City News Bytes: Fix our Ferries Town Hall this Saturday, HRB Grant will Reduce Affordable Housing Costs, Guv’s Housing Victory

Rep. Nance to Hold Town Meeting to Fix Our Ferries

Whether you’re a regular commuter or an occasional rider or driver, the Washington State Ferries are our lifeline to the mainland. Before the Pandemic in 2020, the Bainbridge-Seattle ferry was as reliable as rain. You could pretty much set your watch or iPhone by just how reliable these boats were. No more.

January 26, 2024 CNB Fix Our Ferries imageThanks to worker shortages, on-going mechanical problems, groundings, accidents, and dwindling resources, the once proud Washington State Ferry system – the largest in the nation – has become a shadow of its former self.  State Representative Greg Nance of Bainbridge Island is hoping to do something about that. He has created a public meeting for area residents impacted by ferry service disruptions to come together and have their complaints heard and questions answered.

Nance’s Town Hall Meeting, dubbed Fix our Ferries, will be held this coming Saturday, January 27, 10 a.m. to noon at Bainbridge Island City Hall. A Bainbridge High graduate and world-class runner, Nance will share a new “roadmap” to Fix our Ferries that he has been working on with his House Transportation colleagues… and will ask neighbors to sign-on in support “to show legislators and the governor (Gov. Jay Inslee also lives on Bainbridge) how ferry disruptions impact our community and why we must invest in transparent, and accountable leadership to fix this mess.”

Visit the following link and Share Your Complaints, Questions, or Suggestions

HRB’s Wins State Grant, Dramatically Reduces Wintergreen Townhome Prices

Housing Resources Bainbridge (HRB) was awarded a competitive $2.5 million grant from the Washington State Department of Commerce Housing Trust Fund to further subsidize its 31 affordable homes at Wintergreen Townhomes located adjacent to the Virginia Mason Bainbridge Island Medical Center off High School Road.

January 26, 2024 CNB HRB Wintergreen imageWith that grant, HRB anticipates lowering prices, on average, by an additional $80,000, so that the final cost to buyers can be as low as $274,000.

HRB will make the units available to households earning 80% of area median income or below, who are also first-time home buyers (or have not owned a home during the previous three years or only previously owned one with a former spouse). To learn more, visit their website: Housing Resources Bainbridge | permanently affordable homes for Bainbridge Island (housingresourcesbi.org)

Gov. Inslee’s Major WA Housing Investments at Work

Gov. Jay Inslee, himself a long-time Bainbridge resident, helps break ground at an affordable housing development in Renton, funded in part by the state Department of Commerce’s Housing Trust Fund.

January 26, 2024 CNB Inslee's Housing Investments at Work imageSpeaking of affordable housing, the state Department of Commerce announced its largest-ever set of annual housing investments last week.

In 2023, the Legislature “went big” on housing, budgeting more than $1 billion to build affordable housing and promote new home ownership over the 2023-25 biennium.

The department awarded a total of $313 million to 73 affordable housing projects, creating 3,913 new housing units for low-income Washingtonians, including 470 for first-time homeowners, 155 accessible units for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, and 354 supportive housing units for people experiencing homelessness or behavioral health conditions.

Of the 73 supported projects, five were supported by funding from a new public-private partnership with the Amazon Housing Equity Fund. Amazon and the state have partnered to invest $28.8 million to build 1,133 new affordable housing units near public transit hubs. To learn more visit their website: Commerce invests $312.6 million in affordable housing and homeownership opportunities for Washington residents with low incomes – Washington State Department of Commerce

City News Bytes*Images courtesy of Rep. Greg Nance website, HRB website and WA Dep. of Commerce website.

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