Affordable housing

Will Ortner, Staff Reporter

On Nov. 6 at 4:30 p.m., the Ellensburg City Affordable Housing Commission (ECAHC) met at Shaw-Smyser Hall to discuss new applications from new housing developments. The ECAHC wants these housing developments to be considered as affordable housing in the city. This could lead to more CWU students and families renting their houses. 

The ECAHC meets on the first and third Wednesday of every month to discuss new developments for affordable housing. The committee is formed by seven community members who listen to companies pitches on affordable housing options.

Teagan Kimbro

This Wednesday, the committee met with three different housing companies to hear their pitches on their affordable housing units. The committee first heard from Katie Glahn of Crytyl Enterprises. Glahn started by explaining how the company has changed its business mission with its houses.

Five years ago Crytyl switched their mission to create more affordable housing in Ellensburg. Glahn said she did her own research to have a better understanding of how they could help the community she said according to the meeting’s agenda minutes.

Glahn continued by showing her company’s plan to provide affordable housing for Ellensburg locals. The houses would have a purchasing price of $165,000 with a $972 payment per month.

Crytyl Enterprises provided a plan that showed they were working with the city to make sure that their housing properties were affordable for everyone. The report finished with the claim that it would take construction one full year to be finished, and Glahn showed a 3D model of what the houses would look like. 

Former CWU student and Ellensburg local Seth Mattix talked about how important he felt it was to find housing that wouldn’t break the bank.

“It’s a top priority. If you can’t find somewhere affordable to live, what are you going to do? You can’t go to school if you don’t have somewhere affordable to live,” Mattix said. 


The affordable housing rush

Mattix also mentioned that Ellensburg housing was much more affordable than it would be if the students were going to school in Seattle.

The second presentation came from Habitat for Humanity. Jared Vallejo gave the committee a brief explanation of how the group had helped serve the community over the past 10 years. 

The Habitat group put in two applications for 18 unit housing projects that would be city-owned on Bender Street and Water Street. The project would take around seven years to be fully completed and would need volunteers from the community to finish the build. According to the group, the project could possibly be sped up. 

Habitat for Humanity would first break ground in September 2020, and they claim that they already have families that are lining up to live in those houses. The third application would be for duplex type housing that would maximize the housing possibilities for multiple families. 

The last group to present to the board was HopeSource. Susan Grindle and her team suggested the city invest in a HopeSource property. The company’s primary goal is to get people off of the streets and into permanent housing.        

The company currently owns 207 housing units and looks to have 500 units in the next three to five years. The company currently owns most of its housing downtown.

All of these companies were putting in place affordable housing for Ellensburg locals primarily. This doesn’t typically help the CWU students find affordable housing for themselves. However, there are some apartment buildings in Ellensburg that many CWU students have lived in the past few years.

CWU freshman Tucker Meeker talked about how new housing options mixed with established housing options have made Ellensburg affordable for people enrolled in school.

“With the new addition of Central Park apartments and off-campus living locations like Brooklane [Village] are helpful for college students moving out of the dorms and are pretty affordable as well,” Meeker said.

While this ECAHC might have contained more information for Ellensburg locals about affordable housing, it can be important for CWU students to be on the lookout too.