Home-builder Hayden Homes is offering a total of $150,000 in grants to three communities that offer innovative solutions for affordable housing.

The initiative was announced by the Redmond, Ore., company Tuesday during the League of Oregon Cities Conference.

Known as The Hayden Opportunity Fund for Housing Affordability, the grants will be divided in amounts of $100,000, $30,000 and $20,000. Cities, county governments and stakeholder agencies in Oregon, Washington and Idaho are eligible.

The grants will be awarded in 2020 for the creation of projects or programs in partnership with community stakeholders interested in solving the affordability crisis. Those can include private businesses, local agencies, action councils, business associations and nonprofits, the announcement from Hayden Homes said.

Ideas for innovative solutions can include code and zoning changes, re-prioritization of land for home-building, permitting process changes, reduction of regulatory barriers and reduced infrastructure requirements. They could include the creation of incentives, pilot projects, programs of credit or reduced fees to builders serving community interests, or creative financing.

A panel of judges will be announced early next year for the process. Judges can be nominated for the process. Program details, requirements and guidelines will be available online. Applications are accepted spring. Winners will be announced next Fall.

Hayden Homes launched in 1989 and since then has grown to become what it describes as the largest privately-owned home-builder in the Pacific Northwest. The company says the market for its more than 17,000 homes has been “price conscious, value-driven homebuyers in underserved markets throughout Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 509-526-8321.

Vicki covers business and economic development, including tourism, the Port of Walla Walla and the Strictly Business column, as well as features. She has been reporting for the Union-Bulletin since late 2001.