TOTALING $550,000
BELLINGHAM, WA – Kulshan Community Land Trust (KulshanCLT) is
pleased to announce that they received two Washington State Housing Trust Fund (HTF) grants
from the Washington State Department of Commerce totaling $550,000.
Since 1986, the Housing Trust Fund has awarded almost $1 billion in funding and helped build
or preserve nearly 47,000 units of affordable housing statewide. Through a competitive
application process, the fund provides grants to support affordable housing projects annually,
with preference given to households with special needs or incomes below 30% of Area Median
Income, including homeless families, seniors, farm workers, and people with developmental
Two KulshanCLT projects were funded this year. KulshanCLT’s existing Scattered Site
Acquisition Program was awarded $300,000 for seven additional homes. Scattered-site refers to
affordable, low-density units that are scattered throughout existing neighborhoods throughout
Whatcom County.
Another $250,000 grant was awarded in support of development of the first eight units of the
Telegraph Townhomes Project. Phase I groundbreaking occurred on June 21, 2018. Through a
partnership between KulshanCLT, Habitat for Humanity of Whatcom County and the Whatcom
Community Foundation’s Threshold Fund, Telegraph Townhomes will be priced for residents
who earn 30-80% area median income (AMI) range, with mortgages as low as $350 per month
and energy bills as low as $25 per month. That translates to a mortgage of just $100,000 to
$175,000 for two- or three-bedroom townhomes.
“Our community is currently experiencing a housing crisis. The lack of affordable homes in
Whatcom County and a rental vacancy rate of less than 1% have created a gap in the Housing
Continuum where starter homes no longer exist,” explains KulshanCLT Executive Director Dean
Fearing. “These funds will enable us to continue our work using the Community Land Trust
Model to help fill that gap. Our Scattered Site homes and Telegraph Townhomes create
permanently affordable homeownership opportunities for hardworking families in our
“With the support of KulshanCLT and our community partners, these households will gain
stability and the opportunity to leave behind a paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle,” explains Fearing.
“Their children will stay in the same school district longer, they’ll live closer to their work, and
they’ll build stronger connections with neighbors and local businesses.” That security will
positively impact surrounding neighborhoods and communities—through increased civic
engagement and a sense of pride in community.
In addition to the HTF Grant, these projects are made possible through community partnerships, private donations, and grants including the City of Bellingham Community Development Block Grant.
More About KulshanCLT
KulshanCLT strengthens community by holding land in trust for permanently affordable homeownership and other community needs, and by offering financial and educational services to people of limited means.
Since the trust began in 1999, it has assisted more than 190 moderate-income households (80% of the Area Median Income AMI and below) purchase affordable homes in Whatcom County. KulshanCLT ensures that these homes will remain affordable for future buyers as well.
KulshanCLT works to foster a healthy mix of housing types, sizes and prices, affordable at the wages of the jobs nearby. KulshanCLT creates housing for our economically diverse population by applying the community land trust strategy and working within the prevailing economic and governing systems, using assets and insights from all sectors, to better the common good in this community. Through this model, every hour and dollar spent on a KulshanCLT home is a lifetime investment in sustainable homeownership and community stability.
Dean Fearing
Kulshan Community Land Trust has