Habitat for Humanity’s Habitat on the Hill 2024 kicked off Feb. 5 as a celebration of the Cost of Home Campaign’s successful five-year run. This is Habitat’s biggest advocacy event of the year, and our affiliate was proudly represented by our CEO Brett D’Antonio, Chief Development Officer, Amy Farrier, and two of our three Advocacy Team members, Chief Advocacy Officer, Ryan Donohue, and Advocacy and Policy Manager, Cliff Cawthon.
This year Habitat on the Hill included more than 400 attendees who converged on Washington D.C. to advocate for affordable homeownership and policies that support the entire housing continuum. The halls of the House of Representatives and the Senate buildings were flooded by Habitat advocates. Our Seattle-King & Kittitas County staff members were particularly active in meeting with the staff members of Representatives Jayapal, Smith, DelBene, Schrier, and Senators Murray and Cantwell. We shared stories about homeowners and repair recipients whose lives were changed by Habitat.
Habitat’s national priorities were headlined by H.R. 3940/ S. 679, the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act, which is a major bipartisan piece of legislation that will create the first Federal Tax credit to support affordable homeownership by covering the first 35 percent of development costs for home construction and its services projects which are priced at 80 percent of the national median housing price. This tax credit will significantly reduce the cost of building affordable homes for families in need.
Habitat is also advocating for key investments in local projects, such as our new Columbia City developments in Seattle, our Miller’s Crossing development in Burien, and Stuart Meadows in Ellensburg! We teamed up with advocates from Habitat for Humanity International to advocate for national investments in affordable housing through the Self-Help Housing Opportunity Program (SHOP), the Home Improvement Program (HOME), and the US Department of Agriculture’s 502 Direct Loan Program. These key investments will accelerate the work that our affiliate and others in Washington State and throughout the country do every single day.
Our delegation made a significant splash as we shared our noteworthy 2023 legislative victory with the Washington State Covenant Homeownership Account Act, presented by our Advocacy and Policy Manager, Cliff Cawthon. It was a first-in-the-nation achievement that will provide downpayment assistance and support for Washingtonians who were discriminated against in the housing market. We also had our new Advocate Training Program featured at the poster exhibit. Our new Advocate Training program trains homeowners, advocates, and repair clients on how to advocate for affordable housing and homeownership.
In our Washington, the work continues! To learn more about our Statewide advocacy and Local-County advocacy click here. Be sure to join our ongoing advocacy campaigns and support affordable housing by visiting our Action Center here. Together, we can build a world where everyone has a safe, decent, and affordable place to live!