Langley needs housing…

Langley, in fact all of Whidbey Island, is in desperate need of housing.  Notice I didn’t say afford about housing.  Why?  Because Whidbey Island has a plethora of affordable and assisted housing.  What has been squeezed out over the last 10 years is working wage and market level housing.  The housing that used to be used by our local workforce has dramatically gone up in value.  Those properties that are being used as rentals are having their rents raised, converted to more profitable Vacation Rentals, or the owners are opting to end renting and sell the home for a tidy profit. Additionally, locally working residents can’t afford to buy a house at these inflated values.

These problems can be addressed in multiple ways.  We can start by making it easier for responsible developers to build homes, by reducing the number of hoops and the amount of red-tape they have to get through in order to start building.  We can also work to be flexible on housing design so that we actually start to say “yes” to creative and innovative designs.  Increase the benefits of clustered housing and multi-use building, incentivizing the building of more units by reducing impermeable land coverage.  To look at the possibilities that multi-family dwellings, of various compositions and locations, can bring to our city and the community at large.  And finally increase the opportunities for ADUs around the city and clearly explain the benefits to our existing residents and property owners.