Let's support housing solutions that work.
Let's create the Jefferson County
Home Opportunity Fund.
Vote "YES" on November 7, 2017.
Who Builds What
Qualified developers, whether local or not, may submit formal proposals after the Fund Board issues their Request for Proposals.
We asked several local organizations what they’d build if they had the chance, and here’s what Habitat for Humanity, OlyCAP, Peninsula Housing Authority, and Sarge’s Place told us.
OlyCAP, the community action agency for the north Olympic Peninsula, administers over fifty programs, including Head Start, WIC, community centers, Weatherization, and Senior Nutrition. OlyCAP helps people find emergency shelter, transitional housing, and affordable housing, including housing it creates and manages. They can attest to the rising need over the last few years.
OlyCAP has three specific ideas:
OlyCAP could initiate Phase II of its South Seven project in Port Hadlock. South Seven already has fifteen one-bedroom apartments, with a common gathering area and gardens. In Phase II, fourteen more one- and two-bedroom apartments could be built. Draft plans are drawn, the land is there, and the septic is approved. This project could use Housing Opportunity Funds to leverage the support of federal, state and commercial banking resources. OlyCAP hopes for a 1:5 leverage of non-local funding.
OlyCAP would consider renovating the old Brinnon Motel. The twelve empty rooms could be converted to Single Resident Occupant housing for low-income residents. The county-owned building already has a septic system and it’s served by transit.
OlyCAP would begin actively seeking partners to develop one or two 20-unit apartment complexes for occupancy by families and disabled individuals. The Housing Opportunity Fund would be used to leverage federal tax credits and other public and private resources to ensure long-term viability.
Since 1998, Habitat for Humanity of East Jefferson County and its homeowners have built 38 homes, recycled six, and repaired 19 homes. They currently add four new houses each year.
Habitat for Humanity is excited about three specific prospects that the Home Opportunity Fund would make possible:
Habitat could do more of the critical repairs that help low-income homeowners stay in their own homes and reduce the loss of affordable housing stock. With a grant from the Home Opportunity Fund, Habitat could establish a revolving loan fund that could finance the repairs with non-interest loans to the homeowners. Sale of the home would result in repayment of the loan, and the repayments would fund repairs for more low-income homeowners.
With a grant from the Home Opportunity Fund, Habitat could operate a similar revolving loan fund to provide their buyers with down payment loans for Habitat Houses. The program would put Habitat Houses within reach of lower income buyers, as it would further reduce the monthly payment. Like the repair fund, the loan would be repaid on sale of the home. The repaid funds would then be lent to new future homebuyers.
If Home Opportunity Funds were used to purchase land to be held in trust, houses built by Habitat on that land could be held in affordable status permanently. Without land cost, the cost of homes would be lower, putting homes within reach of lower income people. This “community land trust” model has proved very effective in communities across the United States, especially in areas where land values are rising steeply, as they are in Jefferson County.
The Peninsula Housing Authority (PHA) is a governmental agency serving the north Olympic Peninsula, and its board includes representatives from Jefferson County. They have built hundreds of units of affordable housing over the years, including Garden Court Apartments in Port Hadlock and self-help homes in Jefferson County.
With a grant from the Home Opportunity Fund, PHA could build an additional 20-40 affordable rental units at their Garden Court property in Port Hadlock.
PHA would actively seek partnerships in the community to build up to 100 affordable rental units in Port Townsend and other communities in Jefferson County.
In any building projects, PHA is ready to seek state, local, and federal funds to leverage Home Opportunity Funds.
Shouldn’t veterans have access to safe, affordable housing?
Over the past decade, Cheri Tinker has been talking with homeless veterans in the woods and on the beaches and helping them find health and stability through housing created by her organization.
Tinker is Executive Director of North Olympic Regional Veteran’s Housing Network (NORVHN) a regional provider of housing for veterans. Tinker sees that Jefferson County has a high percentage of veterans, and that many of them need service. Some of them are served by NORVHN in Forks.
“We have converted buildings and built new facilities to achieve our goals, and we would very much like to build in Jefferson County. The Home Opportunity Fund could be a big help,” says Tinker.
Since 2011, NORVHN has established three housing facilities for veterans, and their operations are subsidized through contracts and other support from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. >
Sarge’s Place, a shelter in Forks with eight bays and three apartments,
The Outpost, a permanent supportive housing apartment building in Port Angeles, with a funded social worker.
Camp Sol Duc, a permanent supportive house with supportive employment, in Forks.