OPAL supports REET proposition | Letters

The board of trustees of OPAL Community Land Trust unanimously supports the “Yes for Homes” campaign and encourages you to vote YES on San Juan County Proposition 1. The OPAL team has been providing permanently affordable housing on Orcas Island for nearly 30 years. We—volunteers, supporters, staff, funders, renters and homeowners — have been motivated by a deep love for this island.

The outcome of our work is practical: our community relies on people who need affordable places to live. And yet there is more. This island community is shaped by people who are creative, innovative, compassionate and entrepreneurial—many of whom live in or need affordable housing.

Every week someone comes to the OPAL office looking for a rental or asking for an application to own an OPAL home.

The new county Home Fund – funded by a 0.5 percent Real Estate Excise Tax when people purchase property (NOT an annual property tax) — will help OPAL provide more affordable homes. It won’t “solve the problem,” because the lack of affordable housing is too complex an issue and influenced by market trends. However, the new funding source could help pay for part of the cost for the April’s Grove rental housing that will be constructed in 2019-2020. The Home Fund could also provide seed funding to produce additional new rental and ownership housing and to renovate existing houses.

Your ballot will arrive in mid-October and the last day to vote is Tuesday, Nov. 6. Please join us in voting yes on Proposition 1.

Anne Bertino, Vicki Brems, Rusty Diggs, Virginia Erhardt, Tim Fuller, Bob Gamble, Pegi Groundwater, Kurt Hunt, Margaret Mills and Ian Van Gelder

OPAL Board of Trustees