New partnership helps Habitat double home building
Habitat for Humanity Spokane will double its home building through a new loan partnership between the Washington State Housing Finance Commission and Habitat for Humanity of Washington State.
The $2.5 million loan means Habitat for Humanity Spokane can serve 40 to 50 families a year, instead of 15 to 25.
“We will have an increase in other funders to diversify our funding portfolio because of this partnership,” said Michelle Girardot, CEO of Habitat Spokane.
The loan will speed the construction of Hope Meadows in Deer Park, a 114-home Habitat development, which is finishing 30 homes this spring.
Habitat just broke ground on infrastructure for the project’s second phase, and will “likely be able to move right into phase three infrastructure,” said Michelle.
In late 2015, the Housing Finance Commission loaned $5 million to Habitat for Humanity of Washington State, which loaned $2.5 million each to the Spokane and Tacoma affiliates.
Habitat for Humanity, an international nonprofit, builds simple, affordable homes that are sold to low-income families who also donate “sweat equity” during construction. In Washington, the average cost to build a Habitat home is $100,000.
Michone Preston, outreach director for Habitat for Humanity Washington, said the partnership with the commission is revolutionary.
“We’ve been moving at a snail’s pace, building homes one at a time as we raise philanthropic dollars,” she said. “his loan infuses our affiliates with cash to start and finish projects.”
The loans also help Habitat affiliates raise more funds from donors and energize the volunteers who help build Habitat homes.
If the pilot project is successful, the loan program could become a self-sustaining resource that Habitat affiliates could access through an application and review process.
The partnership will also support Habitat’s statewide organization, which will keep half a percent of the interest as affiliates repay loans. This will cover staffing to facilitate and administer the loans, plus legal and administrative expenses.
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