The Columbian – Washington House passes transit-oriented housing bill

House Bill 2160, promoting transit-oriented housing developments, passed with a floor vote of 56 to 40 during a Feb. 13 floor debate. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Julia Reed, D-Seattle, moved on to the Senate for further consideration.

The bill requires cities in fully planning counties to conform to certain requirements and limitations for housing near transit systems.

Our own Chief Advocacy Officer, Ryan Donohue, testified during the public hearing.

“We’re here in strong support of HB 2160, because we need more homes in more places, especially along our transit corridors,” he said. “Housing near transit centers is key to many housing options and to better housing options, especially for low-income families.”

To read the full story from the Columbian click here.

Habitat SKKC makes a splash in the other Washington for Habitat on the Hill 2024 

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!

T-Mobile Donates $50,000 to Local Nonprofits, Including Habitat for Humanity SKKC’s Home Repairs Program

T-Mobile has announced a $50,000 donation to five nonprofit organizations in Hawaii and Washington, including Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King & Kittitas Counties (SKKC), which received $10,000.

The money heading to Habitat for Humanity SKKC will benefit our Home Repairs program. Click the link for more information.

“We are very grateful to T-Mobile for its generous $10,000 donation, which has been applied to our Repairs program,” Habitat SKKC CEO Brett D’Antonio said. “This donation has filled the gap in funding for one critical structural repair that needed to be addressed urgently and has provided the homeowner with some peach of mind of remaining safely in her home for many years to come.”

T-Mobile employees in Hawaii and Washington played a pivotal role in selecting these organizations as part of the company’s Difference Maker Award. Launched last year, this quarterly recognition program applauds top-performing business areas and allows winning employees to present checks and dedicate a day of service at each organization. This marks the program’s third quarterly recognition.

Jon Freier, President, T-Mobile Consumer Group, expressed his appreciation, stating, “The Difference Maker Award puts a spotlight on our teammates’ standout contributions while also empowering them to further the causes closest to their hearts. T-Mobile and these five organizations are all better for their outstanding efforts.”

T-Mobile’s commitment to organizations like ours aligns with its dedication to community well-being and highlights the impactful role businesses can play in addressing local needs. Through strategic partnerships and employee-driven initiatives, T-Mobile continues to make a positive difference in communities it serves.

2024 Beyond the Build Luncheon Speaker: Bobby Wagner

We are pleased to announce Entrepreneur, Investor, Philanthropist and Seattle Seahawks Linebacker Bobby Wagner as our speaker for the 2024 Beyond the Build Luncheon. The event attended by nearly 1,000 Habitat for Humanity SKKC volunteers and supporters will take place in the ballroom of the Summit Building at the Seattle Convention Center on Wednesday, March 27.

Born in Los Angeles and raised in Ontario, CA, Bobby Wagner was drafted 47th overall in the 2012 NFL draft by the Seattle Seahawks. Quickly excelling on the field, Bobby won a Super Bowl in 2013, and throughout his career, has earned nine Pro-Bowl selections, six First-Team All-Pros, and a 2010 NFL All-Decade Team. He currently leads all active players in total tackles with 1691.

Beyond the field, Bobby is an Entrepreneur, Investor, and Philanthropist. Bobby’s passion to promote stroke education and assist stroke patients has led to a partnership with the American Heart & Stroke Association, as well as the creation of the Phenia Mae Fund in partnership with Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, Cedar Sinai, and Kaiser Permanente.

Additionally, Bobby has worked closely with several organizations, such as the Boys and Girls Club of King County and HBCUs, to advocate for health and wellness, education and child development. Due to his great work on and off the field, Bobby was nominated for the 2023 Walter Payton Man of the Year, his second nomination in his career.

To register for the event, become a sponsor or Table Captain, please visit: Habitatlunch.org.

Mayor Harrell Advances Improved Fort Lawton Redevelopment Plan

Mayor Bruce Harrell announced that the City of Seattle is advancing efforts to develop an improved redevelopment plan for increased affordable housing at Fort Lawton, a former military installation currently owned by the U.S Army and available at a significantly discounted land cost for dedicated use as affordable housing or parks. The proposed plan will include rental units, workforce housing, and homeownership opportunities, as well as permanent supportive housing for veterans and seniors who have experienced homelessness. The City will be working with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Army as it seeks to move forward on this proposed revision.

Click the link to read more.