Affordable housing on Whidbey? Seems like a myth, sometimes. Despite that, Whidbey Island is becoming known for doing more than talking about affordable housing. One idea catches the media’s attention, which makes it easier to notice another and then another effort. Eventually, lots of efforts gain publicity and maybe we are doing some good.
Scroll back a few posts and the latest edition of a frequent topic: Real Estate and Affordability Trends on Whidbey Island (Weird Years For Whidbey Real Estate – September 2022). One of the surprising realities is that, while the island feels unaffordable it is also more affordable than much of the surrounding area. People everywhere are working on affordable housing, but Whidbey is attracting attention.
Tiny houses get noticed. Some like them because they are novel and cute. Others appreciate them because a tiny house can contain all the necessities. Some don’t like them for some of the same reasons; they’re too novel, and the people who can appreciate the simplest necessities almost act as an example of how many others are somewhat trapped in houses that are bigger than they need. Want? Well, that’s a separate issue.
- “No place for workers to live? Whidbey Island town aims to fix that” – https://www.kuow.org/stories/no-place-for-workers-to-live-whidbey-island-town-aims-to-fix-that
- “Langley needs 115 new homes in next decade, study finds” – https://www.southwhidbeyrecord.com/news/langley-needs-115-new-homes-in-next-decade-study-finds/
- “Changes in store for fairgrounds” – https://www.southwhidbeyrecord.com/news/changes-in-store-for-fairgrounds/
- THINC Whidbey – https://thincwhidbey.com/
Some solutions seem simple when they get enough support. Old buildings need upgrading? That’s an opportunity to retrofit some into living spaces, even at the fairgrounds. How about a development of tiny homes, and small homes, and shared homes, and a community that enables households that grow and shrink?
- Fairgrounds Campground in Langley – http://portofsouthwhidbey.com/facilities/fairgrounds-campground-south-whidbey/
- Coles Valley Proposed – https://www.langleywa.org/departments/community_planning_and_building_department/development_applications/coles_valley.php
Local organizations are filling niches. They could probably use your donations.
- Whidbey Homeless Coalition, The Haven – https://www.whidbeyhomeless.org/the-haven
Local governments are working on the issue. A look inside their processes can be daunting because they’re taking the task seriously enough to involve far more people than many expect.
- Housing Action Plan – https://www.langleywa.org/departments/community_planning_and_building_department/housing_action_plan.php
- Island County Housing Support Center – https://www.islandcountywa.gov/Humanservices/Pages/Housing-Assistance.aspx
This is not a comprehensive list, which emphasizes the point that while Whidbey Island has become increasingly unaffordable, islanders are doing more than talking about it. There’s certainly a lot to do.
(Disclosure: I’m a broker at Dalton Realty, Inc. http://whidbeyrealtor.com/).