Letters to the Editor

Missing Middle housing will keep Olympia healthy

As a single mother and primary care physician, I think the Missing Middle recommendations being considered by the the city of Olympia will promote health by making housing more accessible.

The affordable housing that these recommendations provide by expanding the variety of housing options available will help keep Olympians healthy. When I tell a patient to remember to take their blood pressure pills by putting them next to their toothbrush in their bathroom, I assume that they have a home with stable access to a bathroom. Without this essential need for housing met, any recommendations I make regarding health are harder for my patients to follow.

The proximity to transit lines for much of the potential development also is beneficial as it allows easy access for appointments with primary, specialty, and behavioral health care providers.

The potential for enough households in a given area to support small retail centers like the Wildwood Center on Capitol Way promotes walking. This gets people out of their cars and moving, which is an essential part of the recommendations I make to my patients every day aimed at preventing and controlling diseases like diabetes, hypertension and chronic pain.

As for myself, when I became a part-time single mother last year, an apartment complex provided me and my family a safe place to land and re-group. But I was lucky to find rare Missing Middle housing that made it possible for me to stay in Olympia and put down roots.