Winthrop site includes 14 ‘shovel ready’ lots
Opportunities for affordable homeownership in the Methow will expand thanks to an end-of-year land donation to the Methow Housing Trust (MHT).
Deeded over to the MHT by an anonymous donor, the 8.12-acre site in Winthrop near the Cascade Condominiums will be known as “Cascade Meadows,” becoming the trust’s third neighborhood of affordable housing for low- and moderate-income valley residents. Canyon Street in Twisp and McKinney Ridge near Mazama are the others.
The Winthrop property, a recently approved long plat, includes 14 “shovel-ready” lots, with infrastructure (roads, water, sewer) already established, according to an MHT press release.
“This donation is a huge win for the Methow community, both long and short-term,” said MHT Executive Director Danica Ready. “Because the land donation includes neighborhood infrastructure development already installed, the Methow Housing Trust can get right to work building homes for the families waiting for the opportunity to acquire secure, affordable housing in our community. With real estate values continuing to increase rapidly in our valley, this gift could not have come at a better time.”
Ready said \the pandemic has highlighted both the need and the urgency for affordable housing in the valley, noting that “people in secure housing feel better and people in insecure housing feel worse” during such times of uncertainty.
“The homeowners we work with say that the security of their housing during the pandemic has had far more significance than they would have anticipated,” Ready said.
Ready also noted that the real estate market frenzy spurred by the pandemic has “put low- and moderate-income residents in a pinch, as people with greater financial resources seek new homes in the Methow Valley and other rural communities.” With MHT expanding its income eligibility guidelines, it will be able to serve more applicants — which was the land donor’s objective.
MHT intends to break ground at Cascade Meadows in the fall, with new homeowners taking occupancy in the summer of 2022.
The new Cascade Meadows property is near another MHT parcel: 8 acres purchased early in the organization’s history, as a means of banking land for future development. Acquired at the urging of the late Lee Miller, who was dedicated to the MHT’s mission and work, the 8 acres will eventually be developed, but since the Cascade Meadows property already has infrastructure in place it allows the MHT to keep momentum and build as soon as possible.
Said Ready, “This is a huge gift, especially because we don’t have to take a year or two to fundraise for infrastructure expenses. We won’t skip a beat — we’ll be able to keep putting new homes on the ground every year.”