Lake Washington Institute of Technology Planning to Make Housing More Affordable
Staff and faculty at educational institutions are often heralded for the important role that they play in our communities. We even have a whole week of appreciation dedicated to them! Yet, they are among the scores of people in the Puget Sound region that are struggling to make ends meet on their current salaries, which have not kept up with the rapid rise in housing costs.
As a result, our educational institutions are facing seemingly insurmountable challenges attracting and retaining quality staff and faculty and are now trying to think outside of the box of how they can affect change. One such institution is Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWTech). To address some of these issues they are now exploring ways to utilize their own resources, such as their land, to create affordable housing options for their faculty and staff.
Dr. Amy Morrison, LWTech president, indicated that “housing affordability challenges in our region represent a major impediment to attracting and retaining staff and faculty.” She elaborated further on a recent survey distributed to staff and faculty that demonstrated that, “due to housing costs, many of our employees are faced with a choice between a long commute or potentially relocating and even changing jobs. We, as the college, want to do more to address this issue and are now looking at how we can use our own resources, like the land we own, to provide affordable housing opportunities for our employees.”
Unlocking the ability for educational institutions, like LWTech, to utilize their current resources, such as their land, for affordable housing could incur a wealth of benefits for both faculty/staff and for the college. In what could be a first for Washington state, leaders at LWTech can build off what others across the nation have been able to accomplish in order to provide affordable housing options for their faculty and staff. As Enterprise, we are encouraged to see that other sectors like education are taking up the mantle of affordable housing in a bold way and we look forward to continuing a partnership with LWTech and other local educational institutions to help catalyze their visions into reality.