Planning Commissioner Shannon Williams’ comment that “People who want to be here will work for it” shows she is out of touch with ordinary people. Many Whidbey Island residents work to live here but can’t afford housing. Not only is housing expensive, but one major crisis can result in homelessness.
I have several friends who lost their housing due to circumstances beyond their control.
One rented an apartment attached to a house for 16 years. Her landlady became seriously ill and had to sell the house.
Another friend’s husband developed cancer. Both were self-employed and contributed skills to the community. They could not afford their rent due to medical expenses.
My friends were fortunate to have friends who could help them in a time of crisis. Many residents do not have these resources.
Williams should get to know some of the people she is casually dismissing. Volunteering at the Spin Cafe or The Haven homeless shelter might change her viewpoint on affordable housing.