Tag Archives: affordable housing

Apartment rents keep climbing in Kitsap

b0016037975-446099Average rent for apartments in Kitsap climbed to $1,186 in the third quarter of 2016, marking the 10th-straight quarter rents have increased in the county.

Per-unit rent at large apartment complexes has risen $109 since the start of the year, according to Tom Cain of Apartment Insights Washington.

Port Orchard and Bremerton reported the largest rent increases in the West Sound region in the third quarter.

Vacancy rates remained low in Kitsap, with 4.35 percent of units available.

The market was tightest in Port Orchard where just 3.32 percent of apartment were vacant, while Silverdale’s vacancy rate jumped to 5.21 percent.

Cain said a balanced rental apartment market typically has a vacancy rate of 5 percent.

Here’s a graphic showing apartment rental trends in Kitsap:

Landlords fair will highlight need for veteran housing

B0013334255--619729The Homes for All Who Served initiative launched last year with the ambitious goal of housing all homeless veterans in Kitsap County by Nov. 11, 2016.

More than 80 former service members have been housed since the program started, but more needs to be done to meet the Veterans Day deadline, according to a county news release.

In an effort to find more potential homes for veterans, Kitsap Community Resources will host an information fair for landlords next week. The fair is scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon July 22 at 1201 Park Street in Bremerton.

The event will include information on fair housing laws, housing subsidies, tenant programs that support veterans, and how to participate in ending veteran homelessness.

“Landlords are key partners in providing rental units for veterans who are being supported by agencies that provide counseling, job search and financial assistance,” Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent said in the news release.

A survey conducted by Homes for All Who Served in the fall of 2015 found 45 veterans living outside. Nearly all of those veterans have either been housed, are in the process of securing housing, or are unable to be contacted, according to the news release. Another survey will be conducted this month.

Landlords and property owners interested in the Homes for All Who Served project may contact Jackie Fojtik at the Housing Solutions Center, (360) 473-2035.

Why not convert Harrison Bremerton into affordable housing?

Harrison Medical Center’s consolidation in Silverdale will leave a 450,000-square-foot hospital vacant in East Bremerton three years from now.

FeelingTheSqueezeHarrison parent company CHI Franciscan Health is still determining if the building can be repurposed or should be torn down.

Given the looming affordable housing crisis in Kitsap, reader Kim Edgar in Poulsbo wondered if Harrison Bremerton could be converted into dorm rooms for Olympic College students or some other form of low-cost housing.

“The rooms are large enough to be dorm rooms and they have their own bathrooms,” Edgar pointed out in an email.

674094_5539855_ver1.0_640_480-1“Throw in a small fridge and a microwave and you’ve got a dorm room. They could convert the nurses station in to a common room, laundry room and a common kitchen area.

“Or, maybe Kitsap Housing Authority could turn the hospital into an affordable apartment complex and possible temporary housing for the homeless.”

Edgar probably isn’t the only Kitsap resident eyeing the Harrison Bremerton building as a potential home for affordable rentals, so I asked Kurt Wiest with Bremerton Housing Authority if the idea sounded feasible.

“The simple answer,” Wiest said, “is it’s complicated.”

The Housing Authority has been interested in the site since Harrison announced its relocation plans. But Wiest said retrofitting the aging hospital into apartments would almost certainly be cost prohibitive.

Since portions of the building were built decades ago, Wiest said there are likely hazardous materials like lead or asbestos present that would make residential conversion a complex and expensive prospect.

Wiest believes there is potential to create housing at the Cherry Avenue campus if the hospital is demolished. Much will depend on what CHI Franciscan decides to do with the property.

Have an idea for creating affordable housing in Kitsap? Drop a comment below or write me at tad.sooter@kitsapsun.com.

Map illustrates affordable housing gap in Kitsap

housing.mapThere are 29 affordable housing units available for every 100 families living on extremely low incomes in Kitsap County.

That’s according to analysis by the nonprofit Urban Institute, which compiled a county-by-county map illustrating the nationwide affordable housing gap.

The institute’s breakdown of Kitsap shows 7,165 families in the county earn less than $22,700 annually, based on 2012 data. There are 2,065 affordable units in the county, 2,211 with HUD assistance. (Click the graphic above to expand.)

The map also shows the change in the affordable housing gap over time, with statistics from 2000 and 2006. According to the analysis, Kitsap gained affordable units between 2000 and 2006, while the number of extremely low income households remained steady.The the number of low income households swelled between 2006 and 2012 but the county lost affordable housing units over the same period.

The current 29 units to 100 households ratio for Kitsap happens to also be the national average. No county in the U.S. has as many affordable units as extremely low income households according to the institute.

The full map is embedded below, but it easier to navigate on the institute’s website.