Editorial: Habitat in tough times

Habitat for Humanity of Island County is still hammering away, despite the tough economic time.

When many people are struggling to keep a roof over their family’s head, Habitat on Monday will ceremonially begin its 22nd house, this one in the Brown family’s new Frostad Pond development located off SW 24th Avenue in Oak Harbor.

Like many past homes, the building lots are available thanks to Bill and Kathy Massey. Bill has developed low income housing and other projects for many years, and working with Habitat for Humanity is one of the ways he gives back to the community.

To further its impact, Habit is partnering on the latest project with South Whidbey-based Saratoga Housing, a nonprofit that helps people find housing, share housing, or in this case live in a new house. Three households selected by Saratoga Housing will be accommodated at Frostad Pond Homes.

It is great news that four Whidbey Island families will finally have a home of their own thanks to this latest project by Habitat for Humanity. Of course, the need is much greater, but this is an impressive effort by a small group of volunteers.

One has to wonder that with all the foreclosed homes on the market on Whidbey Island, why the banks can’t donate some of the more modest ones to needy families capable of making reasonable monthly payments. Perhaps Congress could provide tax breaks for the donations. It’s tragic to see all these houses stand empty while so many people working at lower paying jobs need homes.

Meanwhile, Whidbey Island is fortunate to have so many dedicated people involved with Habitat for Humanity and Saratoga Housing working to find shelter for others. For information about Habitat call 679-9444.

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