We have an extraordinary opportunity. The City of Bainbridge Island will receive $7 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). City Council meets this Tuesday, September 28 to decide how to spend the money. HRB is recommending that $3.5 million go to housing.
HRB has two new developments planned for downtown:
1. Wyatt & Madison, where we will acquire 13 of 80 rental units at cost from the developer, Madison Avenue Development. These homes will be added to our community land trust, ensuring that they remain affordable in perpetuity to income-qualified households.
2. Ericksen Community, 15-20 units of new rental housing, which we will build on a parcel we own on Ericksen Avenue. These, too, will be added to the HRB community land trust.
We recommend that $2 million go to Wyatt & Madison. The estimated cost to HRB is $4 million. We have already raised $1.9 million in Kitsap County HOME funds and private donations. An additional $2 million from ARPA would mean fundraising for Wyatt & Madison would be virtually complete, allowing us to move forward with the Ericksen development. Again, the Wyatt & Madison units will be acquired at cost—there is no mark-up, no profit, as the sole intent of this project is to serve the affordable housing needs of the Bainbridge community.
We recommend that the remaining $1.5 million support the HRB Ericksen development or other local housing initiative.
In a community of over 11,000 households, there are currently 286 affordable rental units. Please take a moment to write to City Council and urge them to address this shortage by investing the ARPA funds in the construction of affordable housing. We have provided sample text below if you wish to use it. You can email the council at [email protected] or click here for individual email addresses and phone numbers. Please send your letter by the morning of Tuesday, September 28.
With gratitude to all our fellow affordable housing advocates—and excitement about this incredible opportunity,