Myth: Affordable rental housing lowers property values because renters are generally transient. They don’t take care of their properties and this image reflects badly on the entire neighborhood.
Fact: Homes First! maintains all of its properties and does not burden its tenants with this responsibility. Homes First! is a valued member of every area in which it has homes and often receives praise from neighbors in surrounding communities.
Need: The need for affordable homes is great. There are about 900 homes in Thurston County that are in foreclosure or sitting abandoned, according to a recent article in The Olympian. Those properties are NOT serving the needs of the community. Meanwhile, local housing authority officials estimate 15,000 people are searching for affordable housing. The average market-rate cost of renting a three-bedroom apartment is more than $1,300, which means families earning minimum wage would have to work 3 or 4 full-time jobs just to afford rent. At Homes First! families pay half that amount, or less. Through partnerships with banks, organizations and various community members, Homes First! acquires, renovates and preserves properties and turns them into affordable rental homes. Since 1990, Homes First! has helped nearly 3,000 low-income families find affordable rental homes.