KPTZ joins Housing Solutions Network to spread the word about fulfilling basic housing needs for the residents of Jefferson County.
Housing in Jefferson County exists all around us and yet is unavailable. How could this be? If we pause to look around, it turns out that we have housing resources all over. Have you noticed the empty houses, empty yards and lots, and large homes with just one resident? As Jefferson County continues to age (at 5 times the rate of Washington state) and as more incoming wealth displaces residents with local wages, we’re seeing a massive disruption in access to housing. This is further exacerbated by the lack of workers who fuel the building economy: carpenters, roofers, electricians, and building officials. The irony is that the lack of housing makes it harder for these workers to live here and build here, encouraging the vicious cycle.
The most immediate workforce housing solution that we have is to leverage the housing resources that we already have: developed land, houses, and bedrooms. This is the foundation of Housing Solution Network’s recent campaign, Share Our Spaces. “Workforce housing” refers to the housing that is available and affordable to those earning about the area’s median wage, that is to say, housing that is accessible to most of us. Housing Solutions Network (HSN) focuses on workforce housing because it is the housing that allows for a functioning economy, strong social services, stable family life, and for those in transitional housing to be able to transition somewhere more permanent. The lack of workforce housing impacts the entire housing continuum.
HSN is proud to work with KPTZ Radio Port Townsend in this effort to broadcast the available tools and opportunities towards creating more workforce housing by utilizing existing resources. The Share Our Spaces campaign outlines five solutions that can be acted upon by homeowners who have the space and spirit to share. These solutions include creating accessory dwelling units (ADUs), home-sharing a room in a house either temporarily or long-term, filling one of the county’s 3,000 empty homes, leasing land for a mobile tiny home, and finally the utilization of the Housing Link, a platform to connect local renters to rentals.
You’re invited to reach out to HSN with any question about any of these solutions, or even a solution that you’re excited about sharing. We are a growing community network, oriented to respond to this housing issue, and we welcome new thoughts and partners in this work.
Be well, and don’t forget about the resources we already have.
Housing Solutions Network