Milestone: Clallam’s Habitat reps lobby to keep program funding in D.C.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Staff from Habitat for Humanity of Clallam County and Habitat for Humanity of East Jefferson County were in Washington, D.C., last week warning legislators that proposed federal cuts will worsen the affordable housing crisis facing the North Olympic Peninsula.

Peninsula Habitat staffers met with Sen. Patty Murray, D-Seattle; Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Mountlake Terrace; and Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, of Washington state during their visit. They joined more than 350 other Habitat staffers representing 40 states in Washington, D.C.

“Too many people in Clallam County are already struggling between making their housing payments and buying food for their family,” said Colleen Robinson, executive director of Clallam Habitat and Jamie Maciejewski, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of East Jefferson County, in a news release.

“We are in Washington, D.C., to ask our representatives on Capitol Hill to make greater investments in affordable housing, not less,” they said. The budget proposed by the White House last week would drastically cut — and in some cases entirely eliminate — funding that communities use to finance the development of new affordable homes, Habitat representatives said.

AmeriCorps (Volunteer Service Program), CDBG (Community Development Block Grants) and USDA 502 Home Loan Program are three of the programs essential to Habitat Clallam and “are crucial to our ability to provide safe, decent, affordable housing to low income families in our county,” Habitat Clallam officials said last week.

The White House budget proposal would drastically reduce and could eliminate some funds entirely, they said.

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