Whispering Pines Information Page
This web page will provide information for tenants, neighbors, and interested community members about the Housing Authority of Snohomish County’s (HASCO) plans for the Whispering Pines Apartments property. HASCO will update the page as there is additional information to share. Alternatively, you may also call our pre-recorded information line at 425-293-0532 to learn about new updates.
Whispering Pines is located in the City of Lynnwood along 52nd Ave West, just southeast of Highway 99. The site is over 12 acres and is developed with 240 apartment units in forty two-story buildings.
HASCO purchased Whispering Pines in 1995 and completed significant renovations to the property using funding through the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program. In exchange for the tax credits, the rents are capped at a level that is affordable to households with incomes below 60% of area median.
Apartments today are constructed to be energy efficient and last for 50 years or longer. Common spaces and a percentage of units in new buildings must be fully accessible to people with disabilities. Whispering Pines was constructed to average quality over 50 years ago. The buildings and systems at Whispering Pines are reaching the end of their economic life and it is not feasible to improve the existing structures and utilities to last another 50 years.
Meanwhile, Snohomish County and the entire region face a housing affordability crisis. Vacant land appropriate for new apartments is scarce and expensive.
There is an opportunity to create a vibrant, modern community that makes better use of the large site. A newly constructed development on site could be more pedestrian-focused and contain increased open space and modern amenities for residents.
HASCO is currently in the beginning stages of the land use approval and design process. The existing zoning only allows for 219 units to be replaced on the site, which would result in a loss of greatly needed affordable housing. HASCO applied to the City of Lynnwood in 2018 for a Comprehensive Plan map amendment and rezone of the western 60% of the site from medium-density to high-density residential zoning. The Lynnwood City Council denied HASCO’s application.
HASCO is currently evaluating all options for the property.
Whispering Pines Residents
At this time, HASCO anticipates giving tenants a one-year notice to vacate in August 2020, and that the property will be vacant by the end of 2021 so that construction can begin in 2022. This schedule is subject to change.
To help residents prepare to move out of Whispering Pines before it closes down on September 1, 2021, HASCO has prepared a Move-Out Guide with information about the Whispering Pines shut down, nearby affordable apartment complexes, and on-site Renter Certification classes and other services that residents can attend for free. The Move-Out Guide was delivered to all Whispering Pines residents on April 25th, 2019 and is provided to all new residents of the property.