Washington Struggles With Housing Affordability

<p>Housing affordability is becoming a major issue in Washington, where workers increasingly have to "drive to qualify".</p>
November 19, 2007, 5am PST | Nate Berg
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"Rural counties compete for new business and industry - then find new workers can't afford to live in their gentrifying communities."

"Spiraling city housing costs push workers into ever more distant suburbs - a phenomenow known as 'Drive until you qualify' - thereby defeating the state Growth Management Act's goal of containing urban-level development in cities."

"Affluent retirees and people who can afford second homes move into quaint small communities, driving up housing costs and demanding services that shrinking small-town budgets can't afford."

"Affordable senior housing will be a critical issue as Washington's 65-and-older population increases from 700,000 to 1.2 million over the next 13 years, he said."

"Washington now ranks seventh in the nation in housing costs, and the Seattle area ranks eighth-highest among U.S. cities, Herman said."

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Published on Thursday, November 15, 2007 in The Columbian
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