AT&T Donates $10,000 to Habitat for Humanity SKC After Completing Monthlong Employee Volunteer Effort

AT&T presented a contribution of $10,000 to Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King County on Wednesday, September 28 as 18 local AT&T employee volunteers worked with future residents to build housing at Highland Terrace in the Delridge neighborhood of Seattle. The six permanently affordable homes at Highland Terrace are expected to be ready in the summer of 2023.  The project will offer families earning less than 80% of Area Media Income two and three-bedroom units with easy access to nearby parks, schools, and transit. 

“We are delighted that AT&T has chosen to partner with Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King County on its month-long volunteer effort and are very grateful for the donation,” said Brett D’Antonio, CEO, Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King & Kittitas Counties. “It will take private, public, and non-profit sectors coming together to address our region’s housing affordability crisis and AT&T has proven to be a leader in the effort.”

The monthlong employee volunteer effort is a part of the AT&T Believes Washington initiative.  AT&T Believes is a company-wide, localized effort to combine employees’ passions and volunteerism with AT&T’s resources and relationships. 30 area AT&T employees volunteered with Habitat for Humanity of Seattle-King & Kittitas Counties on four different dates and locations in September, including at Highland Terrace, the North Bend Tyler Town construction site, and the Habitat for Humanity Stores in Bellevue and Southcenter. 

“AT&T employees jumped at the chance to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity of Seattle-King and Kittitas Counties,” said Carl Gipson, State President, AT&T Washington.  “These homes will be a source of security and peace of mind for their owners.  It was uplifting for our volunteers to work side-by-side with families to help build their future home.”

Habitat for Humanity Seattle–King & Kittitas Counties focuses its mission on building, repairing, and preserving permanently affordable housing and believes everyone deserves a decent, safe, and affordable place to live. With a current pipeline of 270+ homes in various phases of planning and construction, Habitat SKC is on track to surpass its ambitious goal of building and selling 1,000 cumulative housing solutions to low-income community members by 2025.

If your company would like to make a contribution and/or is interested in volunteering with Habitat for Humanity SKC, please contact Angela Appleton at angela.appleton@habitatskc.org

2023 Legislative Agenda

The lack of affordable housing and affordable homeownership opportunities continues to be one of the biggest challenges facing Washington today. We’re working to make sure that housing choices are a priority in the 2023 legislature.

Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King & Kittitas Counties strongly believes in a world where EVERYBODY has access to a safe, affordable and decent place to live — and with our agendas, we’re working tirelessly to make that a reality.

End Exclusionary Zoning

Washington State has a long and sordid history with exclusionary zoning. The use of race-based restrictions and redlining maps keeps Black, Indigenous, and people of color out of neighborhoods that were predominantly White, limits the affordability of housing and restricts the amount of homes available to these marginalized groups. 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.

Increase Black Homeownership

The lowest homeownership rate of any racial or ethnic group in the United States is that of Black people – currently, the average Black family in Seattle is 33% less likely to own their own home than a white family. The policies in place at the local, state, and federal governments have prohibited households of color from having equal access to homeownership, mortgage financing, neighborhood development, and many other possibilities, all of which are made easily available to White households. Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King & Kittitas Counties urges the state legislature to eliminate the systematic bias that pervades American home financing, home buying, and exclusionary zoning regulations, which has kept generations of Black families from becoming homeowners.

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 become homeowners and 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.

Interfaith Build 2022: Another Year of Unity

Join us in West Seattle for fellowship and the hands-on work of Habitat for Humanity! 

Habitat for Humanity honors the role that faith communities play in building a better world. In our mission of building decent homes for all, we work alongside and serve people of all faith backgrounds, and celebrate the role many faiths play in building stronger communities. 

Members of all faiths are welcome!

Get together with members of many faiths to respond to our regional housing crisis. We strive to be an example of what we can accomplished when we work together. 

Get involved with the build 

Sign up for one or more of our build days — October 12, 19, 29 — volunteer your time for build activities and interfaith learning while helping your community. 

We are asking for groups of 5-8 people per faith tradition to make up the 25 person team each day. Volunteers must be at least 16 years old and we will provide all the tools, safety equipment, and supervision needed for the day. 

Be a speaker 

We would love to have a representative on-site from different faith communities to share for 5-10 minutes each about how their faith calls them to action and service to others. 

Provide a meal/food prep 

Sign up to prepare and provide a meal for the volunteers. 

Provide and serve meals on-site for volunteers with enough to feed 40 people each day. We ask that food includes vegetarian options. This is a great way for youth to get involved. 

Learn more at www.habitatskc.org/volunteer – use the join code Interfaith when registering.

Contact Angela Appleton, Director of Corporate and Faith Relations at angela.appleton@habitatskc.org or (206) 866-7599 to organize a group, sign up as an individual, or if you have questions. Space is limited. 

5 Things You Might Not Know About Habitat for Humanity

In the spirit of ‘back to school,’ we turned to a recent interview between Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King & Kittitas Counties CEO Brett D’Antonio and Bob Dittman of K-LOVE radio to gather a few facts you might not know about the organization. Click here to listen to the full interview.

  • Fact 1 – Habitat for Humanity wasn’t started by Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter. Though the Carters are Habitat’s most famous supporters, the organization grew out of an interracial community in rural Georgia. In 1942, the families of Koinonia Farms started providing housing for each other, creating the model that later became Habitat for Humanity. And it’s been growing internationally ever since.
  • Fact 2 – Habitat doesn’t give homes away. Instead, it forms partnerships with potential homeowners who qualify for homes by demonstrating the need for safe, affordable housing; by showing they can pay a modest mortgage; and, most important, by committing to participate in a sweat equity program. That means 250 hours of working on their own or other Habitat homes with volunteers and future neighbors, or volunteering in a Habitat Store or home office. Future Habitat homeowners also attend classes on budgeting, mortgage documentation, even a budgeting class for kids. Another surprising fact — those classes are open to any family that needs to buy a home whether they’re buying through Habitat or not.
  • Fact 3 – Habitat goes beyond building homes.  Habitat SKC conducts a Critical Home Repair program to provide low-income families with important repairsso they can stay in their homes. Projects in the $15-$25,000 range like a new roof, or a new deck can be done at no up-front cost to the homeowner. Habitat’s Home Preservation Program provides minor repairs that can prevent the need for later critical repair. Habitat volunteers often work in neighborhood clusters so they can serve five or six homes in a single day. Habitat’s Aging In Place program supports individual seniors by adding needed fixes to their homes like grab bars, ramps, easier doorknobs and floors more suited to wheelchair traffic – all based on assessments from health care organizations.
  • Fact 4 – Habitat runs a Permanently Affordable Portfolio of Homes. To prevent Habitat homes from ending up on the open market, Habitat buys them back from Habitat homeowners when they move on to buy homes on their own. In those cases, Habitat facilitates home sales from one Habitat buyer to another. One of Brett’s favorite stories is of a Habitat home built on Whidbey Island by active-duty Naval staff for a single mom. She later married and got a better job, so she could buy a home on her own in her new location. Habitat sold that home to another Habitat family who moved on to better circumstances two years later and sold the house to a third Habitat family. “That’s what we’re here for,” Brett said. “I’ll always remember how one house benefited three families in a short period of time.”
  • Fact 5 – Habitat Lobbies for Affordable Housing.  Through its Cost of Home (COH) Advocacy Campaign, Habitat has spent five years working the State Legislature to pass laws that reform policies like credit or land use access, any laws that make housing more affordable in the State. This year alone, the COH group was able to get $25M added to the State’s budget for affordable home ownership along with other affordable housing measures passed with the help of activists who wrote 9,600 messages to Washington legislators.

Habitat’s mission to create affordable, safe housing for everyone takes many forms, and these five facts are just part of the story. To learn more about Habitat for Humanity SKC and the many ways in which you can get involved visit: How to Help – Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King & Kittitas Counties (habitatskc.org)