As 2024 approaches, Chelan County will be focusing on the housing crisis in the coming year.  

Commissioner Kevin Overbay says they're looking at dedicating some county surplus land toward housing for low-income people struggling to find a home. 

"There is actually one project that we're doing a study on right now in the Chelan area," said Overbay. "That's about a 20-acre parcel that we're looking at as perhaps a future sight for both multifamily and single family (housing)." 

The county is working with the local housing authority and housing trust on the project in Chelan. 

Both agencies assist in providing affordable housing to households that are below the area's median income. 

The Housing Authority of Chelan County and the City of Wenatchee assists households that are 80% or below the area's median income.  

The Chelan Valley Housing Trust, as one of 13 housing trusts in the state, will offer housing to households with special needs or incomes below 30% of the Area Median Income. It includes people and families experiencing homelessness. 

Chelan Valley Housing Trust is one of three housing trusts in Chelan County, along with Upper Valley Mend in Leavenworth and Common Ground Community Housing Trust in Wenatchee. 

With three housing trusts, Chelan County has almost 25 percent of the 13 housing trusts across Washington. 

Overbay says another plan to tackle the housing problem involves the Center For Alcohol & Drug Treatment in Wenatchee, which is owned by the county. 

"We received a proviso from the state this last year, as well as funding that the county had here on the local level, that we're working towards moving the center to a new location and building a new center, which will free up that space " Overbay said. "And we can actually look at some additional housing for transitional and permanent supportive housing." 

The county is also looking to wave some permit fees connected to housing projects from the local housing authority and housing trust. 

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