San Juan County remains one of the most challenging places for working families to purchase a home.

Many working families earn income that is above the threshold for owning an OPAL home, yet far below what is needed to purchase a home. OPAL Community Land Trust is launching the Community Loan Fund to help address this need. The loan fund will expand support for home ownership and address the growing housing affordability gap.

This project has been many years in the making. It was conceived after a conversation with Michael Brennan. Michael has been making private loans to individuals and businesses on Orcas for the past 20 years. Many of his clients have great community ties, but are for one reason or another not able to qualify for a traditional bank loan such as buying raw land to build upon. Michael’s investments have allowed many families to make Orcas home (and many businesses have been able to launch, with Michael’s help).

During our conversation a few years ago, Michael mentioned that he would like to retire at some point. That got us thinking about what would happen if his funding went away.  Enter OPAL and their fearless leadership! Funded by an OICF grant, they developed the Community Loan Fund and will begin making their first loans later this year. Check out this link for more information-

Hope you have a lovely weekend. Lit Fest looks like it will provide plenty of opportunity to stay inside and hear some great stories.  Perfect for this chilly weather! Happy Spring!