Housing Kitsap staff hands key to homeowner.
Mike Porter from Housing Kitsap gives homeowner, Revi, a key to his family’s new home.

POULSBO, WA (MAY 18, 2017) – HOUSING KITSAP hosted a Key Ceremony on May 17, 2017 to celebrate the completion of Self-Help Housing in the newest Poulsbo neighborhood, Summerset. Summerset is the result of a very successful partnership between David Smith and Barry Keenan of Central Highland Homes, who developed the plat, and Housing Kitsap, who purchased 40 of the 128 lots available in the neighborhood for affordable housing development.

Several dignitaries joined Housing Kitsap to support the move-in celebration at Summerset. Becky Erickson, Mayor of the City of Poulsbo and a member of Housing Kitsap’s Board of Commissioners, The Honorable Sherry Appleton, Representative of Washington State, and Candace Williams and Laura Capo from USDA spoke on the importance of affordable homeownership, sharing positive thoughts on the Self-Help Housing program and all that is accomplished through it. Several Poulsbo City Councilmembers were in attendance, including Ed Stern, Jeff McGinty, Gary Nystul and Jim Henry. Val Tollefson, Bainbridge Island City Councilmember and a member of Housing Kitsap’s Board of Commissioners, among representatives from Community Frameworks, Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC), and the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program were also in attendance.

USDA staff member with new homeowners.
Candace Williams from USDA, with new homeowners, Catherine and Cody during the key ceremony.

Although this key ceremony is to celebrate all four build groups in the Summerset neighborhood, Summerset build groups 1 and 2 have recently finished and moved into their homes, group 3 moved in directly following yesterday’s event and group four is mid-construction, planning to move in early Fall 2017, where they will also enjoy a small key ceremony to round out their year of efforts.

Housing Kitsap’s Self-Help Key Ceremonies celebrate the accomplishment of an entire neighborhood of homes full of families and individuals who may not have realized their dream of homeownership without the option for Self-Help housing. All Housing Kitsap’s homebuilders spend their time and energy for a full year, if not longer, to qualify for a home loan and then build their home and the homes of their neighbors.

Not one homebuilder-homeowner would be successful without the strengths of their neighbors. This realization throughout the build process is what truly adds to the benefit of Self-Help Homeownership and is the key ingredient in the recipe for “Community.”

New homeowners with their children.
New homeowners Charles and Hollie with their children during the key ceremony.

“Self-Help Homeownership plays such an important role in Kitsap; now more than ever. With the costs of living and the costs of construction and development on the rise, it has become increasingly more difficult for the average Kitsap County resident to save for a down-payment, let alone qualify for a home loan large enough to afford a safe, decent and sustainable home. Housing Kitsap is proud to offer this alternative path to homeownership to hard-working families and individuals who truly earn the quality home and community they build together.” states Stuart Grogan, Housing Kitsap Executive Director.

Housing Kitsap has been offering the Self-Help Housing program in Kitsap County since 1973. Funding from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development programs for affordable housing and other affordable housing resources keep Self-Help Housing in Kitsap County in production. Housing Kitsap facilitates the government program locally as a premier leader in affordable homeownership, sustaining a wonderful opportunity for Kitsap County residents to affordably own their own home.

For a free application and review, contact Housing Kitsap at (360) 535-6139 or Marketing@HousingKitsap.org for more information.

Housing Kitsap manages, preserves, and builds safe affordable housing serving individuals, families, and communities throughout Kitsap County. It was formed in 1982 to serve the housing needs in the cities of Port Orchard, Bainbridge Island and Poulsbo. Housing Kitsap currently provides more than 900 homes to low and moderate income individuals and families throughout Kitsap, serving over 2,000 people.

RCAC provides technical assistance and financing to nonprofit organizations like Housing Kitsap to implement the self-help housing program. RCAC works with these organizations to resolve program management and program implementation issues and meet key performance milestones.


Carli Schmitz
Marketing Administrative Assistant
Housing Kitsap
(360) 535-6139

Photos courtesy of Housing Kitsap.