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Community Giving, Local Real Estate

OlyFed Helps Thurston County Residents Access Housing with Neighbor2Neighbor Program

Imagine if buying the home of your dreams could help another local family get into a home. That’s what Olympia Federal Savings’ Neighbor2Neighbor program is all about. Started April 1, 2023, the program has been in effect for a year, and it’s already impacting the nonprofit partners, Homes FirstSouth Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity and Interfaith Works.

Jennifer Arnold at Habitat for Humanity Build Site

“When someone purchases a home it’s a huge milestone event worth celebrating, so we were trying to think of a gift that would be meaningful and impactful,” shares Shea Wahlstrom, Digital Outreach & Communications Coordinator for Olympia Federal Savings (OlyFed.) “We couldn’t think of a better housewarming gift for our customers than passing along the opportunity for others to experience the joy of finding a secure, caring and comfortable place to call home.”

OlyFed Mortgage and Construction Loans Pay It Forward

“For each mortgage and construction loan closing, OlyFed donates to the Neighbor2Neighbor Fund in the customer’s honor,” explains Wahlstrom. “These donations are made in addition to OlyFed’s regular annual contributions and event sponsorships, as well as volunteer and board service.”

During their past fiscal year, OlyFed donated $1,875 through this program to each of the three nonprofit housing organizations.

“The Neighbor2Neighbor program has been instrumental in fostering a sense of community and support,” shares Trudy Soucoup, CEO of Homes First, a nonprofit that creates and maintains homes for low-income residents.

“By connecting neighbors and organizations, it has facilitated collaborative efforts to address housing challenges. Specifically, it has provided resources and assistance to Homes First to allow us to better support individuals and families facing housing insecurity, helping them find stable housing solutions and navigate financial obstacles.”

Soucoup believes the program helps to address immediate housing needs, thereby helping contribute to programs like Homes First, which are working to alleviate the housing crisis Thurston County is now facing. “Neighbor2Neighbor program exemplifies the power of community-driven initiatives in tackling complex social issues,” she adds. “Its collaborative approach brings together diverse stakeholders and resources, ultimately making a meaningful difference in the lives of individuals and families. We are proud to partner with OlyFed on this important endeavor and look forward to continuing our shared commitment to creating thriving, supportive communities.”

Interfaith Works, another Neighbor2Neighbor partner charity, has helped Olympia-area individuals facing homelessness for almost three decades through their Interfaith Works Shelter. When they partnered with OlyFed’s Neighbor2Neighbor program, they wanted to ensure the funds received would go where they could help these individuals the most.

“We decided that using these funds to support the events that make our shelter more than a shelter, that help make it a real home for our guests was the best way we could share in the joy of others in our community finding or building their own homes,” shares Ivy Ayers, interim executive director for Interfaith Works. This includes events such as birthday and memorial celebrations, barbecues, bingo nights, gardening and more. “It’s often harder for us to find support for these sorts of activities, but they are so important for helping to grow a sense of community and remind people that they are connected and cared about,” shares Ayers.

Olympia Federal Savings Loan Experts are Waiting to Help You

If you are ready for that next – or first! – mortgage or a construction loan to build that dream home or mother-in-law ADU, OlyFed can help you navigate all the hurdles, and give back in the process. It’s a win-win! As one of the oldest loan service providers, they are skilled at handling that often-overwhelming amount of paper, fine print and legalize to help you make an informed choice on what is probably your biggest purchase.

“Many of the historic homes you see here were built because of loans through OlyFed,” shares Wahlstrom. “We’re deeply rooted in helping our neighbors become homeowners. We’re not sales-oriented, our loan officers are noncommissioned to further ensure that we put the best interest of our customers first. We put people above the bottom line.”

Aside from the uniqueness of their Neighbor2Neighbor program, OlyFed loans are different from other banks because they do not sell their loans, offer unique loan options and everyone gets the same rate, regardless of credit score! Even better, if that rate drops before closing, you get the new lower rate! These are just a few ways OlyFed puts its community and customers first.

For more information about mortgages and construction loans, visit a branch or contact us. Your loan will take you one step closer to your dream while paying it forward for someone else to achieve theirs.  “Gifts like this are so meaningful because they are direct community efforts, investing in creating the kind of community that believes that everyone is important and deserves a safe, warm, caring place to belong,” says Ayers. “We are so grateful to be in the community with OlyFed!”