Affordable small home village opens on Vashon Island, Wash.

One community is selling $170,000 small homes on Vashon Island, and it may help in the affordable housing crisis.

To get away from Seattle’s expensive housing market, some aren’t just moving farther. Some are also moving into much smaller homes.

Sunflower is a new community of 14 affordable, small homes on Vashon Island. The community is run by the non-profit Vashon Household.

“Most of the folks are first-time homebuyers,” said Vashon Household Executive Director Chris Szala. “Even though (here) you’re close to your neighbor, probably not as close as (in) the city.”

Related: Vashon Islanders feel the housing squeeze

The homes are 750 square feet, one-bed, one-bathroom standalone units. Each home is $170,000. The community serves those making 80 percent or less of the area’s median income, which Szala states is $48,850 for one person and about $54,500 for a couple.

The Sunflower community is a community land trust, which means the land is owned by the non-profit, but the homes are owned by the residents. Szala adds the residents are a combination of retirees and the working class who have been forced out of Seattle due to rising prices.

Carole Meriam, one of the new homeowners, said she hasn’t owned a house in 25 to 30 years. Her home should be completed Thursday.

“Elated. I can hardly wait,” she said. “It was just a miracle it all came about. It’s a gift to the island.”

© 2017 KING-TV


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