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Skagit Habitat for Humanity buys La Conner property

Skagit Habitat for Humanity recently purchased the property on the corner of Caledonia and Third streets in La Conner. The Town of La Conner plans to change its comprehensive plan to allow multifamily housing, and the nonprofit will help build six new townhomes three years from now. The project would help alleviate the housing crisis.

Tina Tate, CEO of Skagit Habitat, said these homes are for people who fall on the lower end of the median income continuum. "These are hardworking families. They have good jobs. They have to qualify to buy a home," said Tate. Not only that but, "they help build the home, so they have a great deal of pride in ownership. We know that our home buyers are people who upkeep their home."

Speaking to some of the neighbors, Tate has heard support for the plan.

Skagit Habitat is expanding to meet its board's goal of building 15 homes a year by 2028. It is changing its focus from single-family homes to multifamily projects, which will add more starter homes more quickly. Building multifamily homes is also less expensive. The La Conner property will be the organization's first true multifamily project.

Finding land, especially for larger projects, is a stumbling block. "We're always on the lookout for any land, but particularly larger pieces of land where we can build more units in one space," said Tate. This lot is a boon, fitting the organization's goals.

Habitat for Humanity focuses on low-income housing and "pretty much everybody in Skagit County qualifies as low income," said Tate. "These are people that work at grocery stores, at restaurants. They work at the hospital. They work in various different places where they don't make enough money to purchase a home or pay rent without paying more than 50 percent of their income."

If the comprehensive plan is not changed, the organization will build three homes. Skagit Habit, though, envisions six, three-bedroom, two-story townhomes. If successful, eighteen more bedrooms will be coming to La Conner.


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