Barbour: Vote Yes on Housing REET

Letter to the Editor

There can be no argument that we live in one of America’s most celebrated beauty spots, and that we may be heard to congratulate ourselves on our good fortune.

Unfortunately the secret is out, and there has been, in the last twenty years or so, an almost meteoric rise in property values. There are residents who made it “under the wire” before this rise, or whose income is sufficient to meet current property prices. We enjoy life on the ultimate “gated community” that our islands have become, surrounded as we are by a 200-foot deep moat.

But, there are those among us who now find themselves unable to buy or rent affordable accommodation. Many have the skills and provide the services we depend upon every day, in education, law enforcement, fire and emergency services, retail shops, healthcare, home construction and maintenance, and more. The list of those who have much to offer our community, but can’t afford to live here, is extensive and growing.

There are of course many scenic, recreational hot spots around the country that find themselves similarly challenged, but few of them are on islands, and most of them have affordable bedroom communities within reach.

The “YES for Homes” measure will be on your ballots in November. I encourage you to consider how our community will deal with the housing problem I have described, and urge you to vote yes on the measure.

Howard Barbour

Deer Harbor, WA

 

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