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Habitat’s “Zombie” home transformation celebrates a future homeowner as they accept the keys to their safe, decent, and affordable home.

[Spokane, WA] On Friday, December 10th, at 11:30 AM, Habitat for Humanity-Spokane will welcome another homeowner to their newly rehabilitated home in the West Central Neighborhood, just in time for the holidays. Habitat for Humanity acquired the “zombie” home through a partnership with the City of Spokane. The unit is part of the Derelict Housing Acquisition and Homeownership program, a collaboration between the City of Spokane and Habitat for Humanity to revitalize neighborhoods and increase homeownership opportunities for those experiencing low incomes. 

Funded through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Habitat and its partners have focused on acquiring units in neighborhoods at the highest risk for displacement, gentrification, and lack of affordable homeownership opportunities. By partnering with the City of Spokane to identify possible acquisitions, Habitat for Humanity could leverage its volunteer base, sponsors, and homebuyer readiness activities to breathe new life into these homes while creating access to homeownership. Those leveraged activities also ensure the homes are affordable at purchase and remain affordable for generations.

“Programs like CDBG are crucial to creating a sustainable future for Spokane by building more affordable homeownership opportunities. Every revitalized ‘zombie’ home, completed with robust partnerships, promises to be an affordable homeownership option now and forever,” says Michelle Girardot, CEO of Habitat for Humanity-Spokane. “Shared equity homeownership programs and the revitalization of abandoned properties like these have a direct correlation on positive job creation while creating thriving mixed-income neighborhoods. This home is especially unique, as it was the first “zombie” home acquired with this partnership.” 

According to the Federal Reserve, just one abandoned property in Spokane diminishes over $60,000 in value from nearby properties. Still, the financial burden doesn’t end there: Derelict units in Spokane represent a municipal expenditure in excess of $2M every year as the responsibility of cleaning, marketing, or even demolishing these properties falls onto the city and taxpayer, further depressing these areas and Spokane as a whole. 

While the work to rehab blighted properties in Spokane is powerful to witness, the transformation during a future Habitat homeowner’s journey to homeownership is even more so.  Habitat for Humanity seeks to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities, and hope. The partnership requirements for qualified homebuyer families earning 80% below the area median income are rigorous but ensure each homebuyer is more than prepared to be a successful homeowner. 

At this home dedication in West Central, supporters of Habitat for Humanity-Spokane will come together to witness Farah (pictured here taking a selfie in front of his soon-to-be house with volunteers) unlock strength, stability, and self-reliance through the keys to their new future. 

To watch the celebration online or attend in person, RSVP:
or call (509) 534-2552

With a little help, we all have the potential to stand on our own.

Habitat for Humanity is a partnership — Habitat homeowners receive financial education, help build their houses, and pay an affordable mortgage.

Families that partner with Habitat-Spokane work hard to build a better life for themselves – and their children. Partner families spend 250 hours helping build their own homes and take financial education classes (provided for free by Habitat) where they learn how to improve their credit, pay off debt, and save money. When they have completed all the program requirements, they purchase their Habitat home at an affordable price – mortgage payments are never more than 30% of their income.


Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity-Spokane began in 1987. Habitat-Spokane aims to put God’s love into action and brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope. Families and individuals in need of a hand-up partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Future Habitat homeowners work alongside volunteers, earn sweat equity, attend homebuyer workshops, save for closing costs, and pay an affordable mortgage. Habitat-Spokane is an equal opportunity housing provider.

Through financial support, volunteering, or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability, and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, visit habitat-spokane.org and follow @HFHSpokane on Twitter and @HabitatSpokane on Facebook.


Habitat for Humanity-Spokane
Caroline Schibel
Marketing & Communications Manager