Finch Green will be a neighborhood of single-family homes thanks to community vision and local expertise.

Contact: Tamar Kupiec
206.842.1909, ext. 11

Bainbridge Island, WA (February 22, 2024)—Housing Resources Bainbridge (HRB) and Finch Green LLC announced a partnership to develop affordable housing on the 8-acre parcel owned by Bethany Lutheran Church. Finch Green LLC is a separate nonprofit entity created by the church in 2023 for this purpose. Under this arrangement, the church will donate a portion of its land just south of the church to HRB to develop in collaboration with Finch Green LLC, and HRB will add the future homes to its community land trust, where they will be kept permanently affordable for households earning at or below 80% area median income. The project, also named Finch Green, has no religious affiliation.

The land on which Bethany Lutheran Church sits was gifted to the congregation by a generous community member in the late 1950s. In a spirit of gratitude, the congregation has long envisioned using a portion of its land to serve the community and ultimately identified affordable housing as the most compelling use.

“This partnership is grounded in mutual respect, self-awareness, and a shared concern for the wellbeing of our community,” said David Swartling, Finch Green LLC board president. “As far back as the 1990s, Bethany Lutheran has seen the lack of affordable housing displace residents and deter young families. Over the years, we consulted with HRB about what it would take to build affordable housing. The more we learned, the more we came to appreciate that although we had a vision and this incredible gift of land, we did not have the necessary expertise in development and affordable housing regulations. For that we looked to HRB.”

The opportunity to make this vision a reality arose in 2019 with the passage of a Washington state law that makes it easier for religious organizations to build affordable housing on their land. In 2022, the city of Bainbridge Island passed an ordinance in accordance with this law, allowing a maximum of 24 homes on the lot.

“With land costs so high, we never thought we would have another parcel of this size and the opportunity to create a neighborhood as we did at Ferncliff Village, with single-family homes and shared gardens. We are thrilled to bring our expertise in development, government grants, and regulatory compliance to such a beautifully conceived community,” said Phedra Elliott, Housing Resources Bainbridge executive director.

Davis Studio Architecture and Design is the architect. The homes will range in size from 800 to 1,400 square feet to suit a range of household formations, including families and elders living alone. They will be clustered around communal greenspaces and embody best practices in sustainable design for optimal energy efficiency and a healthier living environment. Finch Green is within walking distance of four public schools, the library, the city’s aquatic center, and shopping and is served by a park & ride for ferry commuters.

About Housing Resources Bainbridge

Housing Resources Bainbridge (HRB) is Bainbridge Island’s only nonprofit affordable housing provider and advocate. Since 1989, HRB has developed and stewarded permanently affordable homes to foster the social and economic health of our community.