8th District State Rep. April Connors R-Kennewick received a Valentine's Day gift from the House Housing Committee yesterday as her "Homes For Heroes" Bill (HB 1633) passed unanimously.  The executive action taken by the Committee was one week after the Bill received a public hearing.

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The idea behind "Home for Heroes" is to try and address shortage issues in the workforce in occupations that impact life, health, and safety.   Connors said after the bill passed through Committee: "Washington state suffers from a shortage in two critical areas: housing and essential workers. This bill addresses both problems by providing down payment assistance for workers in the professions we desperately need."

Rep. April Connors, R-8
Rep. April Connors, R-8
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The impact HB 1633 will have is it will direct the Department of Commerce to work with the Washington State Housing Finance Commission (WSHFC) to work on, then put in place, a statewide pilot program to offer loans at no interest to worker's that are eligible.

Who Is Considered Eligible?

Those that could take advantage of the provisions in the bill are firefighters, law enforcement, those currently serving in the military along with veterans, nurses, childcare providers, mental health professionals, and other first responders.

Photo by Zach Vessels, Andrew Gaines, Ian MacDonald, KPD Facebook/Canva
Photo by Zach Vessels, Andrew Gaines, Ian MacDonald, KPD Facebook/Canva
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Other eligibility factors are  individuals must have a household income below 100% of the state median household income (currently $82,400) and be employed in a permanent, full-time capacity.

The program is intended to assist those eligible with the purchase of a primary residence and the loan can not go above 5% of the mortgage or $25,000 (whichever is less).

The cutoff for bills to get through committee is February 17th so the likelihood the bill gets a vote on the House floor is good.

LOOK: Here are the best lake towns to live in

Many of the included towns jump out at the casual observer as popular summer-rental spots--the Ozarks' Branson, Missouri, or Arizona's Lake Havasu--it might surprise you to dive deeper into some quality-of-life offerings beyond the beach and vacation homes. You'll likely pick up some knowledge from a wide range of Americana: one of the last remaining 1950s-style drive-ins in the Midwest; a Florida town that started as a Civil War veteran retirement area; an island boasting some of the country's top public schools and wealth-earners right in the middle of a lake between Seattle and Bellevue; and even a California town containing much more than Johnny Cash's prison blues.

Gallery Credit: Peter Richman

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