More on housing this week: there are two apartment complexes for sale on Orcas. Both currently provide affordable rental units and that could very well change if they sell, as the market is blistering hot right now. The worst-case scenario is a loss of 19 units. OPAL is hoping to access grants from the County’s Home Fund and Washington State’s Housing Trust Fund to help purchase one of the buildings. Those funds are restricted to paying no more than the appraised value of a property, which will be a challenge in this market.
This week also brought the news that the rental house where the Athletic Director for the OI School District and his wife, also a PE instructor and coach, live is going on the market and they must now seek an affordable rental for their family elsewhere on the island. If they can not find one, they will likely leave, which would be a huge loss for our school and our community. I suspect this is a story that we will hear over and over this year.
Our community has been so well served by OPAL and their programs that support a broad spectrum of residents. With housing prices rising so quickly the gap has widened significantly. OICF is examining how we can support efforts to protect affordable housing as we move forward. It is a complicated issue and I welcome your thoughts on how we can be effective.
On Tuesday, April 27, there is a free vaccine clinic at the Orcas Center. It is open to anyone 18 years of age and older. Please help spread the word. There are plenty of appointments available. Sign up here.
Tuesday is also the day to vote. It’s a one-vote ballot and the School District would greatly appreciate a good turnout. Mail those ballots in or drop them off in the box at the Orcas Senior Center.
Hope you have a lovely weekend.