Habitat for Humanity of Washington State recognizes his efforts in securing funding for affordable housing

information released, LCN photo above (l to r) Lake Chelan Valley Habitat Board President Diane Leigh, Incoming Executive Director Michelle Fanton, Representative Mike Steele, Habitat of Washington Representative Aden Espino, Retiring Executive Director Loni Rahm

Habitat for Humanity presented Representative Mike Steele with the Habitat Golden Hammer Award for Advocacy in Affordable Homeownship. This award is reserved for leaders who create the most significant opportunities to reduce poverty through more affordable homeownership units. This is one of nine presented to lawmakers for their record investment in affordable homeownership efforts in the Capital Budget.

Representative Steele serves as the Ranking Minority Member of the Capital Budget. Habitat for Humanity and other affordable housing agencies rely on this fund to provide more units. Rep. Steele was instrumental in an investment of $34 million dollars for future homes for the biennium. These funds are provided to agencies like Habitat for Humanity who compete through the Department of Commerce’s Housing Trust Fund later this summer.

“Habitat and others like us use state funding to change the lives of families, and stabilize the economy in communities across our state. We will partner with families who will own their Habitat home and no longer need their section 8 voucher or other housing subsidy which frees up a rental unit for another family,” says Michone Preston, CEO of Habitat Washington.

Preston states that “this investment in the Housing Trust Fund will provide 500 additional homeownership opportunities for families with low incomes across the State of Washington.”

Representatives of Lake Chelan Valley Habitat for Humanity were on hand to present the Gold Hammer Award. In accepting the award, Rep. Steele acknowledged the importance of finding ways that those who work in the Lake Chelan Valley can afford to live here as well. “Homeownership builds community,” he said.

The Lake Chelan Valley Habitat for Humanity has completed 19 homes so far. An additional 6 homes are currently being platted on land that Habitat owns on Wapato Street in Chelan. “We look forward to helping more families realize the dream of owning a home over the next few years, stated Diane Leigh, Board President of Lake Chelan Valley Habitat for Humanity.