Thursday, May 23, 2024

City of Leavenworth recognizes Senator Hawkins for affordable housing efforts

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LEAVENWORTH – The City Council formally recognized Senator Brad Hawkins for his affordable housing efforts during its meeting Apr. 9. 

Hawkins received the recognition for securing a $1.3 million allocation of Washington’s 2024 supplemental capital budget for Upper Valley MEND's Affordable Rental Housing Project. Under this project, Upper Valley MEND is working to purchase 31 apartment units from the Marson family to maintain their affordability for workforce housing. The $1.3 million funding closed Upper Valley MEND’s gap to reach its original fundraising goal.

“Now, Upper Valley MEND will be able to do so much more, and you are. This is just building momentum for the next work project,” said Sen. Hawkins during the meeting.

Rather than a mayoral proclamation, the City Council unanimously adopted “Resolution 06-2024—Appreciation to Sen. Brad Hawkins for his support of Leavenworth’s housing needs” to allow council members to express their gratitude collectively. 

“Where as Senator Hawkins’ steadfast advocacy and leadership have significantly contributed to the realization of this critical initiative, thereby addressing the pressing housing challenges faced by our residents, and whereas the City of Leavenworth recognizes and commends Senator Brad Hawkins for his tireless efforts in championing causes that uplift the well being of our community and its inhabitants,” the resolution stated.

Mayor Carl Florea presented a copy to Sen. Hawkins, who attended the meeting with his wife, Shawna Hawkins, and Upper Valley MEND Executive Director Kaylin Bettinger.

“This was an incredible amount of support from Washington state, with $1.3 million sponsored by Sen. Hawkins, following the 2023 capital budget $1 million allocation that was sponsored by Rep. Steele. So, we're just so grateful to our legislators for supporting efforts to prioritize workforce housing that's critically needed in the Leavenworth area,” said Bettinger to Ward Media.

Sen. Hawkins also worked with the City of Leavenworth, Chelan County, Upper Valley MEND, and other community advocates to pass Senate Bill 5868 in 2022, which allows counties to allocate existing .09 sales tax dollars to affordable housing infrastructure or facilities. Chelan County is currently using this option to support project funding as part of its Cascade Public Infrastructure Fund.


Taylor Caldwell: 509-433-7276 or taylor@ward.media

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