Powering Affordable Housing in Yakima
Homeownership has long been a key to stability, community, and building wealth for families. It also presents impossibly high barriers for families starting with low to no wealth. Yakima Valley Partners Habitat for Humanity breaks down these Barriers.
A new solar installation supported by Spark Northwest will be a step towards energy independence and community resilience while lowering operating costs and freeing more funding for housing. The program is powered by profits from the volunteer-run Yakima Habitat for Humanity Store, which sells new and used building materials.
With support from Spark Northwest, Habitat for Humanity secured grants from the Washington Department of Commerce and Centralia Coal Transition. Dynamic Solar & Electric NW Corp installed 256 solar panels, which will generate enough electricity to power their full campus, saving thousands of dollars a year. Those savings will go directly to their Home Build program.
“Our solar project is one small step toward a future where clean energy helps to close the wealth gap. Like housing, energy is a human right and shouldn’t be treated as a commodity.”Alex Tapia, Executive Assistant and Volunteer Coordinator at YVP Habitat for Humanity
Beyond the financial benefits, the solar installation also reduces the organization’s dependence on fossil fuels, an important step towards energy independence for the community.
Yakima’s low wealth residents, like other frontline communities, are often hit first and worst by climate change impacts such as extreme heat waves and increased wildfire smoke. Connecting frontline communities with the resources needed to make a transition to clean energy is an integral part of a resilient future for all.