City OKs housing study

Libby Wennstrom The Leader
Posted 7/19/16

The Port Townsend City Council has authorized a study intended to help the city respond to what is termed a housing crisis, in partnership with multiple nonprofit agencies.

The council on July 18 …

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City OKs housing study

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The Port Townsend City Council has authorized a study intended to help the city respond to what is termed a housing crisis, in partnership with multiple nonprofit agencies.

The council on July 18 unanimously approved the proposal introduced by David Timmons, city manager, allocating up to $30,000 for an organizational assessment regarding housing. Funding is to come from the city's existing affordable housing fund.

Timmons noted that it was time to "come up with an organizational framework to do something different" about housing, and that getting other agencies on board through this assessment was the first step. Timmons said the goal is to find ways to create housing that remains affordable in perpetuity, citing the community land trust model that had been successful for projects he'd worked on in Vermont.

Councilor Michelle Sandoval underscored that housing had indeed become a crisis, saying "We don't need to just study the problem. We need to do something."

Timmons said OlyCAP had already agreed in principle to serve as lead agency for the housing study. Several other regional agencies have also expressed interest, including Peninsula Housing Authority, Homeward Bound, Habitat for Humanity, Dove House, and Jefferson Mental Health.

The initial study is an assessment of the organizational capacity of the various partner agencies to develop and manage housing units, and to identify potential sites that could be "shovel ready" for affordable housing development.

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