There are currently more than 40 Orcas families who are pre-approved to purchase an OPAL home. You know these islanders. They are our construction workers, landscapers, housekeepers, teachers, customer service, automotive, hospitality, office and retail staff.
In answer to this need for housing, OPAL is seeking $1.9 million from the County’s Home Fund to build 10 new permanently affordable homes in Eastsound.
The Kidder Way neighborhood is being designed collaboratively by a team of professionals with guidance from a volunteer planning committee, OPAL staff and trustees, neighbors and prospective homeowners.
The design features five new duplex buildings with a common walkway connecting each home to the parking area. There will be six one-bedroom homes with lofts and four two-bedroom homes. Each will include a ground-floor bedroom and bath for accessibility, porches and enclosed outdoor storage areas.
Like all OPAL projects, there is a strong focus on low-impact development and sustainability. The parking areas and pathways will be pervious pavement, and there will be rain gardens to absorb and filter stormwater run-off. In addition, a shared two-sided electric vehicle (EV) charging station will be installed, with conduit for more EV chargers if needed in the future.
There were more than $6 million in requests for the $3.3 million in grant funding that San Juan County announced this spring. County staff evaluated and ranked OPAL’s Kidder Way as the highest scoring project and proposed full funding to the County Council. The County Council awarded a grant of $1.7 million, which is about $200,000 less than OPAL requested. OPAL will increase requests for other grants, and the first-in commitment from the County bodes well for securing more grants.
Total estimated cost for 10 new residences is $5.6 million:
• Homebuyers’ mortgages will cover 35% of costs
• OPAL is applying for nearly $3 million in grants
• $1 million in funding is needed from donors and private foundations