State legislature fails to adopt capital budget, affordable housing at risk

  • Fri Jul 28th, 2017 2:39pm
  • News

Submitted by Lisa Byers, executive director, OPAL Community Land Trust

The Washington State Legislature adjourned last week without adopting a capital budget. There is no timeline for the legislature to reconvene. That means there may be no capital budget adopted this year.

This is bad news for the Orcas Island community. OPAL Community Land Trust planned to apply for up to $2 million from the Washington State Housing Trust Fund in order to help fund the construction of new affordable rental townhomes on North Beach Road in Eastsound (called April’s Grove). Without a capital budget, there will be no opportunity to apply for funding.

The failure of our legislature to pass a capital budget does real harm to people who need a roof over their heads. Orcas Island needs a capital budget to be passed that includes $106 million in the Housing Trust Fund, with at least $33 million of that amount not earmarked for projects or targeted for specific populations.