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Commissioners approve housing needs assessment

The Mason County commissioners approved a proposal for a housing needs assessment to inform the housing chapter of the comprehensive plan.

According to the packet, the county is looking for consultive services to perform a housing needs assessment to evaluate and recommend housing needs to inform the comprehensive plan and identify the highest needs of affordable housing.

Housing supply is in short supply for public and affordable housing. According to the Point in Time Counts, there are more than 100 individuals unsheltered and 146 individuals in temporary housing including emergency shelters. The packet states about 50% of the households report a chronic health condition as a reason for housing instability and homelessness. It is unknown how many people are couch surfing.

“The goal of this housing needs assessment is to identify the greatest need for housing types county-wide for households with an area median income at or below 60% with the available data and resources to compile such an assessment,” the background in the briefing packet states.

The packet says Mason County will review zoning and building regulations and recommend affordable and accessible housing options and are responsive to demographic changes.

Mason County is projected to have a 34% population increase from 2016 to 2036, which is about 21,480 more people, according to the packet. The housing needed to accommodate new residents is estimated to be about 8,300 homes.

According to the U.S. Census, 22% of homes are renter occupied, which is lower than the statewide average of 37%. Mobile homes and other housing account for 20% of housing in the county. Multi-family units comprise 5% of the county housing.

According to the housing chapter of the comprehensive plan, apartments with five or more units account for 3% of available housing.


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