Nordic Cottage design altered after community feedback

Project will now be 8 one-bedroom homes intended for seniors

After receiving feedback during a community meeting in June, a revised design of the Nordic Cottage project has been proposed, going from six 2-bedroom homes to eight 1-bedroom homes.

The initial design was supposed to be three cottages made up of 2 two-bedroom homes per cottage, totaling six homes that were intended for families, specifically women and young children, Poulsbo’s Housing, Health and Human Services director Kim Hendrickson said at the Nov. 2 City Council meeting.

Following a community meeting in June, much feedback was provided on improvements to the design of the homes, including a high interest in housing low-income seniors. Other concerns were access to properties south of the project, siting too much on a small parcel (importance of gardening, landscaping) and only serving six residents when the need is much greater.

While considering the comments from that meeting, a revised design was submitted — two cottages made up of four 1-bedroom homes per cottage, totaling eight homes intended for seniors and people with disabilities.

“I’m always up for a challenge,” said Matthew Coates of Coates Design, architect of the project. “The feedback we received was quite helpful because it gave us a new direction, a direction the community could support. There’s room for a little sidewalk and some planting to create a little front yard. It’s enough to give that defensible space.”

Additionally, there will be eight individual garden beds for each home so they can grow what they want, along with a play area behind the cottages. Vegetation will be placed along the border to ensure privacy.

Each home is about 500 square feet and will have its own color scheme, and there is a possibility solar panels will be placed on the roof. Half of the homes are ADA-accessible, and people with disabilities will be prioritized on the first floor. There will also be a lobby. Coates said arrangements have been made with the nearby Gateway Fellowship church to provide parking for tenants.

“It’s not huge but it’s certainly not tiny,” Coates said. “What we’re going after is a kind of a clean, very inviting, bright and energetic space that really feels warm and welcoming.”

Housing Kitsap will be providing project management. Executive director Heather Blough said, We “have the depth and knowledge to develop low-income housing.”

Hendrickson said she and Mayor Becky Erickson have long hoped that this project would be for people making 30% or less of area median income, which would be in the $30,000 a year range or below. Both said people have already been contacting them about trying to get on a waitlist.

“We’re looking to serve folks on a fixed income that are living on social security or disability payment,” Hendrickson said.

Erickson said Nordic Cottage will be a model for future affordable housing projects in the city.

“I think the design is beautiful,” she said. “They’re small but very efficient. I think they will work very well. This is not the easiest project we’ve done, however. Frankly, we’re learning a lot as we go. We’re going to build these and then the next ones will be a whole lot easier. If a little town like Poulsbo can do this, any city can do this.”

Construction of the homes is scheduled for summer of 2023.

Project background

In September of 2020, the council allocated city-owned land at two locations (609 NE Lincoln Road and Klingle natural area) for affordable and deeply affordable housing. In July of 2021, the council passed a sales and use tax to support affordable housing.

The city’s application for federal HOME funds was successfully awarded at $400,000 for the project. The Department of Commerce awarded $240,000 for the project earlier in the year. A member of the project’s steering committee also created a “Friends of Nordic Cottage” initiative to organize fundraising/donations.

Revised design of Nordic Cottage.

Revised design of Nordic Cottage.