Letter: Whidbey recognizes housing crisis


Island Roots Housing wants to thank everyone who came out to celebrate Affordable Housing Month on May 11 at the future home of Generations Place, Langley’s first affordable multifamily rental development in two generations. This event was a big team effort, just like the team effort needed to create affordable housing.

Many thanks go to our partners in housing work who shared information about their projects: Habitat for Humanity, Home On Whidbey, and the continuing support of those that have made IRH’s work possible: Island County and Goosefoot Community Fund. We enjoyed visits from board members of the Whidbey Homeless Coalition, South Whidbey at Home, and Hearts & Hammers, and are excited about Langley Creates participating in this work with us.

In addition to the opportunity to learn about three exciting new affordable housing projects in Langley, fun was had thanks to Tom Lindsay’s giant bubbles and a craft table courtesy of Readiness to Learn.

We thank the public officials who gave their time to visit with folks about this issue: State Rep. Clyde Shavers, County Commissioner Melanie Bacon and Planning Commissioner Anderson, Langley Councilmembers Bobis and Carlson, Mayor Kennedy Horstman, Langley Planning Commissioner Casey Gloster, and we were especially honored to have former Tulalip Tribal Councilmember Melvin Sheldon attend.

We appreciate how much of Whidbey recognizes the urgency of the housing crisis, and the many who are working hard – a majority as volunteers — to secure housing that is affordable for members of our community experiencing housing insecurity. Langley faces a shortfall in affordable and accessible housing today, and without action that gap is projected to grow by another 67% over the next two decades.

That level of need is only going to be addressed through the dedication of our locally-grown nonprofits, and the support of the vast majority of our community who want to be a part of the solution. Together we are weaving a housing resiliency network that supports everyone.

This is Whidbey: a tenacious group of innovators who see a problem as an opportunity to strengthen community, and who roll up their sleeves together to heartfully create a solution, sharing their resources, their labor, and having fun while doing it!

The Board of Island Roots Housing