October 11, 2017
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Seattle, WA -The Washington State Housing Finance Commission has honored six individuals and one firm as ''Friends of Housing'' for their work to create, support and advocate for affordable housing in Washington state.

In addition, Seattle attorney Deborah Winter received the Margaret M. Sevy Affordable Housing Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her career in public finance law.

The awards were presented October 3 in an evening reception at the annual Housing Washington conference in Spokane.

''It is our privilege to shine the spotlight on these inspiring leaders and their accomplishments on behalf of the people of our state,'' said Karen Miller, chair of the Housing Finance Commission.

2017 Margaret M. Sevy Lifetime Achievement Award:

Deborah Winter has been an indispensable guide to the affordable housing sector for her entire career. As an attorney with Foster Pepper PLLC, she played a critical role in countless affordable housing projects across Washington State. She has received multiple awards for excellence in public-finance legal practice.

2017 Friends of Housing:

- Representative Joan McBride: Throughout her career as a Kirkland City Council member, mayor, and now state representative for the 48th District, Joan McBride has been a consistent and passionate advocate for affordable housing, giving communities throughout the state new tools and funding to address housing affordability and homelessness.

- Dianne Wasson: As HomeStreet Bank's first vice president and manager of affinity lending, Dianne Wasson's career has spanned more than 30 years of leadership in affordable housing in the Seattle area. Of particular note is her creation of the HomeStreet Hometown Home Loan Program, which has helped over 11,000 individuals buy homes since its launch in 1994.

- Marty Kooistra: This quiet leader, the executive director of the Housing Development Consortium of Seattle King County, has won the respect of people on all sides of the housing debate through his gift for consensus-building as well as advocacy. He was a key contributor to the development of the recommendations of the Seattle mayor's Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) in 2015.

- SMR Architects: Over the past four decades, Seattle-based SMR Architects has created more than 5,000 attractive, eco-friendly, and barrier-free affordable-housing units for many of the major nonprofit housing developers throughout Washington State. Their project list includes affordable housing work in more than 20 cities across the state.

- Pamela Tietz: As executive director of the Spokane Housing Authority and former director of the Peninsula Housing Authority, Tietz has proven herself a leader of vision and innovation. In Spokane, she has improved the system of using federal rental vouchers in order to serve more people more effectively, especially the most vulnerable. She is an active leader in local efforts such as Priority Spokane and Better Health Together.

- Alison Dean and Jennifer Staplin: These sisters are helping to change the lives of homeless families by forming a partnership between their employer HNN Associates, which manages dozens of affordable apartment properties in the Puget Sound region, and Mary's Place, a downtown Seattle shelter. The partnership helps homeless families find, secure and keep rental housing and connects them to available apartments at HNN.

The Friend of Housing Awards are presented each year to individuals or organizations who have made exceptional contributions to creating or supporting affordable housing in ways such as helping to solve housing problems, creating innovative financing mechanisms, or drafting legislation or policy that addresses the state's housing needs.

The Margaret M. Sevy Lifetime Achievement Award, named for a respected former staff member of the Housing Finance Commission, recognizes and celebrates individuals for their exceptional contributions, vision, and commitment to promoting affordable housing in Washington State over a sustained period of time.

The Washington State Housing Finance Commission is a publicly accountable, self-supporting team that works with lenders, investors, developers, nonprofit organizations and more to bring private investment dollars to benefit families and achieve public goals throughout Washington. The Commission has created and preserved more than 350,000 affordable homes across the state, while contributing more than $42.5 billion and 240,000 jobs to the economy.

Media Contact:
Margret Graham
margret.graham@wshfc.org
206-454-9058