Cantwell Announces Affordable Housing Award for St. Catherine De’ Vigri Villas in Tieton

Cantwell-championed Low-Income Housing Tax Credit was used to finance award-winning affordable housing development

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) announced that St. Catherine De’ Vigri Villas in Tieton, WA was awarded a Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award. Edson awards recognize outstanding affordable housing properties and organizations that have demonstrated impactful use of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit – a program regularly championed by Sen. Cantwell.

Sen. Cantwell presented the award at the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition Conference in Washington, DC, saying: “We know that the tax credit has preserved 3.5 million homes since its inception in 1986, and I constantly try to remind my colleagues that 90 percent of the affordable housing that gets built in America is built with the tax credit. And if we're not expanding the tax credit, we're not going to get out of this problem.”

“I want to thank the National Equity Fund for facilitating the properties’ financing, and to everyone who is involved creating safe and stable affordable housing for the Tieton community. I can't just emphasize how important this is,” Sen. Cantwell continued. “We care, and we want to provide stability. We care about the families, and we care about what they are providing and we want to give them a comfortable and affordable place to feel secure in.”

St. Catherine De’ Vigri Villas offer 53 total units of affordable housing for farmworker households earning between 30-50% of the local median income.

Developed by Catholic Charities Housing Services (CCHS) and the Office of Rural and Farmworker Housing, St. Catherine De’ Vigri Villas is the largest multi-family housing development in the history of Tieton and the first affordable housing development to be built in the region in over 30 years.

Cantwell has long advocated for the need to increase the availability of affordable housing. In April 2021, Cantwell led the introduction of the bipartisan Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2021. The legislation would increase the current annual Housing Credit allocation by 50% and would produce more than 66,000 units of affordable housing around the State of Washington. Nationwide, the expanded Housing Credit would build more than 2 million new affordable housing units over the next 10 years, including more developments for at-risk and underserved communities.

Since 1986, the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, or LIHTC, has funded 90% of the federally-funded affordable housing construction across the country, and has financed nearly 3.5 million affordable homes.

Yakima County has especially been impacted by the national housing shortage. Between 2010 and 2019, the median home price in Yakima increased by 38%, while the median family income only increased by 19%, as Sen. Cantwell highlighted at the opening of the Chuck Austin Place Veterans Housing Center in November 2021. Chuck Austin Place received $9.3 million from the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, which was over 50% of their funding to complete the development.