County officers talk about reasonably priced housing, infrastructure investments with Rep. Larsen


Saturday and Sunday, April 30 and May 1, San Juan County officials toured Representative Rick Larsen (WA-02) through the islands to discuss affordable housing and infrastructure investments.  

On Saturday, April 30, San Juan County Health and Community Services Director Mark Tompkins led Rep. Larsen through a series of County-funded affordable housing projects including the newly renovated, 20-unit Harborview Apartments on Tucker Avenue, the Sunrise neighborhoods on Grover Street, and the site of a future eight-home neighborhood on Price Street. 

San Juan County invested $500,000 from the County Home Fund (the 2018 voter-approved real estate excise tax dedicated to housing) into the Harborview Apartments. By partnering with The Opportunity Council, the County was able to help preserve affordable housing and stabilize rents at 50% of the area median income (AMI). Today, roughly 75% of residents at Harborview Apartments are on a fixed income, according to the Opportunity Council.  

San Juan County also invested $1.6 million from the County Home Fund into the San Juan Community Home Trust’s upcoming Price Street development. San Juan County Health and Community Services Director Mark Tompkins noted the importance of supporting non-profits in the development of affordable housing.  

“One of the biggest challenges we face with projects like this is scalability,” said Tompkins. “Non-profits in rural, geographically isolated counties like San Juan need to find money from many different sources and the County is proud to support the Home Trust in their mission.”   

Since the inception of the County Home Fund in 2018, San Juan County has dedicated over $6.7 million to affordable housing projects across the islands.  

On Sunday, May 1, San Juan County officials toured Rep. Larsen, his District Transportation and Infrastructure Coordinator Paul Roberts, and his county liaison Sean Connell around several roads and culverts that suffered damage from winter storms over the last few years, including Laporte Rd, Killebrew Lake Rd, and Point Lawrence Rd at Doe Bay. The County is working to secure the critical infrastructure and funding to complete the storm-damaged roads.  

“I’m thankful Representative Larsen and his staff took the time to visit and see firsthand the unique challenges an island community faces,” said councilwoman Cindy Wolf.

The County was proud to showcase its work in affordable housing and gain valuable insights from Rep. Larsen about new funding sources available from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).