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Habitat-Spokane transfers keys to new homeowner

Farrah will receive keys to home volunteers helped him remodel. Photo courtesy of Habitat-Spokane

Habitat for Humanity-Spokane's transformation of abandoned, derelict homes in the West Central neighborhood celebrates as another future homeowner accepts keys to their safe, decent and affordable home at 11:30 a.m., Friday, Dec. 10.

They will be in their newly rehabilitated home in time for the holidays, said Habitat-Spokane CEO Michelle Girardot.

Habitat for Humanity acquired the home as part of the Derelict Housing Acquisition and Homeownership program, a collaboration between the City of Spokane and Habitat for Humanity to revitalize neighborhoods and increase homeownership opportunities for those experiencing low incomes.

"Funded through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Habitat and its partners have focused on acquiring units in neighborhoods at the highest risk for displacement, gentrification and lack of affordable homeownership opportunities," she said.

By partnering with the city to identify possible acquisitions, Habitat-Spokane could leverage its volunteer base, sponsors and homebuyer readiness activities to breathe new life into these homes while creating access to homeownership. Those activities also ensure the homes are affordable at purchase and remain affordable for generations.

"Programs like CDBG are crucial to creating a sustainable future for Spokane by building more affordable homeownership opportunities. Every revitalized 'zombie home,' completed with partnerships, promises to be an affordable homeownership option now and forever," said Michelle. "Shared equity homeownership programs and revitalizing abandoned properties like these directly correlate with positive job creation and thriving mixed-income neighborhoods."

This home is especially unique, as it was the first home acquired with this partnership.

According to the Federal Reserve, one abandoned property in Spokane diminishes by $60,000 the value of nearby properties. The financial burden doesn't end there. Derelict units in Spokane represent a municipal expenditure in excess of $2M every year as the responsibility of cleaning, marketing, or even demolishing these properties falls onto the city and taxpayer, further depressing these areas and Spokane as a whole, Michelle said.

"While the work to rehab blighted properties in Spokane is powerful to witness, the transformation during a future Habitat homeowner's journey to homeownership is even more so. Habitat seeks to put God's love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope," she said.

The partnership requirements for qualified home buyer families earning 80 percent below the area median income are rigorous but ensure each home buyer is more than prepared to be a successful homeowner.

"At the West Central home dedication, supporters of Habitat for Humanity-Spokane will come together to witness two families unlock strength, stability and self-reliance through the keys to their new future," Michelle said.

For information, call 534-2552 or visit

Copyright@ The Fig Tree, December, 2021