Housing Action Teams

The backbone of the Housing Solutions Network is its group of volunteer Housing Action Teams (HATs) that are working to address obstacles that hinder our community’s ability to provide adequate safe and affordable housing. 

The Housing Connections HAT is working to increase rental opportunities through both “unlocking” existing units and promoting the construction of new, small units. They are working to identify which resources exist and which resources could be created to help people build ADUs (including financing, permit processes, designs, and more), and rent out existing spaces (including rooms in homes, ADUs, and single family homes). This group has worked with Local Investors Opportunity Network (LION) to create a potential person-to-person financing mechanism for building ADUs when traditional financing is out of reach. They have also worked with a local landlord to provide a values-based educational video about how to be a (good) landlord. To learn more or get involved, contact rentalconnections@housingsolutionsnetwork.org

Housing Connections HAT March Digest:

  • Drafting an outline and content for the new “Neighbor to Neighbor” campaign which aims to bring in property owners of empty homes to join the effort of supporting local affordable housing
  • Exploring the possible use of a third-party web platform like www.silvernest.com to promote home-sharing
  • Supporting several pilot ADU builds to assess existing resources and document the process for a “how-to” series

The Permit HAT is assessing what regulations and barriers, both actual and perceived, are preventing builders and landowners from creating more housing. They crafted and distributed a Permit Survey which received over 100 responses between April – July 2020 and then created a Permit Survey Report, which was delivered to local government agencies in October 2020. The team is working with the City and County to make improvements on some of the issues documented in the Permit Survey Report, and considering how to make information more easily accessible for people who want to build. To learn more or get involved, contact Teri Nomura at nomura@windermere.com

Permit HAT March Digest:

  • Conducting follow up from the 2020 Permit Survey report with the City of Port Townsend and Jefferson County. These conversations are meant to facilitate collaboration between HSN and local government
  • Exploring a ‘permit navigator’ video series that would guide potential home builders through the most stickier parts of filing a building permit. This series is the first step towards building out the idea for a permit guide, or ombudsman position that could be conducted as a class or seasonal event.

The Tiny Home Communities HAT inspires and brings multiple stakeholders together to turn tiny home community ideas into action and substantive results. Tiny home communities can address the need for affordable housing in multiple ways – lower build costs, greater density, smaller environmental footprint, and shared operating expenses – while increasing community control and equity in the housing market. The team produced a Policy Paper and Call to Action that presents policy approaches to removing zoning barriers to tiny home communities and other affordable density housing options. This was first presented to the City Housing Committee in February 2020, and the group is currently following up with the City to keep the policy proposals moving forward. The HAT also presented a series of webinars on tiny home communities; recordings of these sessions can be found on their Tiny Home Communities Resource Page. The team also incubated and supported the Community Build Project to create 12 ‘tiny shelters’ to house un-sheltered seniors. To learn more or get involved, contact tinyhomes@housingsolutionsnetwork.org

Tiny Home Communities March Digest:

  • Entering into exploratory conversations with the City for collaborating on new housing ordinances
  • Conducting a robust public education campaign, especially around how tiny homes can be a cost effective housing solution
  • Continuing to support the Community Build Project

The Outreach HAT is helping individuals learn about our housing challenges and empowering individuals to see themselves as part of the solution. The team produced a short video that illuminates the problem and shows some of the creative choices individuals are making to increase housing opportunity. The video was produced in fall 2019 and was shown to over 400 community members followed by facilitated conversations before being released for online viewing in summer 2020. The Outreach HAT also helped organize a presentation on the eviction moratorium, and has engaged the local communities of realtors and faith groups in reflecting on how they might support housing solutions. To learn more or get involved, contact outreach@housingsolutionsnetwork.org

Outreach HAT March Digest:

  • Actively managing HSN’s social media channels
  • Networking with national organization, Population Learning Health Collaborative, with an opportunity to share HSN’s model
  • Connecting with our County’s faith communities about supporting further transitional housing projects, like Peter’s Place shelter village
  • Gearing up to cover the next phase of the Community Build Project!

~ More HATs to come ~

Several other Housing Action Teams that have been proposed and we are seeking members to put these into action!

  • Sanitation Housing Action Team: focus would be on exploring alternative and/or emergency sanitation options.
  • Advocacy Housing Action Team: focus would be on creating and aligning policy change proposals at the local level.
  • Tenants’ Rights Housing Action Team: focus would be on education for tenants about their rights, especially under the eviction moratorium (preference for this group to be composed of primarily people who are currently tenants).

If you are interested in one of these HAT concepts, or want to propose a new one, contact justine@jcfgives.org