Kitsap County and the City of Bremerton have selected EcoNorthwest as the consultant to perform a countywide affordable housing inventory and market analysis study.
The study will include information about the current state of the local affordable housing market, an analysis of the gap between available affordable housing and needed units, 10-20 year projections of future housing needs and recommendations for policy tools that would impact the development of additional units of affordable housing.
The scope of the study will cover all of Kitsap County and is due to be completed by January 2020. Funding for the study comes from the City of Bremerton, the Kitsap County Block Grant Program, and the Kitsap County Housing and Homelessness Division.
The study plan was introduced in a 2018 update to the Kitsap County Comprehensive Plan as part of an implementation strategy in the Housing and Human Services Element. It will provide information for the upcoming Kitsap County and City of Bremerton HOME Consortium Consolidated Plan 2021-2025, and establish the priorities and goals to guide the allocation of Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnership Program funds over the five-year period.
“It makes sense to partner with Bremerton on a project that will benefit all Kitsap cities and unincorporated areas,” Commissioner Ed Wolfe, the chair of the Board of County Commissioners, said.
“Affordable housing issues are a challenge across all of our jurisdictions and having the best possible information will help us make informed policy decisions about how to improve the affordable housing situation.”
Bremerton Mayor Greg Wheeler said, “Affordable housing is a challenge for our community and I have chosen to focus on this issue as a high priority in my administration. Having the ability to access high-quality data will be immensely helpful in making future policy decisions to improve affordable housing in Bremerton.”
“EcoNorthwest’s depth of experience and range of expertise in this type of work made them a stand-out candidate for doing this study,” said Kristen Jewell, manager of the Kitsap County Department of Human Services Housing and Homelessness Division.
“They have a long history of helping communities identify workable strategies that help them move forward.”
Upon completion, the study will be available to the public. Several public presentations of the findings and recommendations will be scheduled, according to county officials.