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ONE BIG STEP FOR PAWS -- WASHINGTON STATE HOUSING FINANCE COMMISSION AIDS NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION

ONE BIG STEP FOR PAWS -- WASHINGTON STATE HOUSING FINANCE COMMISSION
 AIDS NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION
 SEATTLE, March 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Officials of the Washington State Housing Finance Commission announced today the first use of the Small Tax-Exempt Placement (STEP) program with the issuance of a $309,000 tax-exempt bond on behalf of the Progressive Welfare Society (PAWS). The bonds were used to refinance the Society's animal welfare facility in Lynnwood, Wash., and for the acquisition of related capital equipment.
 The STEP program allows non-profit organizations to inexpensively place bonds with participating financial institutions. The commission developed the program in cooperation with Security Pacific Bank and Security Pacific Securities.
 "We're very happy to work with Security Pacific in the development of this innovative program," said David Ballaine, commission chair. "Security Pacific's willingness to devote time and energy to work with the commission in finding ways to meet the financing needs of non- profits reflects their commitment to Washington state communities."
 Commission officials are hopeful other banks will choose to participate in STEP "now that they can see a tangible success story," according to Ballaine. The officials say the first financing in a new program is usually the most difficult, with subsequent issues resolved more easily and expeditiously.
 The recipients of the first STEP program loan are likewise pleased with the results. Finding out about the program was a "true gift from heaven," said Tim Grayhavens, executive director of PAWS.
 "There really was a two-for-one benefit for us," Grayhavens said. "We were able to realize significant cost savings through the refinancing and purchase much needed equipment as well."
 Grayhavens said he will "pass the word around" to other non-profit organizations about the commission's novel program. "This is the type of program tax payers should be proud of," he said. "The Housing Finance Commission, in cooperation with a private banking partner, provides financing for a non-profit organization, without one tax dollar being used!"
 The STEP program centers around a set of generic documents, thereby streamlining the financing process. The participating lender develops a letter of credit agreement based on its standard underwriting procedures, purchases the commission's tax-exempt bond, and holds it in its investment portfolio, just as it would with a taxable loan.
 The STEP program does not require a great deal of document development and review as a typical bond usually would. Likewise, legal and other transaction costs have been held to a minimum. Any qualified non-profit organization planning to develop capital facilities in Washington state is eligible for the program.
 -0- 3/6/92
 /CONTACT: Bob MacKenzie of the Washington State Housing Finance Commission, 206-464-7139/ CO: Washington State Housing Finance Commission; Progressive Welfare
 Society; Security Pacific Bank; Security Pacific Securities ST: Washington IN: FIN SU:


LM-SC -- SE001 -- 5835 03/06/92 11:30 EST
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Date:Mar 6, 1992
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