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 June Digest:

  • Engaging in conversations with non-profit lender, Craft3, about financing local ADU projects
  • Calling for feedback on 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 June Digest:

  • Communicating with the City of Port Townsend and Jefferson County on issues of pre-approved ADUs and the permit navigator project
  • Produced the first four Permit Navigator videos for our series, now including how to permit an ADU in both the City and County

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 June Digest:

  • Advocating for amending a City ordinance that re-frames “encampments” for longer term “shelter villages”
  • Conducting a robust public education campaign, especially around how tiny homes can be a cost effective housing solution

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 June Digest:

  • Actively managing HSN’s social media channels
  • Organizing an outreach event at the Port Townsend Farmers’ Market
  • Connecting with our County’s faith communities about supporting Safe Parking Networks
  • Covering the second 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