Letters to the Editor

Seniors will benefit from Missing Middle

I’m a senior, 72 years old. I’m planning to build a tiny home once the Missing Middle codes are in place as are other seniors. Senior tiny homes can be in the yard of a friend or relative, in the neighborhood of our choice, in a tiny home community, in a co-housing development, or on a small piece of land. We can live in a tiny home village with other seniors to age in place, sharing caregivers. We can pay to be in the yard of a homeowner – they can use that to help pay their mortgage – both will benefit. Neighborhoods will benefit from having seniors in their midst.

Median rents in Olympia climbed to $1,058 in 2016. Thurston County ranks near the bottom in the state for housing affordability. Many seniors live on social security of $800 a month or less.

Olympia’s Comprehensive Plan sets a goal that affordable housing be available for all income levels. Seniors over 60 are increasing in number in Olympia, according to the Lewis-Mason-Thurston County Area Agency on Aging. There is currently a 20 percent increase from 2010 Census data; 15 percent are considered to be at or below the Elder Economic Security Standard Index. By 2020, the over-60 population will grow 17 percent over current figures.

Tiny homes offer an option for affordable housing for seniors like us.