I attended the public hearing for Missing Middle housing in March. I’m concerned by comments against the proposal.
I have been an Olympia resident since 2006, a renter that has aspirations to own a home within Olympia. Housing costs have steadily increased over the past decade. The rental rates have sky rocketed. Just in the last two years, I have seen a lot of middle- to low-income families that rely on public transportation find that they have had to purchase a vehicle so they can look for housing south of Olympia. There is a real need within public transportation corridors to increase housing options that create opportunities that offer lower rental rates. This can be accomplished with units smaller than a single-family home.
At the public hearing, there were concerns of preserving architectural character. I understand that people are concerned that new housing could change how their neighborhoods look. I love Olympia and recognize that the character of neighborhoods is formed by the people that live in them. Each section of Olympia is unique. Putting aesthetic character considerations ahead of socio-economic needs is not representative of the people of Olympia. If there are design considerations that are of concern, they should apply to all new housing and remodels, not just housing that could accommodate a diversity of income levels.
I support the Missing Middle housing proposal to help keep Olympia middle- to low-income families within the public transportation corridors and build on the character of our neighborhoods.