Home fund will maintain existing affordable housing | Letter

While much of the talk going on about Proposition 1 has been focused on home ownership, another important use of the proposed San Juan County Home Fund is the preservation of existing affordable housing, specifically, the apartment complexes that were built with tax credit financing and are required to be affordable for a certain number of years.

The largest of these complexes, Friday Harbor Village, was already lost as affordable housing when it was sold at a foreclosure auction several years ago. There were no funds available within a short window of time to put together financing for purchase by an organization. Now, rents have gone up.

The next apartment complex to come up for sale was the Harbor View Apartments. Fortunately, earlier this year the Opportunity Council, a Bellingham-based nonprofit, was able to put together the financing to acquire it and preserve its affordability restrictions.

There are other complexes that will reach the end of their required affordability within the next few years. Refurbishment of existing units is more affordable than building new apartments and will be a high priority for the county. These apartments are an important segment of our island’s affordable housing options and the home fund will help keep them affordable for the long run.

Please vote yes for homes to strengthen our community!

Nancy DeVaux

San Juan Island