The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

The Times 

Support for affordable housing


January 7, 2021

Affordable housing means stability for families and community members; homeownership is one of the best ways to build financial comfort. The availability of affordable housing attracts families to help support our schools and businesses. Many local employers have difficulty attracting qualified, quality employees when housing is at a premium.

Rents and home prices in our region have increased faster than incomes. In Walla Walla County, the median home resale value increased from $174,700 in 2013 to $249,300 in 2018, a 43% increase over five years; whereas median wages in Walla Walla County increased 17% over the same five-year period.

A home is affordable when housing costs do not exceed 30% of pre-tax income. Renters in our region are particularly cost-burdened. In Prescott, 81% of renter households are housing cost-burdened, 52% of renter households in Waitsburg are cost-burdened; 46% of renter households in Dayton are cost-burdened.

Community Council of Walla Walla, on behalf of the entire Walla Walla Valley, has brought Valley stakeholders together to examine and recommend solutions to increase the availability of affordable housing in our communities.

The work is focusing on the creation of Community Land Trusts; a CLT is a nonprofit organization that owns land and develops housing for the purpose of creating permanently affordable homes. Homes on CLT land are owned or rented by households, and the land, which is owned by the CLT, is leased to the residents for a modest fee.

The heart of a CLT is the creation of homes that provide sustainable homeownership opportunities for generations of individuals and families whose housing needs are not met by the traditional market. CLT homes remain permanently affordable, including for all subsequent homebuyers.

Please join us for a free, live Zoom event on January 11, 2021 at 6 p.m .; all community members in Columbia, Walla Walla counties, and Milton-Freewater are invited to learn more about this important new initiative.

Register in advance for this town hall:

Joy Marie Smith

Executive Board

Blue Mountain Region Long Term Flood Recovery Group

Blue Mountain Resource Conservation & Development Council


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