BI coalition works to provide affordable housing

A Bainbridge Island coalition is working together to provide affordable housing.

The reHOME coalition says by using 100% recycled or repurposed materials it can build homes at one-third the cost.

A creation of architect Matthew Coates, the reHOME team is made up of Coates Design Architects, Clark Construction, Friends of the Farms and Housing Resources Bainbridge.

The collaborative seeks to reduce the 2,000 tons of construction waste local contractors estimate they dump into landfills annually.

“The alarming lack of affordable housing locally and nationwide fueled my ambition to kickstart reHOME to address both the housing crisis and improve the sustainability of the building industry,” said Coates, president of Coates Design Architects.

The prototype reHOME project will provide affordable farmer intern housing by creating three tiny, recycled homes on the Morales public farmland, owned by the city of Bainbridge Island and operated by Friends of the Farms.

Due to the lack of inventory and high cost of development and residual effects of the 2008 financial crisis, many Bainbridge working families struggle to find housing they can afford, including school employees, farm and restaurant workers, child care professionals, small business owners and those who provide essential services, a coalition news release says.

“Friends of the Farms is thrilled to be chosen as the pilot reHOME project,” said Heather Burger, executive director of that group. “When housing is available and affordable, more land is farmed, new jobs are created as young people are attracted to and stay in our community to start businesses and families.”

Jeff Miller of Coates Design’s state-of-the-art software has been designed to source, vet and catalog construction materials and will be available free to organizations desiring to create reHOME neighborhoods.

Storage containers to house building materials are also donated by the reHOME team.

Housing Resources Bainbridge and Clark Construction are providing project management and construction oversight for the duration of the project. Both entities are optimistic regarding future applications for reHOME while Clark employees are providing voluntary monetary donations to the project’s budget.

All team member firms are delivering professional services pro bono. Additional project financing will be raised through grant funding and a public outreach campaign.

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