Chelan, Douglas Counties Will Need Another 17,000+ Homes By 2044
Our Valley, Our Future (OVOF) has shared information from the Washington state Department of Commerce projecting future housing needs over the next 20 years in Chelan and Douglas County. Statewide, the need has been estimated at 1 million housing units by 2044
Our Valley, Our Future coordinator Steve Maher broke the Commerce Dept. projections down based on “medium” population or “high” population growth in the two county region through 2044.
The numbers are eye-opening;
Current Population: 79,141
Projected population in 2044 assuming "medium" population growth over the next 20 years; 94, 098 (18.9% increase)
Projected population in 2044 assuming "high" population growth over the next 20 years: 116,636 (47.4% increase)
Current Population: 42,938
Projected population in 2044 assuming "medium" population growth over the next 20 years; 53,967 (25.7% increase)
Projected population in 2044 assuming "high" population growth over the next 20 years: 61,875 (44.1% increase)
Current Population: 99,123
Projected population in 2044 assuming "medium" population growth over the next 20 years; 127,647 (28.7% increase)
Projected population in 2044 assuming "high" population growth over the next 20 years: 148,879 (50.1% increase)
In an analysis of the numbers, Maher looked at the number of new homes Chelan and Douglas counties needs to catch up with their housing shortages.
Under "medium" population growth over the next 20 years, Chelan County would need 10,032 new homes by 2044 and Douglas County would need 6,775 new homes according to the state projections. If population growth is “high”, the number of new homes needed in Chelan County would rise to 19,843 and 10,105 in Douglas County by 2044
Chelan County has added an average of 343 new homes per year between 2000 and 2020 Douglas County has added 219 per year on average over the same time span. Those averages would have to increase to a minimum of 501 per year in Chelan County and 338 per year in Douglas County for 2024-2044 with a medium population growth rate and significantly higher if growth is faster.
In Grant County. "medium" population growth will require 17, 185 homes added in the next 20 years and 25, 868 if the growth rate is "high"
Housing prices have been a concern with many unable to afford to purchase a home in the Wenatchee real estate market with soaring prices in Leavenworth, Chelan and Wenatchee. Median prices in Wenatchee have hovered around $500K and higher in Chelan and Leavenworth
The Commerce Dept. figures indicate adding housing at market-rates will not be enough to meet the local demands, whether the population growth in Chelan and Douglas county is considered medium or high. Maher said the state projects between 40 and 55 percent of the new homes that are added over the next 20 years will need to be affordably priced for people earning under 80 percent of the area’s median income.
Maher says The “Regional Housing Approach” game changer in the OVOF Action Plan is guided by an ad hoc ‘Housing Solutions Group’ that is working to identify ways to generate more housing inventory for all residents. This year, the Housing Solutions Group will release a series of recommendations to add more housing for low-income and middle-income residents.
The Housing Solutions Group include representatives from Chelan County, the cities of Wenatchee, East Wenatchee and Leavenworth, the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce, owners of businesses that work in the housing industry, the Housing Authority of Chelan County and the City of Wenatchee, the Common Ground Community Housing Trust, Serve Wenatchee Valley, and Residents Coalition of Chelan County.
To learn more about Our Valley, Our Future