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The San Juans Needs Affordable Housing So Badly They're Boating it in

A nonprofit group is loading unused Canadian houses on a barge and shipping them over to the San Juans in order to create more affordable housing

Pretty much every part of Western Washington could use a little bit more affordable housing. Not every part of Western Washington is as creative as the San Juan Islands.

The San Juan Community HomeTrust found the perfect solution to help grow the islands' housing shortage: put a bunch of unused Canadian houses on a barge and ship them on over.

The houses are small by modern standards and old, built in the early to mid-20th century in a booming suburb of Victoria, B. C., where eager buyers are now clearing the land to make way for new construction.

With the number of people in the county living in poverty rising, the influx of houses that will sell in the $160,000 to $210,000 range is expected to provide affordable homes for 14 different families that otherwise did not exist and would not be constructed for a long while if built from scratch.

The homes don't come perfect. Many of them were damaged in some way because of the messy transit process. Chimneys and basements were abandoned, causing issues to the rest of the building. Some of the homes have sagged or shifted due to being removed from their foundations and boarded on new platforms. Many of those issues will be fixed once the houses reach their new home. And then become homes once again for others.
· Unloved B.C. homes find new lives on San Juan Islands [ST/NYT]