The power of a safe, stable home
When Maggie Orozco and her three kids move into their Telegraph Townhome next spring, they’ll be one of Whatcom County’s first eight families to benefit from the Threshold Fund, a revolving construction loan guaranty established at the Community Foundation in 2017. The fund is the brainchild of Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County and Kulshan Community Land Trust leaders, who saw more accessible construction capital as a means to building more affordable housing for less money.
The Telegraph project, which will build 54 homes over the next seven years, is the result of a partnership between Habitat and Kulshan. With the initial part of Phase 1 more than 50% complete, Orozco and her seven future neighbors have already chosen their unit at the project, which is under construction at 1050 Telegraph Road. Orozco, along with her daughter, have already put in the 500 hours of sweat equity required as part of homeownership at Telegraph through Habitat. Homebuyers must qualify for either Habitat Whatcom or Kulshan CLT’s new-home program. More than 100 households applied for the first eight homes; 43 are being considered for the next round of four, to be constructed next year.
“The joy I feel is overwhelming, said Orozco. “I never thought I’d be able to get a home. I’m so grateful to Habitat because as a single mom having my own home was never going to be a possibility.”
The Threshold Fund helps Habitat, KulshanCLT and other affordable housing providers borrow construction dollars at favorable rates, backed by the guarantee of Threshold funds. This also creates a reusable pool of funding so that more permanently affordable homes can be built in the future. Learn more about how it works.
Right now, the Threshold Fund holds less than $1 million, but we’re confident that once more people and businesses learn about it, we’ll reach our goal of $5 million.
FACT: 38% of households in Whatcom County spend more than the recommended maximum of 30% of their income on housing.