Submitted by OPAL Community Land Trust.
As April’s Grove nears completion, leasing of OPAL’s new neighborhood of 45 affordable rentals in Eastsound is well underway. Since applications became available on March 2, OPAL has had 120 island households apply — nearly three times the number of townhomes available.
“It is a difficult process to sort through such a large number of applications. It is both heartwarming and heartbreaking. For folks who are getting a place, it’s a moment of hope and relief and grace. For the many who don’t qualify, it is very disappointing,” explained OPAL Executive Director Lisa Byers.
OPAL Project Manager Jeanne Beck elaborated, “We have very specific restrictions because of our funding sources and that makes identifying those who are eligible a complicated and daunting task. There are many more people applying than can be accommodated, given the requirements dictated by our funding.”
OPAL has received more than four times as many applications for studio and one-bedroom units than are available. Conversely, larger households of four or more have not been applying in sufficient number and a few more are needed to fill the family-sized units available.
Construction is scheduled to be complete in late September or early October, with landscaping to continue through the end of the year. The first 18 residents will move into their new townhomes in early September with 10 to 15 units being occupied each month after that until year-end.
For more information on how to apply for April’s Grove, please visit the OPAL website at www.opalclt.org/aprils-grove.
Incorporated in 1989, OPAL Community Land Trust provides permanently affordable housing for 139 rental and ownership households on Orcas Island.