, Materials Efficiency, Small Square Footage, Smart Controls, Solar Power, Storm Water Management, Water Conservation

Willowcrest is King County’s first multi-unit homeownership project designed to be affordable to low- and moderate-income households while also reducing utilities costs and climate impacts through ultra-high energy efficiency and the elimination of fossil fuels. Built by Homestead Community Land Trust on land provided by the Renton Housing Authority in the Sunset neighborhood in northeast Renton, the 12 three- and four-bedroom townhomes will achieve net zero energy usage through highly energy-efficient systems and construction and the use of solar panels for onsite energy generation. The project architect is Third Place Design Cooperative. The General Contractor is Edge Community Builders.

Willowcrest homes are affordable to households with incomes considered to be low or moderately low by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the King County area. The homes are priced below $315,000. Through one-time investments that subsidize the initial price of the homes and partnerships with buyers, Homestead will keep Willowcrest homes affordable to all subsequent income-qualified buyers permanently. Each home may be resold up to seven times over a 50- year period, giving multiple families the social, health and financial benefits of an affordable, fixed housing payment in a quality home.
“With Willowcrest – and an upcoming development in Tukwila – Homestead is building homeownership demonstration projects with deep green standards so that we can quantify their benefits for affordability and the environment,” said Kathleen Hosfeld, Executive Director, Homestead. “Our hope is to create a replicable model and build the case for philanthropic and public investment in deeper green building standards for affordable homeownership in King County.”
As part of a larger City of Renton transformation plan for the Sunset neighborhood, the City awarded the project $332,000, its largest affordable housing grant to date, to pay for some of the energy efficiency and green-building features of the project.

Willowcrest is also an example of Transit Oriented Development, which builds homes in proximity to high-capacity public transit services.

Environmental Design Features

Exterior Envelope

o Insulated R-30 2×8 Exterior Walls will provide at least 43% energy savings beyond Washington State Energy Code.
o R-10 under slab insulation to improve overall building envelope performance
o Optimized window glazing area with Low-E coating to balance access to daylighting and building envelope performance.
o Advanced building air sealing of 0.25 cfm/ft2 to reduce heat loss and heat gain and optimize building envelope efficiency.
o Unit and roof orientation to maximize the efficiency of solar panels.

Mechanical Systems

o 3 Zone Ductless Minisplit Heating/Cooling System will provide at least 25% energy savings beyond Washington State Energy Code.
o High-efficiency heat pump water heater to minimize overall operational cost over the life of the home.
o Efficient plumbing layout to reduce hot water piping heat loss will provide at least a 12% energy savings beyond the baseline design.
o Master “smart” switch located at unit entry to minimize phantom plug loads
o Solar panels to achieve Net Zero Energy
o Energy Star rated appliances.
o WaterSense low-flow fixtures.


o Recycled content fiber cement siding with low/no VOC paint
o Energy Star rated light-color roofing to reduce heat island effect
o Durable and low/no VOC interior finish materials including cork-based plank flooring, all natural linoleum flooring, natural quartz countertops


o 100% native and drought tolerant plants
o Improvement and expansion of existing shared community space with the neighboring Glennwood townhomes to foster a sense of community
o Site design improves and expands on existing pedestrian walkway networks and provides a pedestrian and bicycle friendly Woonerf.
o 73 Walkscore to reduce car dependency
o At least 75% of construction waste will be recycled and diverted from the landfill

Homestead is a non-profit community ownership organization founded in 1992 with over 200 permanently affordable homes in trust. It prioritizes new developments in neighborhoods at risk of displacement due to rising housing costs throughout the county. Affordable homeownership fills a crucial gap (also known as “the missing middle”) in the affordable housing spectrum, prevents further displacement of modest-income households and allows homeowners to build wealth safely.

Home sales begin in April 2021. Information about applying to the Homestead program is available on the website at

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