Give Orcas is off to a great start!  We raised almost 10% of our goal in the first 24 hours–WOWZA!  Thank you to the many of you who have donated so far. Annie Moss Moore won the first Golden Ticket and OICF added $500 to her gift to the Orcas Grange. The next Golden Ticket drawing is this Monday, May 7. Every donor through Sunday this week will be added to the drawing and one of you will win the next $500 for your favorite proposal. Fun times! The catalog runs through May

Great news from OPAL Community Land Trust this week; they were awarded $6 million in State and Federal tax credits and grants for the April’s Grove affordable rental project.  Congratulations!

OPAL will receive grants of $1,576,843 from the Washington State Housing Trust Fund and $200,000 from the federal Community Development Block Grant program. An award of $4,312,702 in federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits was officially confirmed in late April. This is the first time in almost 30 years that a project in San Juan County has received funding from the LIHTC program.

“This would not have been possible without the strong support demonstrated by the Orcas community and San Juan County for this project,” said Lisa Byers, OPAL executive director, in announcing the award. “To break ground in January, OPAL needs to raise a final $2 million by the end of the year, with pledges payable through 2020,” explained Byers. “We’ll be reaching out to the community again over the next few months. Housing touches everyone and continues to be the island’s greatest need. Our aim is to complete construction and begin renting in 2020.”

OICF has committed $250,000 towards this effort, as access to housing is an issue for all who live and work on Orcas. April’s Grove will provide 45 affordable rental residences in 11 buildings for working families, seniors, and households who are homeless or have disabilities. Rents will be based on percent of median income and will be affordable for households with annual incomes from $10,000 to $80,000.

Thank you to Lisa Byers and Team OPAL for their amazing efforts to make April’s Grove a reality.  Let’s get that shovel in the ground!

All the best-