Letter to the editor: Time to tackle problem of affordable housing in Edmonds



I wish to express my concern about a critical problem in our beautiful, comfortable town: a dire absence of housing for those of modest income as well as for homeless families and individuals.

My husband Dick and I served over a three-month period, on half-a-dozen Friday nights, with a group of wonderful volunteers to provide 20 to 50 adult men and women on evenings the temperature fell below 34 degrees F, with a warm place to sleep, safety, a mat and blanket, and a hot dinner, breakfast and a sack lunch. The Senior Center generously provided hospitality.

Mark and Sue Waldin of Trinity Lutheran Church, the founders and leaders of “We All Belong,” were assisted by members of four other congregations: St. Thomas More and Holy Rosary Catholic Churches, the Edmonds United Methodist Church, and the Edmonds Unitarian Universalist Church.

There are so many good-hearted people in this community! Dick and I were humbled and impressed by the dedication and dependability of these warm, giving volunteers. We were also impressed by the gratitude and friendliness of the guests, toward us and toward each other. It was a lesson for all of us in the value of human beings caring for others and “having each other’s backs.”

The people of Edmonds are on the verge of doing something positive and life-changing for others. On April 24 at 6:30 p.m. in the Plaza Room of the Edmonds Public Library, the Edmonds Housing Instability Coalition in cooperation with the City of Edmonds will present a panel discussion on low income housing needs in Edmonds. Members of the Edmonds Housing Instability Coalition helped lead the effort to bring this critical area of need to the attention of our citizens and city leaders.

Mark Smith, Executive Director of the Housing Consortium of Everett and Snohomish County will moderate a panel of four speakers: Chris Collier, Director of the Alliance for Housing Affordability; Mary Anne Dillon-Bryant, Regional Director of Snohomish County YWCA, Elizabeth Kohl, Director of Social Services, Housing Hope; and Shane Hope, Edmonds Director of Planning and Development Services. They will address the question of what the citizens of Edmonds need to learn about low income housing needs in their community. The audience will be encouraged to ask questions.

I strongly urge all people of conscience in this city to attend!

Monda Van Hollebeke

5 Replies to “Letter to the editor: Time to tackle problem of affordable housing in Edmonds”

    1. The cost of single-family housing will remain relatively high because the cost of building sites are relatively high since there are virtually no open spaces remaining. Multi-family housing could be priced lower than currently if the city council would allow buildings taller than 30′ in parts of the city in addition to Hwy 99.


      1. Raising the 30 foot limit along the Highway 99 corridor, yes. Along Edmonds Way and Marine View Drive, sure. Downtown Edmonds, no.


    2. Joy I would have to agree with you. In fact we have been involved with a couple of younger families and several “older couples” who want to move to Edmonds and to be honest there hasn’t been much under $700,000 and those are homes built in the 80’s and 90’s. They feel they would have to spend another $100,000 plus just to upgrade heating, windows, electrical and plumbing.


  1. Yes Edmonds does need affordable housing for people who have lived here 25, 35, 45 years. For people who just got a tax assessment that jumped $1,000-$1,500 in just this last year. For people who worked through high school, through college, got a job and saved the money to buy a home in Edmonds. Your cause is a noble one so I would suggest you get a group of your friends together and raise the money to fund this project. Please don’t ask “the government,” i.e. the “people” which means the taxpayer. Don’t turn Edmonds into Freeattle which has been turned from a model city into one that no one wants to follow.


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