Letter: Navy needs to be part of the solution for housing

Editor,

I read in Saturday’s, March 23 Record that Whidbey leaders in planning and real estate met to try to “solve” Whidbey’s burgeoning housing scarcity crisis.

Realtors, of course, wanted to hobble the carefully tailored GMA environmental rules to allow more raw land to be converted to housing.

Old saying: “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” County Planner (Meredith) Penny dimmed this “solution” by saying in effect that local contractors won’t build multi-family units because of large capital requirements, no matter how much land is available. Meanwhile, land consultant M. Luis asserted the Navy is first in the list of drivers of county population (seeking housing).

So where’s the Navy?

The 300-pound gorilla in this whole problem, soaking up available housing as fast as it is available and about to become gray-whale sized with its expansion of operations, is nowhere to be seen.

Likely thinking “let the local yokels figure out more housing for our flyers’ families,” using their natural resources and their dime.

Here is the “Sound of Freedom” I am waiting to hear: the Navy offering to put serious skin in the Whidbey housing game, with real money for multi-family housing projects and real requests to and discussion with locals about how can we strongly help this crunch we are creating.

Mark Wahl

Langley

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