Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King & Kittitas Counties proudly advocates on behalf of deserving families through its Cost of Home campaign — supporting more affordable housing across the state.
End Exclusionary Zoning
Washington State has a long and sordid history with exclusionary zoning. From the use of racial covenants and redlining maps to keep Black, Indigenous, and people of color out of neighborhoods that were predominantly White to the use of modern-day exclusionary zoning methods, keeping high-value homes and neighborhoods unreachable through so-called single-family zoning and not allowing any tools that could bring housing affordability to these desirable neighborhoods. Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King & Kittitas Counties calls on the legislature to look to the examples of Oregon and Walla Walla and end the practice of exclusionary zoning in Washington State.
Invest in the Housing Trust Fund
The lack of affordable housing and affordable homeownership opportunities continues to be one of the biggest challenges facing Washington today. While we have continued to invest in housing through the Washington State Housing Trust Fund, much more needs to be done. Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King & Kittitas Counties urges the state legislature to significantly increase the allocation for the Housing Trust Fund, to set a statutory floor for homeownership funding in the HTF, and to equalize the award limits between construction types.
Support Permanently Affordable Homeownership
While we drastically need more investment in affordable housing across the board, we also need to make deliberate investments in permanently affordable homeownership here in Washington State. The reality is the disparity between Washington State’s support for rental, shelter, and supportive services housing and Washington’s support for homeownership is roughly 20 to 1 in favor of rentals, shelter, and supportive services. That is a massive racial and economic equity issue, because it ensures developers build only rentals in communities of color, denying families opportunities to build equity. We at Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King & Kittitas Counties strongly support the creation of new avenues of support for permanently affordable homeownership, because we need long term solutions to address this crisis.
Today across Washington, 1 in 7 households will spend more than half of their income just on housing. Having such a large percentage of people’s income going towards housing often forces people to choose between housing and food, or housing and childcare. This needs to change. Your home shouldn’t take half your paycheck. Nobody should have to choose between a place to live or their child’s education.
In 2019, we joined Habitat for Humanity International in launching the “Cost of Home” campaign, Habitat’s first ever national-level advocacy campaign in the United States. Together with Habitat for Humanity affiliates across the country, we are mobilizing volunteers and community members to help us push for policies that will give more people more access to affordable housing – and we need your help!
To learn more about how you or your company can help contact Ryan Donohue, Advocacy & Policy Director at email@example.com or (206) 577-7949.
We Build Strength, Stability, Self-Reliance and Shelter
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. A home is crucially important, now more than ever. That is why Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King County proudly advocates on behalf of deserving families through its Cost of Home campaign — supporting more affordable housing across the state. Because, at the end of the day — what we are all about is building a world where everyone has a place to call their own.
Create a Workgroup on the Racial Homeownership Gap
As Washington State continues to wrestle with systemic discrimination against Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), it is vitally important that we work to address the gap in homeownership for BIPOC communities. We are calling on legislators to create a workgroup that examines the racial homeownership gap and provides proposals and budget recommendations to address the problem.
Commit $30 million of the Housing Trust Fund to homeownership opportunities
If we are serious about addressing the affordable housing challenge, Washington State needs to invest in affordable housing in all of its forms. The Washington State Housing Trust Fund should be funded to a new record high, and a specific target of $30 million should go to support homeownership opportunities.
Support Home Repair Efforts Statewide
Repair programs offered by a variety of organizations including Habitat help keep people in their homes and extend the life of homes by providing critical home repairs, weatherization, and disabled modifications. We encourage Washington State to continue to support these programs.
Advocacy doesn’t end when the legislative session does – nor does Habitat for Humanity SKC! While we have been building homes and changing lives at various work sites, we’ve also been introducing policymakers to Habitat for Humanity and our mission. Over the last three months, we’ve been lucky to be able to host and sit down with 16 different lawmakers to talk about the work we do, and show them some of the amazing homes that our volunteers, homeowners, and staff have built.
One of the lawmakers we recently met with was Representative David Hackney (LD-46). We showed off our project in Seattle’s South Park neighborhood for which Habitat SKC won a national design award. Representative Hackney was able to walk through one of the 13 permanently affordable homes we are actively building in that legislative district. We had a great conversation, and look forward to working with him to keep making a difference across King and Kittitas Counties.
Another lawmaker we had the privilege to meet was Representative Shelly Kloba. She represents part of north King County and south Snohomish County, and she joined us at the Lake City site just prior to the recent dedication of eight homes during the completion of Phase 1 of the project. Discussing the impact that these homes will have on the families that were moving in and seeing the result of what those budget dollars can turn into was incredibly powerful for everyone there. Seeing first-hand the impact of their votes shows how policy makes a significant difference.
It doesn’t end here. We look forward to working with all 16 lawmakers and policymakers as well as the other 28 lawmakers who represent parts of King and Kittitas Counties in the 2022 legislative session, but we’ll need your help to make sure that all 44 know what Habitat’s policy and legislative priorities are. Sign up now for Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King & Kittitas Counties’ Text Alerts and make a difference today!