Opportunity in Change
Wow! This year’s KHC Annual Reception, which was held November 13, was outstanding. Thanks to our generous keynote speakers, we learned much, considered new perspectives and insights, and left inspired and motivated. For those of you who were unable to attend, we’d like to share with you just a little bit of the “wow” we experienced:
Brent Marmon of Pacific NW Title shared a wealth of fascinating statistical information about the Kitsap housing market–trends, pressures, and his read into what this means for affordable housing in our communities. Despite improvements, we in Kitsap are still dealing with a fragile housing economy, and many factors still impact housing values and home finance transactions. The economic recovery is critical, however, for those of us working with affordable housing or advocating for a healthy mix of housing in our communities, we face a conundrum. While the market is sluggish, housing prices are more affordable, but there is a lack of inventory. With financial and housing market recovery inventory will increase, but prices will also rise, leaving lower income households with fewer affordable housing opportunities.
Teresa Osinski from the Kitsap Homebuilders Association wheeled us back a bit to a broader perspective, and challenged us to look at what really drives the price of housing. Do the public policies affecting new construction really deliver what we intend them to? Are there unintended consequences of some of our policies that demand another look? Do we really understand the costs and the benefits of our communities’ policies? Teresa put a call to action out to each of us to expand our awareness and understanding of barriers to affordable housing, and to advocate for real affordable housing.
Linda Hugo of Community Frameworks shared the perspective of an affordable housing developer that has armed itself with a program designed to take advantage of the housing downturn and create sustainable opportunity for low-income homebuyers. With the increased inventory of lower priced homes now available, Community Frameworks’ “Built in Bremerton” program purchases HUD, bank-owned, and other distressed homes, rehabs them through a partnership with a low-income buyer, and then sells the home to the buyer on affordable terms. Not only are the new homebuyer households impacted deeply by the opportunity made possible to them through this program, the surrounding neighborhoods are showing a “ripple effect”, as others are inspired to improve their homes and community as well. This program has leaned heavily on KHC-enabled partnerships to accomplish its goals. A win-win for sure!
- You need to be nimble in a changing environment
- It is critical to plan ahead, in order to take advantage of opportunity as it arises
- Be creative in finding solutions to the problem at hand
- Partnerships–it takes all of us–from housing providers to advocates, industry to policy makers—working together
There is a lot of work to be done, but we have what it takes to do it. We have so many talented, dedicated and well-informed community members. Let’s come together in a partnership and craft a vision to forge new solutions that will ensure that everyone has access to safe and healthy housing that meets the needs of our communities today and in the future.
****General Meetings: Reminder that the general meeting will be held monthly on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at Kitsap Countys Home Builder Association located; 5251 Auto Center Way Bremerton WA 98312….. Check the calendar page to see meeting topics.****
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firstname.lastname@example.org or at 206-287-4413.
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|Jennifer Fairleyworked with several KHC member organizations to realize her dream to purchase a home in the City of Bremerton.|
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Contact a HUD certified housing counselor to discuss your options. Counseling is provided free of charge.
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Kitsap Housing Coalition’s Mission:
The Kitsap Housing Coalition’s mission is to be a collective and coordinated voice providing leadership, education, and information on affordable housing resources within Kitsap County and neighboring communities and advocate on issues that affect us locally.
We will achieve our mission through collaboration among stakeholders, residents,government and businesses and non-profit entities – to educate and advocate on the importance of housing in strengthening our communities.
We strive to reach out our community to further our goals: We sponsor and support homeownership events and home buyer services, counseling, referrals and coordination of services. We make information and resources available to those who need it.