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Making the Dream of Homeownership a Reality: Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County

August 16, 2017

As a Senior Real Estate Loan Officer with Peoples Bank, Tiffany Bergsma-Evans spends her working hours helping individuals and families get into new homes. As a volunteer who sits on the board of Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County, Tiffany carries out this same mission for families whose circumstances prevent them from accessing some of the more traditional paths to home ownership. “For me personally,” says Tiffany, “supporting Habitat for Humanity is just a natural extension of what I do. The ability to help someone who can’t afford a traditional bank mortgage is really rewarding. To be able to see these families make that dream of home ownership come true is on another level.”

For nearly thirty years, Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County has been working to provide home building and mortgage financing to local families in need of affordable housing. Tiffany Bergsma-Evans first became involved with the organization more than a decade ago, when she was an Affiliate member of the Whatcom County Board of Realtors. Tiffany’s extensive knowledge of the real estate sector in Whatcom County gives her a unique perspective on the problems faced by lower-income families in the area. It also enables her to evaluate proposed solutions to these problems. “What you have to look at,” says Tiffany, “is the ripple effect that the programs can have on the families they serve. For instance, homeownership can bring much-needed stability to their lives, which can have a lasting impact on the next generation. Compared to families that remain in low-income housing or public housing, the kids from families served by Habitat for Humanity in the 1970s and 1980s are more likely to have gone on to college and to have become homeowners themselves. That’s the kind of ripple effect that we’re talking about.”

For Tiffany Bergsma-Evans, working with Habitat for Humanity is an expression of her personal values concerning philanthropy and community service. “I just feel that it is incredibly important, if you have the means, to be able to give back, whether it’s your time, your talent, or your knowledge. If you can help someone else who’s less fortunate than you, then that is the right thing to do.”

Working for a company that shares these values is of great importance to Tiffany. “It enriches the community when people and companies give of their time and talents. And when our customers see that we’re dedicated to the communities where we live and work, that we want these communities to grow and thrive — I think that’s how we lead by example.”