“For me, it’s about realizing the American Dream,” said Marian Hom as she accepted the keys to her new Habitat home at Tyler Town in North Bend. Along with her partner Tim Martin, and six other families, Marian’s dream came true on Saturday, April 15 at the Tyler Town Dedication ceremony. Just 18 months ago, Habitat for Humanity SKKC Board members, staff, and local North Bend officials broke ground at Tyler Town, which Habitat volunteers and the qualifying families then worked together to complete.
In this region where the median home price is $1.2 million, seven families whose dream of homeownership seemed unattainable, moved into their 1,250 sq. ft., three bedrooms, 1.5 bath homes with the promise of long-term financial stability, independence, and equity-building that homeownership provides. This was made possible through the generosity of the late George J. Krsak whose family who donated Tyler Town’s land to Habitat for Humanity three years ago.
George J. Krsak grew up in the small town of Tyler, WA, outside Spokane, hence the Tyler Town name for Habitat’s development. He and his wife Rita Horan raised their family on the values of commitment to community. At the Dedication Ceremony, George Krsak’s daughter Mimi reflected on her father’s life as the sixth of seven children in an immigrant farming family. “The people of the town of Tyler helped each other. They birthed their babies at home. They educated their children. They shared what food they had. They cared for the sick and they buried their dead.”
The bequest of the Krsak land has already infused Tyler Town with that spirit of community. Mimi Krsak went on to say “Our family is proud to share our heritage with these seven families. And we wish you joy and the peace that comes with family and neighborly solidarity. Stay together, love and forgive each other. Believe in the best for all as you have been given. Someday it will be your turn to give. May the circle of kinship ever increase.”
Krsak’s wish for the new homeowners in Tyler Town mirrors the hope Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King & Kittitas Counties places into every home it builds. Habitat CEO Brett D’Antonio put it this way, “Tyler Town exemplifies what is possible with a real estate donation. By donating this land, the Krsak family transformed what was once a single-home property into homes for seven families who can now thrive and contribute to this area of high opportunity. A gift of real estate provides tax benefits to the donor, while helping transform the lives of local families with safe, decent, affordable housing.”
In conveying his deep gratitude to the Krsak family, Brett D’Antonio said, “Tyler Town is one of 14 projects Habitat has under construction or in the permitting stage, totaling more than 260 homes, from North Bend, to Burien, in Seattle, Renton, Ellensburg, Bothell, and Bellevue. The pipeline is a mix of family sized homes as well as one- and two-bedroom condos. Habitat staff members are working on several additional projects that will likely be announced by year’s end.”
At the Dedication, Habitat board member and North Bend resident, Jonathan Pearlstein expressed the reality of the work Habitat does, “We all hear and read a lot about the nationwide crisis of lack of affordable homes. We don’t have to travel anywhere to witness it. The crisis is right here in our town. Well, many of you here today have picked up hammers and struck your blows against the crisis right on this very site.”
Along with Pearlstein, the new homeowners were welcomed by North Bend’s mayor Bob McFarland who expressed pride in his community’s support for their new neighbors. U.S. Representative Kim Schrier praised Habitat for its commitment to providing affordable homeownership as “…the key to stability and safety.”
If you are interested in speaking with Habitat for Humanity SKKC about land donation, please contact Chief Development Officer Amy Farrier at firstname.lastname@example.org