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SCOTUS begins issuing new opinions, with another expected related to the power of federal agencies, the battleground state of Wisconsin gets a ruling on alternative voting sites, and coastal work is being done to help salt marshes withstand hurricanes.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Bank Helps Bring Affordable Housing to WA

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Monday, August 7, 2023   

A new program in Washington state will provide homes to people who are most in need in the region.

The project, known as Madrona Highlands in south Snohomish County, will be available for homeless or very low income families. Beneficial State Bank has made it part of its mission to support affordable housing and is injecting $6 million in loans.

Margie Francia, vice president and team lead for affordable housing at Beneficial State Bank, explained the project's goals.

"This is something that was a long time coming," Francia emphasized. "It was a partnership with a nonprofit and a local church, and so it's a great example of what can be done when we can work in partnership to help leverage and create these units."

Madrona Highlands will house 52 families. It is a $30 million project with support from the state and county. About $13 million is coming through a low-income housing tax credit from the Washington State Housing Finance Commission.

Beneficial State Bank has supported the development of 8,400 affordable units along the West Coast, including more than 800 in Washington.

Madrona Highlands is a project of Housing Hope, an Everett-based organization operating affordable housing units in the region and helps people experiencing homelessness.

Bobby Thompson, chief housing officer for the nonprofit, said the state is in the middle of a housing crisis.

"For people that don't have the means to an income that can provide the support to kind of get in a unit, it's very hard to find housing in the Puget Sound region," Thompson noted.

Washington has the fifth most unaffordable housing costs in the country, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.


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