The Need

Limited inventory on Bainbridge Island has pushed prices beyond reach of all but top-tier earners. Increasingly, people who work on Bainbridge—educators, first responders, city employees, service industry workers, those who care for the elderly, and so many others—live off island far from their work and endure personally and environmentally unsustainable commutes. Longtime residents who had hoped to remain in the communities they helped build are leaving. And young families and other newcomers—people who bring diverse backgrounds, new ideas and energy—are being kept away.

As a provider of affordable housing, HRB counters this displacement, fosters community resilience, and sustains the social connections across generations, cultures, and classes that strengthen and enliven our community.

How We Work

HRB is a community land trust. We conserve and develop land for affordable housing. By imposing income qualifications and regulating rent and sale prices, we keep these homes permanently affordable and ensure that they serve the community in perpetuity. We are guided by an ethic of stewardship, working closely with members of the HRB community and caring for the homes in our community land trust.

Homeownership

There are 44 homes in our portfolio with more on the way. We shepherd prospective homebuyers through the homebuying process, and we work with current residents, supporting them in maintaining their homes and ensuring that they meet their financial obligations.

Rental

We own eight properties totaling 90 homes. We provide ongoing rental assistance to qualified households, temporary emergency rental assistance, and social services designed to increase earning potential.

Independent Living

HRB facilitates home repairs and modifications to help older adults and people with disabilities remain in their homes with safety and confidence.

Why Housing Matters

Housing is one of the biggest determinants of health and wellbeing. Poor quality homes create hazardous health conditions, such as lead exposure. Families burdened by housing costs have less to spend on healthcare and food. And housing instability disrupts work, school, daycare, and social connection. A child’s neighborhood determines not only present safety and access to quality education and healthcare, but also future earnings, even more so than where they live as an adult.

Closing off a community, such as Bainbridge, with its strong schools and high-quality amenities, to all but the affluent, confines low-income households to areas with greater environmental hazards and crime and under-resourced schools. HRB’s affordable, safe, and stable housing helps to reduce childhood poverty and increase economic mobility.

Photo courtesy of Joel Sackett

HRB’s Ferncliff Village

Growing our Community Land Trust

Demand exceeds supply, and we are working to address this shortage. About 150 households call to inquire about purchasing an HRB home every year, and there are over 140 families waiting for an apartment. We are planning two new developments for downtown Winslow, which will provide an additional 30-plus rental homes, and we look forward to the arrival of Wintergreen Townhomes where we will acquire 31 homes for ownership.