We need to increase and diversify our housing stock
Snohomish County residents deserve to have access to affordable housing. Anyone who works hard to support their family and has played by the rules shouldn't be living paycheck to paycheck because of rent.
If elected I will:
Work to create affordable housing and pathways to homeownership.
I want to create a sweat equity homeownership program to help hard working families escape the rent cycle and begin building their future. A hard-working family who can afford rent but just can't seem to put enough away for a downpayment should have the option of rolling up their sleeves and applying their good ol' American work ethic to create a future for their family through sweat equity homebuilding. Neighbors who've shared the experience of contributing their blood, sweat, and tears to the creation of their neighborhood will foster stronger community and better neighbors.
Modeled after the USDA sweat equity program, the county will be the guarantor of subsidized low interest construction loans/mortgages, allowing working families to build their homes in lieu of a down payment. The program will require initial capitalization and operating funds, but since it is a mortgage model the funds will replenish themselves over time allowing for a sustainable program.
Support a community land trust dedicated to creating affordable housing.
If we want to make sure there is affordable housing in Snohomish county we need to fight for a non-profit dedicated to acquiring land and ensuring its affordability for generations to come. Land trusts make sure there is land available to build housing for the workforce, working families, and low income people.
The Kulshan Land Trust in Bellingham is a great example of the innovative housing models that could be used to increase affordable housing stock. The creation of the trust would allow potential homeowners to purchase the house on the property while the land trust, a non-profit, retains ownership of the land. This model brings down the cost of a mortgage be removing the additional costs of purchasing the land.
The reduced costs of a land trust allow the flexibility to create different types of housing. For instance, in Burlington, Vermont a land trust facilitated the creation of co-op condominiums as well as sweat equity condominiums, thereby efficiently and effectively increasing affordable housing.
Streamline code, condo liability reform, and fee simple lots.
We need more homes and more different types of homes. To achieve this goal, we need policy that will allow for diverse housing options so families can choose the home that is right for them. Getting rid of unnecessary rules that stifle choice makes sense.