The Methow Housing Trust was formed to address this need following a six-month housing needs assessment involving a diverse committee of valley residents, sponsored by the post-fire Methow Valley Long Term Recovery Group.
Here are some key finding from that in-depth 2016 assessment:
- Area median income (AMI) in the valley is $39,539, compared to the State average of $60,294
- 60% of Methow households earn less than $50,000/yr, and 25% earn less than $25,000/yr.
- Nearly 40% of residents pay over 35% of their monthly income on rent or a mortgage payment.
- In 2000, 51% of owner-occupied homes were valued at >$150,000. Now only 17% are in that price range, and most of those are in remote areas or in poor condition.
- Over 40% of homes in the Methow Valley are seasonal and/or vacation use homes, and only 13% of housing stock is available for rent.
- Nearly 30% of children in the valley live below the poverty level.
The Methow Housing Trust, one of over 250 community land trusts in the country, has already achieved 501c3 status, recruited an active, bold and motivated Board of Directors, hired Danica Ready to serve as Executive Director, opened an office at TwispWorks, and secured land in the towns of Twisp and Winthrop - with space and zoning capacity for 40+ homes.
Our primary program focus is to build quality, affordable homes in central locations that will forever remain affordable to future generations. We will accomplish this by keeping the underlying land in trust, focusing on matching homes with resident buyers living at 60-100% of area median income, and working in partnership with the towns of Twisp and Winthrop to develop attractive, vibrant neighborhoods. Methow Housing Trust will launch this effort by building an average of 5 homes per year in 2018-2020.