What are the solutions to our housing problems?
The solutions to Anacortes's housing problems flow directly from its deficiencies. We need:
A diversity of housing sizes and styles (including "missing middle" housing) would better serve the diverse needs of our population.
We need more supply overall of market-rate housing to ease the market crunch and slow the rise in prices.
Public and private investment in subsidized or low-income housing is necessary to immediately house those most in need.
This is a regional problem. If Anacortes does its part, we need other cities and states to do their part too. We can't solve this alone.
A big part of our housing problem is the absence in our market of small units, duplexes, triplexes, and other "missing middle" housing types that are inherently more affordable than large single-family dwellings. Unfortunately, middle housing types are illegal or difficult to build in many parts of Anacortes. We need each of these housing types to accomodate Anacortes's diverse population.
Increased housing diversity (and higher vacancy rates) can help people find housing that's right for their family. A senior that wants to downsize can find a smaller, cheaper home with less landscape to maintain, while a growing family can afford a bigger house and yard when they need it the most. Today, because Anacortes's housing market is so homogenous and focused on three and four-bedroom single-family residences, households can't make those choices that would improve their quality of life.
AARP has produced an excellent primer on Missing-Middle Housing.
How do we get there?
Read about how you can help.