Habitat for Humanity’s ‘Beyond the Build Luncheon’ will celebrate, look ahead, and honor supporters
By Ranji Sinha,2023-06-05
KIRO 7 is proud to once again be a sponsor for Habitat for Humanity and its Beyond the Build Luncheon happening on Thursday at 11 a.m. Evening News Anchor Aaron Wright will be the emcee this year.
KIRO 7′s Ranji Sinha spoke with the keynote speaker for this year’s luncheon, and broke down some of the group’s work locally.
Habitat for Humanity Seattle–King & Kittitas Counties will have its luncheon at the new Summit Building part of the Seattle Convention Center. The luncheon is an effort to highlight and help Habitat’s goals of building housing in our region — an issue that’s concerned many Western Washington communities.
In March, Habitat showed off its first mid-rise building in Seattle, in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. The building is now housing 13 new homeowners.
Habitat for Humanity has highlighted Seattle’s Office of Housing and its investments to create affordable housing. The office, to date, has funded nearly 12,000 affordable units and created 1,500 through incentives. Habitat says it has a three-year plan to build 292 units in 139 buildings across Seattle, King County, and Kittitas County.
Majora Carter has been tapped as the keynote speaker as a real estate developer, urban revitalization strategy consultant, MacArthur Fellow, and Peabody Award-winning broadcaster.
Carter says the efforts locally are helping people become part of the homeownership class, something that is out of reach for many in our region.
“Now folks are realizing there’s a big wealth gap, and especially a racial wealth gap, and the work that Habitat is doing in Seattle — the work Hab is doing is going to help deal with that … I think that some of the other, the way I understand, some of the policy issues they are trying to work on is also really important in terms of making it so it’s actually easier to actually build for folks,” said Carter.
Habitat for Humanity says that it has already completed dozens of units across our region, with more slated to come online through 2024.
Some locations for new housing include Burien, Seattle, Bellevue, and Ellensburg. Habitat for Humanity Seattle—King & Kittitas Counties has also thrown support behind Gov. Jay Inslee’s Affordable Housing proposal for the 2023-25 state budget. Inslee has proposed spending nearly $625 million on affordable housing construction.
Habitat for Humanity SKKC says it will honor the Seattle Office of Housing with its Community Leader of the Year Award for its exceptional contributions to creating and supporting affordable housing, including partnering on numerous projects with Habitat for Humanity.
The Seattle Office of Housing has increased opportunities for families of all incomes to live in Seattle. For over 30 years, the city has managed investments from the Seattle Housing Levy and incentive programs for developers to fund the preservation and production of affordable housing in Seattle. The award will be accepted by Seattle Office of Housing Director Maiko Winkler-Chin.
Long-time supporter Gary Fallon will receive Habitat SKKC’s Volunteer of the Year Award for his ongoing service to the organization in a variety of ways for more than 23 years, including participating in regional and international Habitat Builds, serving on the Habitat SKKC Board, leading the Resource Development Committee and providing his legal expertise to the organization. Habitat Partner Families will speak from the heart via video and in person to showcase what owning a Habitat home has done to improve their lives.
“We are looking forward to another great program at this year’s luncheon, especially with Majora Carter as our keynote speaker. We have much to celebrate, but there’s also more work to be done as our region struggles to keep up with demand for more affordable housing solutions. We are committed to ensuring that all funds raised are put toward the best possible use during these challenging times,” said Brett D’Antonio, CEO for Habitat for Humanity Seattle–King & Kittitas Counties.