Letters to the Editor

Explore all avenues to support affordable housing

Since 1990, the mission of Homes First has been to provide safe, healthy, and affordable rental homes for those who need them most. In accomplishing this mission, we recognize the Missing Middle proposal for the city of Olympia to be a step in the right direction to address overall housing issues.

Homes First participated in the work group that informed the recommendations being put forward by the city. We believe this proposal will help Olympia address housing affordability by helping median income people stay housed. By allowing more diverse housing options, households with different income levels will have access to housing in neighborhoods.

This type of scattered site neighborhood-based housing is one of our core values. When a household lives in their own permanent home, regardless of whether it is owned or rented, they become a part OF our community, rather than apart FROM it. Without stable neighborhood-based housing, people are forced to move further from their place of employment, which adds additional transportation costs to their budget. It’s an unsustainable cycle that does not build community.

This proposed change would allow Homes First to provide additional lower-cost units at some of the 14 homes that we currently own in the city. We could expand our portfolio to include these smaller units to accommodate seniors, singles or adults with developmental disabilities. That is a direct benefit for those who are most challenged to find and retain affordable housing.

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