2023-10-05 Other:Jefferseron County Realtors lunch/panel- JCAR Report – jane Armstrong

Complete By: jane Armstrong
Date of Meeting: 2023-10-05
Government Body: Other:
Agenda Link:
Uploaded Materials:

Topic: Michael Luis consultant public policy and communications
Takeaway: Government is more effective at regulating than making stuff happen (my words). When bills are passed to enable something it takes people like the ones in this room to take that opportunity and bring it to reality.
His perspective on subject of affordable housing:
Multi family and single family housing are completely different subjects and should not mix in conversation….different audience, different constraints, different markets.
housing solutions have to scale:
can the average builder do it,
average /basic/not glitzy design or housing is okay,
10-30 units per acre
ADU legislation is coming to put two adu’s on any sf lot.
Cities must allow a minimum number of these designs: duplex, triplex to 6; townhouse, courtyard, stacked, 2 adu’s. Without a residency requirement. (PT has done much of this already)

He made a comment that this isn’t a political discussion as much as others. He was posturing in a consultant type of way, HIs point was that the current need for affordable housing and housing is agreed to by most regardless of political leanings or affiliation.

He spoke heavily to the appeal of the ADU legislation and the opportunity it provides realtors to help their potential clients stay in home with Adu’s and alternative approaches. Challenge of introducing older people with limited resources to “building”, “landlord responsibilities” as new skills and need for money to stay in place, but also to make an THOW or DADU happen. Realtors have some of those tools today with property management. He spoke to the need to address the following in developing solutions and risk mitigation: landlord, reducing cost by not looking at one-off’s but multiples, modular possibilities, financing, builder/contractor responsibilities.
Another comment, is that you never know when the policy/legistlative window will open in Olympia/elsewhere, and you must be ready.
Notable Dates:
Opportunities For Engagement: I had thought this presentation as largely for realtors, but it wasn’t. It was for a wider audience that included housing providers and advocates . I was trying to think of how to find common ground with realtors. I would like to see a smaller roundtable of HSN, maybe OHT , H4H, Peninsula Housing,, a few commercial lenders, local builder?, and realtors on how we can support each other in bringing more local housing to fruition…It might start as a smaller coffee group. Could we have brochures for realtors under our logos, not theirs, to provide background information? Same thing on a welcome packet to a new homeowner, new to area homeowner….

Topic: Mason Virant, Assoc Director of Wa Center for Real estate Research
Takeaway: poor guy, He got a bit slammed on his summary data. So much is left out to have some of this comparable among small and large counties that in the details, it is “inaccurate”, not a full picture. Particularly in rental numbers, it is grossly omissive. There is a minimum apartment complex size and/or fuller inclusion of subsidized rentals, so our average rent holds at $1000. Peggy Webster’s numbers would indicate that 2/3 of the presented database may be subsidized housing which leaves out most rentals in PT or in the county. And there would be the messiness of how do you consider substandard, non conforming rentals? But we know that there is a lack of rentals, a lack of data on what rents are and how they are changing. this might be the biggest gap for the state and for small counties/towns and for sure for us.
The good news is that breakdowns of the data can be requested so long as we aren’t requesting big reports. The good news is that this is likely an area that small counties like those on the peninsula and methow valley might have an interest in putting together what they need/want to know because so much would be in common. or we might ask how they determine what is lacking from the DOC reports.
To me it is very concerning that there is such a vacuum on rental market information. Big decisions are being made on funding, zoning, etc with no quantitative /qualitative/trend information available. What you don’t measure doesn’t get impacted? How do we “sell/educate/influence” without information?
Notable Dates:
Opportunities For Engagement: engage with other peninsula counties on what they need for rental market information and what sources may be available.

I think in our community and others, the people who need ro would want or take rental housing is huge and unseen/unheard… and I think this is particularly the case in workforce…. People new to area, people working to build up $ to buy, people with irregular earnings, people who will share housing in different formats,…. people with heavy work/family loads

Topic: continued with Mason VIrant and the panel
Takeaway: Our lack of affordability in home purchase for existing and first time homeowners is now the second worse in the state.Taking the high average house prices against local working incomes, it is likely worse than it looks in the graphs. While almost all areas in the state are down 25% on house sales/on market, Jefferson county prices have not slumped much, and less than the rest of the state. There is no recognition or talk of in migration in any of the data collection or presentation. There is heavy weighting of this presentation to the impacts for seniors in our county: Dimensions mentioned: only 3 MF housing is for seniors, seniors are among our very low income, there is high single-person senior occupancy,
Average new housing cost for PT permitting without land is approximately $250,000. New housing cost is significantly undervalued in how the permitting process works. It was laughable in the room. That this data is available is encouraging to look at how it distributes out on square footage, modular v.s. other construct, adu…. how do we get it?
The data is really prepared mostly for DOC/DOL/State/Federal uses and we locally try to green from it.

The panel consisted of Liz, Jamie M -H4H, Steve Tharinger, Mike Chapman, Emma Bolin-PT Dire, Josh Peters DCD-Cty, Pinky Mango, Dir of Environmental Health, LD Richert, Planning Commissioner (who spoke more like a builder). A missed opportunity as the time was consumed with their thorn and roses individually v.s. panel discussion/questions. Great group to have gathered.
Notable Dates:
Opportunities For Engagement: Note to file: Peggy Webster-best local at accessing available data (Peninsula Housing board and Housing fund board-husband on PT planning commission). She was accessing while they spoke.
Judy Alexander, Debbi Steele, Cindy Brooks -best (advocates/representatives) at getting their particular questions/issues/asks in… from those in the general audience. Michelle Sandoval was also v good at this.

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