Creating new partnerships
Developing a new housing model
Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County is creating an innovative building model for Bellingham in 2019, one that has the potential to bring a new scale of affordable housing development to our community.
This idea began when the Whatcom Community Foundation (WCF) in Bellingham supported Habitat with grants to help us and Kulshan Land Trust figure out how we could collaborate to explore a new housing development model. Together, we successfully purchased 5 undeveloped acres in the city, close to jobs, schools, and public transportation, to create 52 townhomes in two phases. This scale of development for affordable home ownership has never happened in Bellingham.
The Telegraph Townhome Project interlocks key housing affordability puzzle pieces by combining the unique building model created by Habitat, with the land resources of community land trusts.
These puzzle pieces include:
- The elimination of land speculation by working with land trusts to lock in land costs
- Using Habitat’s unique volunteer and community home-building model
- Providing access to affordable home financing by using Habitat’s unique mortgage structuring
- By using appropriate technology to create exceptional energy efficiency and long-term manageable maintenance costs.
Greater access means helping more hard-working families in Whatcom County. The most powerful contribution of project like the Telegraph Townhomes is meeting the needs of ptential homebuyers currently locked out of conventional home ownership.