Skagit Housing Crisis

Skagit County is facing a significant housing crisis.  

In his sermon on February 7th, Pastor Cody shared some of the details from the Skagit County Housing Summit that was held on January 22nd.  A few of the details he shared included the following:

    • The number of households experiencing homelessness has been steadily increasing each year for the past three years.  There were 86 households identified as homeless or imminently homeless in June 2013; by December 2015, that number had climbed to 355.  If things don’t change, it is projected to continue to climb.
    • It isn’t only those living below the poverty line that are being impacted by the shortage of housing — both rentals and sales.  There is a lack of available housing for every income level, which means there is a backlog of people looking for housing, which ends up having the greatest impact on the most vulnerable people who don’t have the means to commute from outside of the county to jobs within the county.
    • Speaking of commuters…  There are over 11,000 people who live outside of Skagit County and commute into the county daily for work. Presumably, that number would be considerably lower if there was more housing available closer to the workplace.
    • There have been no new multi-unit apartment complexes built anywhere in Skagit County for the past 5 years.
    • There is an immense need for immediate housing.  Currently, there is an immediate need for 844 housing units for farm workers.  There is an additional need for over 5,000 additional rental units in order to meet the immediate demand.
    • The average cost of rent for a 2-bedroom apartment in Skagit County is $990.  Using the general guideline of no more than 30% of household income going to cover rent in order for housing to be considered “affordable,” a household needs an annual income of at least $38,000 in order for rent to be affordable.  For a single-income household, that comes out to an hourly wage of $19 per hour (currently, the average hourly wage for a renter in Skagit County is $11.91).

The information shared in the presentations at the Housing Summit can be found in downloadable PDF documents on the Skagit County website at http://www.skagitcounty.net/Departments/HumanServices/main.htm

If you would like more information, or to share any ideas or concerns, please contact Pastor Cody.