A home is more than just a place to rest your head. A home is a sense of stability. A sense of safety. A sense of accomplishment. It’s a place where people connect with family, friends, and their community. Now more than ever, a home is crucially important. We are about building a world where everyone has a place to call their home.
Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King & Kittitas Counties proudly advocates on behalf of deserving families through supporting more affordable housing across the state – this agenda offers a good collection of policy solutions that can help us move closer to a world where everyone has a safe, decent and affordable place to call home!
Closing the Racial Homeownership Gap
In the Seattle metro region, the average homeowner has a 25 times higher net worth than a renter. Additionally, the average Black family in the Seattle region is 33% less likely to own their own home. This clear disparity has resulted in a significant racial wealth gap where the average Black family in Seattle has $433,000 less than the average white family. We need to take concrete steps to actively remedy this. We applaud the steps that have already been taken, but more needs to be done. Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King & Kittitas Counties calls on the State of Washington to continue to make and increase concrete investments in preserving and expanding Black homeownership, specifically continuing to implement the policy recommendations from the Black Home Initiative. This includes increased down payment assistance, opportunities for property tax relief, and support for production of new affordable homeownership options in communities of opportunity, among many other tools.
Investing in Affordable Housing of All Kinds
This last session saw record investment in affordable housing and homeownership, but in the face of historic interest rates and long-term underinvestment, more needs to be done. The lack of affordable housing and affordable homeownership opportunities continues to be one of the biggest challenges facing Washington today. Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King & Kittitas Counties urges the State of Washington to significantly invest in affordable housing in all its types, including homeownership, to ensure that new and existing affordable housing programs are accessible to affordable housing across the continuum so we can build more homes for more people across Washington.
Breaking Down Barriers to Building More Homes
Between exclusionary zoning practices, long permitting delays, increased fees, and many other obstacles, building affordable homeownership opportunities is more difficult than ever before. We are in a significant housing crisis and must tap every resource to help address the need for more housing options across Washington. Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King & Kittitas Counties urges the State of Washington to identify opportunities to streamline and optimize processes for building housing and to find ways to create incentives for cities and counties to fast-track affordable housing projects while breaking down other existing barriers to production.