The Need on Bainbridge Island
Escalating rents and real estate prices threaten the social and cultural diversity of Bainbridge Island. Many of our neighbors are struggling to afford even basic services and they are leaving the island because of the high cost of housing. Some are young with families, some are retired, some are disabled, and many do vital work here that keeps the community going. These people are our neighbors, friends, and colleagues and want to be here to contribute to this place that we love and to be able to say: “This is home.”
In 2016, the City of Bainbridge Island conducted a Community Needs Assessment which revealed that “affordable and low-incoming housing is scarce. The average home prices are much higher than in the rest of the state.” In fact, the median home price on Bainbridge Island is almost three times as high as the rest of Kitsap County.
Closing the Gap
Since 2016, some progress has been made to address the affordability gap for housing on Bainbridge Island. However, there is so much more work to be done. Affordable housing remains one of Bainbridge Island’s most basic needs and challenges. Consistently, there are more than 30 households that are qualified and waiting, or are in the process of qualifying to purchase an HRB home. In addition, the demand for HRB’s apartments with rents affordable for households with very low incomes continues to outpace the supply with a waitlist of over 50 families.
Much has changed on Bainbridge Island in the past ten years, particularly with respect to the availability and demand for affordable housing. In order to guide HRB to address these challenges, and build on its success in preserving the diversity and vitality of Bainbridge Island, we set four strategic goals for 2018 – 2020. Over the course of two days at Heyday Farm, our dedicated board, staff, and talented facilitator developed the HRB Strategic Plan and a roadmap to guide the organization into the future. We affirmed the shared values that will move the organization forward as we prioritized the following goals:
- Advocate for affordable housing in the City of Bainbridge Island
- Increase the affordable housing inventory we own and manage
- Expand our independent living program
- Increase outreach and visibility for our organization
Click here to download a copy of our Strategic Plan.