Commerce invests $24.2 million to create more than 240 new homeownership opportunities
Grants leverage $66 million in local and private funds to expand homeownership access across Washington state.
OLYMPIA, WA — The Washington State Department of Commerce has invested $24.2 million to create and support homeownership opportunities throughout the state. Twenty-one new proposals were awarded grants and three existing projects will receive additional funding to cover gaps created by increased costs for materials.
These projects will create approximately 242 new homeownership opportunities by building new homes and townhomes and expanding down payment assistance.
See the complete list of awarded applicants and projects (Box .PDF).
Commerce enacted recommendations from the Improving Homeownership Rates for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) in Washington Report, resulting in 10 of the 21 projects and over a third of the funding awarded supporting opportunities intended for BIPOC communities. Members of the homeownership disparities work group identified the lack of affordable housing and insufficient homebuyer assistance as the two most significant barriers to homeownership.
“A focus on homeownership is important to address the lack of affordable housing throughout Washington,” said Commerce Acting Director Kendrick Stewart. “We are proud to be part of a large community working together to deconstruct historically discriminatory policies and practices that have limited access to the primary avenue for stability and wealth building: homeownership.”
The impact of homeownership programs is clear: For every new homeowner, at least one rental unit is made available for a new household, there is a reduction in housing insecurity for the homeowners, and communities gain stability.
Commerce receives state capital funding to invest with eligible agencies that assist low-income households in securing the dream of homeownership via various models. These include down payment assistance, self-help new construction, Community Land Trusts and limited equity co-operatives. Homes funded through Commerce may only be sold or resold to households with incomes, adjusted by size, of less than 80% of the area median income, for a minimum of 25 years.
Local governments, housing authorities, non-profits, and federally recognized tribes can apply for homeownership program grants.