Grateful to share our small property | Letter to the editor

Posted 1/26/22

I am writing this letter in support of the Housing Solutions Network’s campaign to encourage local homeowners to find creative ways to share their existing homes, add or utilize an existing …

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Grateful to share our small property | Letter to the editor

Posted

I am writing this letter in support of the Housing Solutions Network’s campaign to encourage local homeowners to find creative ways to share their existing homes, add or utilize an existing ADU. 

My partner and I are in our late 60s and were fortunate enough to find our “forever” home five years ago when it was still possible to purchase an affordable property (in our case just under $400,000). One of our main requirements was enough space for my home business. Our home has a lower floor with a separate entrance that had previously been rented as a separate apartment.

That was ideal for us as it could eventually be used for a caregiver/rental situation. In addition, there was a very small (under 200 square feet) office/studio on the property (one room with a loft), cold running water, and power. It had been used as an office by the previous owner. It was habitable except for the lack of a bathroom and hot water.

At that time, we were unable to afford to expand the space into a viable rental but used it for occasional guest overflow, and on separate occasions two of my adult children were able to live there for over a year to save money and were charged very nominal rent to cover some utilities.

Initially my partner and I had considered finishing the cabin and offering as occasional seasonal rental to help ameliorate the cost of bathroom addition. We quickly dismissed that idea as the need was growing in our community for truly affordable housing, especially for young people, service workers, families. 

Last year we were finally able to provide a small, lovely, finished space for a single (service worker) resident at under-market rate. We are so grateful and privileged to have a wonderful place to live and are also pleased to be able to share.

Gwendolyn Evans
PORT TOWNSEND

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