City assesses need for housing shortage plan

The City of Oak Harbor is knee-deep in an effort to assess needs for its housing action plan, which is supposed to identify strategies to encourage the construction of additional affordable and market-rate housing in the city.

During last week’s regularly scheduled Wednesday council workshop, council member Jim Woessner related his experience as a real estate broker to the housing shortage, in which he had to tell multiple agents that their buyers did not get a house.

“We’re in a bit of a crisis,” Woessner said. “The last 30 days has certainly been the worst that I’ve seen in my career as far as the number of families who aren’t getting accepted for offers.”

Cac Kamak, who had been the interim Development Services director, said the housing action plan should be data-driven.

“If you do the data analysis and the income analysis, then you can narrow done the population and get to a very specific number,” Kamak said. “Now you have a goal, you have something that is quantifiable.”

After the needs assessment, which is expected to be complete at the end of September, the planning commission will begin drafting the housing plan with final adoption expected to occur in June 2021.

The planning commission assembled a stakeholder advisory group of commissioners, city staff, consultants, real estate agents and housing and community service providers to assess housing needs, according to Senior Planner Dennis Lefevre.

Lefevre said another key piece was the creation of a web page that contains all the updated information about future meetings and the current status of the plan. The web page also has a tab encouraging public involvement. Members of the community would be able to review and comment on draft documents and proposed recommendations. The city would also be able to generate surveys.

To learn more and participate in the housing action plan, visit oakharborwahap.konveio.com

More in News

Special vaccine clinics planned in Langley, Oak Harbor

A couple of special vaccination clinics are planned for this week. Island… Continue reading

Students persuade council to take climate action

South Whidbey High School students led the charge at a Langley City Council meeting last week.

Whidbey Homeless Coalition Executive Director Jonathan Kline explains how 15 bunks will be set up in the sanctuary of the former Jehovah’s Witness church outside Coupeville. Photo by Emily Gilbert/Whidbey News-Times
Neighbors voice concerns about proposed shelter near Coupeville

Neighbors shared their comments, concerns and criticism of the Whidbey Homeless Coalition’s… Continue reading

Langley agrees to sell oddly shaped parcel

It’s an odd, triangle-shaped piece of pavement down by the South Whidbey Harbor.

Project would protect Lone Lake farmland

The Whidbey Camano Land Trust applied for $790,000 from a program to protect 37 acres.

Filing to open for long list of local positions

Candidates must file for the election May 17-21.

Big pigs turn on chickens | Island Scanner

Thursday, April 22 At 3:30 p.m., a caller reported that the manager… Continue reading

North Whidbey man jailed for car insurance fraud

Arnold F. Bodner, 58, pleaded guilty in Island County Superior Court April 16 to a single count of insurance false claim, which was a felony charge because the amount of the claim exceeded $1,500.

Most Read