Port Townsend: Affordable housing talk due today

PORT TOWNSEND — Government, nonprofit and business professionals will try to knock down the walls that stand in the way of affordable housing in Jefferson County today and lay a foundation to build a solution from the ground-floor up.

An affordable housing workshop at the Pope Marine Park Building will look at the situation in a county where housing advocates say there is an alarming gap between median income and home prices.

“The city and the county have come up with really good strategies,” said Vanessa Brower of Common Ground, a nonprofit organization. “But there hasn’t been a whole lot of work done yet towards those strategies and goals.”

Brower, who is also chairwoman of the city’s Affordable Housing Task Force that met for the first time last week, said there is a bigger discrepancy between income and home values in Jefferson County than in nearby Clallam, Kitsap, Skagit, or Island counties.

“The value of the housing stock in this community is parallel to I-5 corridor” running from Olympia to Bellingham, she said. “But the median income is lower.”

In Jefferson County, the median income is 21 percent of home value, she said. In Snohomish, a representative example of the Interstate 5 corridor, the ratio is 36 percent.

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The rest of the story appears in the Thursday Peninsula Daily News. Click on SUBSCRIBE to get the PDN delivered to your home or office.

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