DSHS employee honored with award from the Washington State Housing Finance Commission
Contact: Jessica Nelson, DSHS Office of Communications
Jessica.Nelson1@dshs.wa.gov or (360) 628–1043
OLYMPIA — Elizabeth Prince, Housing and Employment Office Chief at DSHS’ Aging and Long-Term Support Administration, was awarded the Unsung Hero award, as part of the 2023 Friend of Housing Awards. Chosen by the Washington State Housing Finance Commission, the award honors someone whose efforts behind the scenes have had a far-reaching impact. Prince was nominated by her colleague Whitney Joy Howard.
Prince created the first housing programs in ALTSA in 2010 and since then has championed creating a housing team and expansion of programs available to help vulnerable people in Washington secure and maintain access to affordable housing. This includes working with local housing authorities, landlords and the Department of Commerce to increase how many seniors and people with disabilities can use federal housing vouchers. These partnerships also utilize state-funded subsidies to help individuals afford market-based rent while waiting for approval for permanent rental assistance. This supports individuals to move from institutional settings to their own homes more quickly.
For Prince, the goal of her work is to help people maintain what they want the most — their independence. “When you see somebody who wouldn’t have always had the choice, to see people come out the other side of all the layers with a key to an apartment, it’s pretty cool,” Prince says. “For many other people it may seem simple but it’s not simple. It’s slow and steady, and everyone on our team works hard to make these connections and help our clients.”
“Affordable and accessible housing is one of the biggest challenges faced by individuals with disabilities and older adults,” says Bea Rector, ALTSA Assistant Secretary. “Liz identified this need over a decade ago and worked to address it by developing a team with housing expertise, partnering with federal and local housing organizations as well as private landlords and developers all focused on growing the resources, services, policies and practices needed to increase housing access to the people we serve. She is a leader in the field of housing and home and community-based services, and we are truly fortunate to have her championing this work at DSHS.”