Habitat for Humanity dedicates its new offices in Olympia


South Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity, the local agency of the national non-profit organization that works to provide affordable housing, officially opened its building. The organization held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, April 9, at the new office located at 910 5th Avenue SE, Olympia.

“This space to us represents a foundational home base from which we get to do our work,” said Habitat CEO Elizabeth Walker during the ceremony.

“It represents an investment in our own future and growth, and it also represents a promise to you, our community, that we are here, that we are here for the long term, and that we will strive always to be a part of the solutions that lead to a healthier and stronger Sound Sound,” she continued.

Walker, who took over as the new CEO last month, has been with Habitat for Humanity for 12 years, mostly working for the organization in Chicago.

Olympia Mayor Dontae Payne was present at the event to deliver a statement commending the city and the organization’s partnership, particularly with the planned Boulevard Road housing project.

“Habitat is the city's leading partner in this work by receiving what is called CHIP or the Connecting Housing Infrastructure Program funding via the Washington State Department of Commerce for the Boulevard Road affordable housing project,” Payne said.

“That project is going to create over 100 units of affordable housing in our community… The homes will be designated as affordable in perpetuity, which is very important, and over 50% of the homes will be ADA-accessible and all units will be built with Evergreen Sustainable Development standard,” he continued.

Beyond affordable housing, Payne praised the organization for supporting the city’s work toward energy efficiency and preservation work.

“Through this, Habitat has been able to assist us with our heat pump installation for low-income residents, which has not only helped those residents save money on heating and cooling costs, but it also helped advance the city's climate goals,” Payne said.

State Legislature 22nd District Representative Jessica Bateman, a former Olympia council member, was also at the event to discuss the organization’s role in addressing housing affordability.

“We have far too many people facing cost barriers that are preventing them from accessing stable housing… I think Habitat has a really strong role to play in alleviating that type of stress in the housing market, and I think it's our duty here to our struggling neighbors to grow our organization so that we are a force for housing solutions here in the county,” Bateman said.

Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1976 and established its presence in Thurston County in 1989. Its website states that it has housed 112 children and 134 adults since it entered the county.

Its other projects in the county include the Tâlíčn community of 28 affordable townhomes under construction now in Tumwater. The Cowlitz Indian Tribe named the project and donated $100,000 toward it. 

The organization also works on critical home repairs and runs a program to educate people about home ownership.

CORRECTIONS:  April 15, 2024 - An earlier version of this story stated that the Tâlícn community was for the Cowlitz Indian Tribe. It is for clients of South Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity.  It also incorrectly indicated the year of Habitat for Humanity's founding. 


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