Homes First, Thurston County’s leader in providing affording affordable rental homes, is pleased to announce the newest addition to their 37 property portfolio.
Since 1990, Homes First has served our community in a unique way – acquiring and renovating pre-existing homes and ensuring they remain in the affordable housing market forever.
Homes First chooses to invest in scattered site housing for several reasons. Of most importance to us is the knowledge that when people live in their own permanent home, regardless of whether it is owned or rented, they become a part of our community, rather than apart FROM our community. “In 2016 and 2017, over 1,400 students went to school in Lacey, Olympia and Tumwater each year, registered as homeless,” says Trudy Soucoup, CEO of Homes First, “that’s just not right. We can make a difference to those kids every day so they can learn better and live healthier lives through having a dependable home with a landlord that treats their family with dignity and respect.”
The 2006 Housing and Child Wellbeing Study by Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities shows that children in low-income families benefit significantly from moving out of socio-economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. In addition, when households are ‘anonymized’ in their community, not stigmatized by being singled out as low-income, they are more likely to thrive and to develop long term healthy relationships.
When our community considers the availability of buildable land and the cost of new construction, it becomes quite obvious that using already existing homes to provide housing rather than building new is not only economical, but sustainable. In the same three to five year period it costs to develop a new 50-unit apartment complex for 75 people, Homes First can acquire and provide homes to the same number of people while helping them reconnect with their community.
Angela B tells supporters: “Our new home was … in a good neighborhood where I could have a sense of safety. My quality of life only improved from then on and I was able to get off food stamps and provide even better for my family.”