The current task to redefine portions of our city’s zoning code that is before our elected officials, staff, and volunteer planning commission is immense and complex. While I maintain the …
The current task to redefine portions of our city’s zoning code that is before our elected officials, staff, and volunteer planning commission is immense and complex. While I maintain the opinion and lived experience that we cannot only “policy” our way to a better housing future, I am grateful for the willingness of those involved to participate in these governmental solutions.
As a housing advocate and through my work with the Olympic Housing Trust, a local community land trust, I must underline affordability in all that we consider. It is not clear to me that the city believes it can enable affordable housing development, outside of relying upon nonprofit developers like us.
If that is true, and we don’t know that it is, affordability must then be met through good old fashioned empathy. This means actively choosing to rent at a reasonable, below-market rate. This means when selling your home you do so to a local buyer, especially if it’s your second home. This means donating time, money, land (yes, land), and your voice toward the work of housing organizations who are doing their damnedest to keep this place a colorful place to live.
Remember folks, our current housing situation is not merely a crisis for those earning below-average income. No, this is fundamentally a viability issue for our entire economy and social strata.
If you, too, want to live in a place that makes you smile with its generous spirit and laugh at its funkiness, praise be. You are in good company. We can grow the culture we want to live in by supporting smart, inclusive policies and by leaning into our better, more empathetic selves.
Olympic Housing Trust