$300K 'challenge' grant fuels fundraising drive for more homes at Sun Rise

Children and mom at play in the commons of Sun Rise neighborhood shortly after the opening of the affordable housing development.  - Journal file photo
Children and mom at play in the commons of Sun Rise neighborhood shortly after the opening of the affordable housing development.
— image credit: Journal file photo

Submitted by SJ Community Home Trust Board of Directors

The construction of Phase II of Sun Rise will begin soon.

The San Juan Community Home Trust, an organization devoted to building permanently affordable housing on San Juan Island, has already developed the Salal neighborhood, off of Carter Avenue in 2006, and Phase I of Sun Rise, east of the elementary school, in 2011.

Now the organization is ready to begin to raise money to build 12 to 14 new homes. To help this effort along, a long-time local supporter of the Home Trust has offered a $300,000 Challenge Grant—the challenge being to match that amount through other donations.

The Home Trust has built 29 affordable homes in these two neighborhoods over the last 10 years. All were built with the assistance of construction grants from the Washington State Housing Trust Fund, funded by the state Legislature.

However, with the financial crisis of these last few years, that money has dried up while the need for affordable housing on San Juan Island has increased. This is where the community can step in to help our own.

The people who live in the Salal and Sun Rise neighborhoods are teachers, nurses, restaurant workers, cashiers, artists, service workers, and more – all of whom keep our island humming. They are our neighbors and having affordable housing has kept them here on the island, raising their families and contributing to our community in many different ways.

How can you help? Donate money to our capital campaign fund to help reach, or exceed, the amount of the goal of the challenge grant. Talk to your friends and neighbors about the need for affordable housing on the island. Encourage them to donate and to make this next phase of homes a reality.

To donate online, visit the website, or send a check to the Home Trust at P.O. Box 2603, Friday Harbor, WA, 98250

For questions about the grant or about the Home Trust, please contact Nancy DeVaux, executive director, 360 378-5541, or at

— Editor's note: members of the SJCHT board of directors: Barbara Starr, Sam Buck, Peter Kilpatrick, Chary Caren, Glen Bruels, Dina Melic, Martha Alvarado, Therese Finn, Chinmayo, Mary Michael and Sandy Rabinowitz.



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