BI schools staff already interested in Wintergreen

Superintendent has been calling for affordable housing for years

An affordable housing project coming to Bainbridge Island could really help the school district attract employees.

BISD superintendent Peter Bang-Knudsen has been calling for such projects for years. People being able to live where they work is critical in attracting teachers and other staff.

At the Jan. 27 school board meeting, Housing Resources Bainbridge executive director Phedra Elliott addressed the district about the 31 affordable units at Winter Green Townhomes. Bang-Knudsen said, “This not only benefits the island, but also BISD staff members.”

Groundwork has begun for the townhomes at Wintergreen Lane near Virginia Mason Medical Center. The 73-unit overall project is expected to be completed by fall.

With a base price of $369,000, the 789-square feet, two-story townhomes will include: a bedroom, a den, one and a half baths, a parking spot and shared green space. The affordable housing price will be between $245,000-$354,000.

With subsidies from a $2 million State Housing Trust Fund, buyers will receive an average of $64,500 per home with additional federal Housing and Urban Development funding of $15,000 to $25,000. HRB Real Estate Services will provide sales services to buyers for free.

Elliott said buyers who earn 80% or below the area median income are eligible: one-person household, $57,650; two people, $65,850; three people, $74,100; and four people, $82,300.

Some BISD employees are already applying to buy: a BISD bus driver and a daycare provider with one child and a combined income of $72,000, a first-year teacher making $61,900 with a stay-at-home spouse and one child; and a paraeducator and partner earning $62,200 a year.

The townhomes join other affordable housing on BI, including Ferncliff Village, Sparrows Condominiums and Wallace Cottages.

New buyers will purchase a home with HRB owning the land and leasing it to the homeowner. The homes are to remain affordable for 99 years. Resale price is based on a formula built into the lease that allows the owner to build equity while keeping the home affordable for the next buyer. When homeowners move, they must sell to another income-qualified buyer, and HRB Real Estate Services will handle the transaction for both parties without commission.

HRB homes appreciate at a rate typically slower than those on the open market. In 10 years, a $289,500 Wintergreen Townhome will cost $335,977 maximum, but homeowners will still build some equity.

For example, a Ferncliff Village home built in 2013 sold for $170,000 in 2022. That same home was appraised at $672,000 and sold for $204,500. The homeowner gained $84,000 in equity by earning a 1.5% annual return making capital upgrades, and paying down the mortgage principal.

For details, go to or call 206-842-1909.