Letter to the Editor: Seniors need more affordable housing options



We have a housing problem in this state. I know because I see it in my own community, and my husband and I are scared to death that we may experience it, too.

We live here in Woodland in a manufactured housing community. We are getting older, and we’ve retired. My husband is on dialysis and is in a wheelchair. I’ve had my hip and knee replaced. We knew we needed to downsize. We looked around and found a nice manufactured housing community here in Woodland. The rent was reasonable at that time so we bought a house here. Neighbors are friendly and everyone looks out for each other.

Then the rent started going up every year. It started at $610. Next month it goes up to $1,250. Our house payments in Vancouver were $1,200.

What are our options?

1. We could sell, but there are probably 20 other homes for sale here. No one wants to buy when they have no idea what the rent will be next.

2. We can’t move our house because there’s no place to move it to. Besides, movers won’t move a house that’s more than 20 years old, and they’re not meant to be moved. They are considered permanent.

3. If we are evicted, we lose our $100,000 investment. How many people can afford to lose $100,000? That leaves us unable to rent an apartment with first and last deposits and all the other fees. It would eat up that money quickly.

I see homes selling in Seattle for $450,000 or more. That’s not even an option on Social Security anymore.

Other states are starting to find ways to help aging populations. One is a federal tax credit of 75% when selling to a “resident owned cooperative.” As an example, the property owner would ordinarily pay $150,000 on capital gains tax. They would pay only $37,000 on the sale. I would think that would be a very attractive deal.

Our population is aging. Over 65 is growing faster than any other age group. Hopefully we all will be in that age group at some day.

Everyone needs to look at what’s coming, and we all need to come up with solutions or a very large segment of our seniors will be on the street. I’m not looking forward to it.

Robin Zorich