$30,000 ADT Donation Provides Energy Efficient Heat Pumps for All 12 Homes in Highland Terrace

SEATTLE (October 18, 2022) ADT is partnering with Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King County to build safe, smart and sustainable affordable housing at its West Seattle build site. As part of that partnership, members of the ADT team gathered at Highland Terrace to volunteer their time and build alongside future Habitat homeowners on Oct. 22. Through part of its generous donation of $30,000 to Habitat SKC, ADT made possible the installation of energy-efficient heat pumps in all 12 Highland Terrace homes. Not only are these units more sustainable but will allow the new Habitat homeowners to save on their monthly energy bills.

Habitat SKC will install Mitsubishi Ductless Heat Pumps at Highland Terrace. These 18,000 BTU ductless split systems will provide year-round efficient temperature control, on average saving homeowners 20%-40% on annual heating and cooling bills compared to combustion-based systems. They will provide for a healthy breathing environment with advanced filtration to manage allergens and clean the air as it is pumped into the house.

Using an electric-based system is a more environmentally friendly option compared to combustion-based systems, while also providing protection from rising energy costs, as oil and natural gas-based heating systems saw a 30-50% increase in energy costs in 2021, compared to only a 6% increase for households that heat primarily with electricity. Additionally, the project is being wired for electric vehicle charging. This smart technology will allow each parking spot to be “EV Ready” for any future homeowner to plug in their vehicles onsite.

On the safety front, results of a recent Habitat survey of current Habitat homeowners, 92% reported some, great or a very great level of improvement in feeling safe after purchasing their Habitat home.

Located in the Highland Park neighborhood of Seattle, this community will give 12 families a place to live in an area with high opportunity. This new community is near Habitat’s other newly constructed development, Trenton, and numerous parks, including Roxhill Park, Milo Park, Highland Park Playground, and Westcrest Park, as well as public, charter, and private school options. Quick and easy access to all area amenities, including favorite cafe’s, restaurants, parks and roller rink with White Center & Westwood Village both just minutes away along with express bus lines to Downtown Seattle.

Homeownership Builds Community

Homeownership is about so much more than a simple roof over one’s head. It’s also about community, which means finding a neighborhood that feels like home. 

For Shukri Yusuf, who arrived in the Seattle area from Mombasa, Kenya at 12, West Seattle has been home since 2004. Over the years, Shukri got married there, had a son, and became a single mother in 2020. She remained in West Seattle throughout where she teaches in a neighborhood public school, living with her parents as she saved for a down payment on her own home. 

The more she saved, though, and looked around Seattle for housing, the more she realized she was severely out-priced. She feared she would have to leave West Seattle, or even the state, if she was to find an affordable house for herself and son, Zayn. The idea of leaving her beloved neighborhood for a house she could afford in a place where she knew no one was a poor option and one she dreaded.

Shukri explored any and all possibilities in her search for a way to remain in the community and still have a home of her own. She considered getting a down payment grant for a condo, even though getting a condo anywhere close to her beloved West Seattle neighborhood was impossible. As she searched, she learned about Habitat for Humanity through the King County homeowner assistance website. With help from Habitat, she was able to purchase a newly constructed, three-bedroom home in West Seattle – the first home she’s ever owned.

Shukri and Zayn now live in their own home in the neighborhood they call Home. It’s just five minutes from the school where Shukri teaches. Zayn is growing up in a supportive community where he’ll have maximum opportunities to thrive. For Shukri, this means planting roots and growing herself in a safe place with friends and family to share life’s ups and downs. As she says, Shukri is finally Home.

“When you have a community that you connect with it can offer you support in all of life’s phases. I feel a part of the community that I have called home since 2004 and I feel supported through some of the tough times that I have experienced in the past … I see it as my duty to help and support others that need help in my school community.”

More than a house, a home of one’s own builds Community through a sense of belonging and pride in the neighborhood called Home. It’s a hidden legacy that comes with help from Habitat for Humanity.

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. 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. 

Breaking Ground at Stuart Meadows in Ellensburg

On Thursday, September 15, 2022. Kittitas County Habitat for Humanity celebrated the Groundbreaking Ceremony for Stuart Meadows, its upcoming 18-home affordable housing neighborhood in Ellensburg.

Homeowners, Habitat staff, State representatives, and City Officials spoke about the project, what it means for our families and the community, and the need to continue to build affordable housing for Kittitas County.

“As I stood there overlooking the Stuart Mountain range dreaming of the future, I couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of hope for the families of Stuart Meadows,” said Kelle Vandenberg, Area Director, Kittitas County Habitat for Humanity. “We have spent the last year and a half in permitting, planning, and collaboration, but on that Thursday, with the sun shining and blue skies, we spent our time together just celebrating.”

With the civil work well underway and the first six families selected, vertical construction is expected to begin in October and will continue throughout the seasons. The homes will be built in three phases with the first six homes to be complete by fall 2023. The entire 18 homes to be finished by fall of 2025.

There is much to do and plenty of opportunity to help build these homes. If you would like to learn how to help build, donate, or help our families, reach out to Kelle Vandenberg directly at kelle.vandenberg@kchabitat.org

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)