Why does housing matter to Anacortes?

The twin problems of poor affordability and availability of housing are driving many negative effects on our community:

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Market Failure

Our very low vacancy rate results in a poorly functioning market, where people can't sell their homes even if they want to trade up or down because there's very little else available to buy.

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Economic Development

The number one impediment to economic development right now is availability of labor. Workers at Anacortes businesses, even those with good paying jobs, can't afford to live in Anacortes, so many look for work elsewhere.

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Essential Workers

On an island that's a half-hour drive from larger cities, everyone who works here needs to be able to find housing and live here. And that's critically important for first-responders and healthcare workers.

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Increased Traffic

Less affordability means workers at Anacortes businesses seek housing in cheaper cities and rural areas in greater numbers, creating more commuter trips and more traffic—and lower quality of life for those commuters.

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Pressure on Farm and Forestlands

Strong housing demand, when supply is constrained in cities, leads to increased pressure to develop lower-priced rural, farm, and forestlands.

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Higher Property Taxes

When demand grows faster than supply, housing prices increase rapidly. When prices rise here more than in other areas, our property taxes increase, making it harder for seniors and low-income families to stay in Anacortes.

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Homelessness

A lack of affordability and availability in our housing market leads to increased homelessness . It's much harder to rescue people from homelessness than it is to keep them in housing they can afford.