Thousands Of New Jobs Coming To Pasco, But What About Housing?

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Host lede: The Pasco manufacturing and business sector is growing fast but the housing sector is lagging. NWPB’s Dori Luzzo Gilmour explains.

Gilmour: In Pasco, Amazon is slated to build two large distribution warehouses that will open in 2022.

Darigold is building a facility, and a hydro-ponic greenhouse is opening. In all, around two thousand new jobs will need to be filled.

According to the organization Local Housing Solutions, Pasco’s comprehensive plan for 2018 thru 2038 found the city will fall thirty-four percent short of projected growth with new home construction.

Tri-Cities HomeBuilders Association Executive Director Jeff Losey says they have been sounding the alarm about underbuilding homes for the past decade.

Losey: “With all these new jobs coming into Pasco it is going to be extremely difficult to think that there is going to be an easy fix to pick up the pieces and create that affordable housing opportunity. It is probably going to have to be in some sort of apartments.”

The Tri-Cities ranks at the tops of some most affordable places to live, Losey says. More people are moving here, putting pressure on the market.

Mayor Pro-Tem Craig Mahoney says the city is examining ways to get more middle housing built for younger, lower-income residents.

Mahoney: “The concept of how we build, how we zone…what sort of projects will be permitted out there. The model has to be a denser growth, it has to be more people per acre.”

Mahoney says Pasco has been working on the issue by expanding Pasco’s Urban Growth boundary and increasing the density of housing. They are also looking at new zoning for “in-fill” buildings on existing lots, as well as transit options for those not living in the city.

Amazon is willing to be flexible with work start times to help with this issue. Whether there are enough workers to fill the jobs will be examined later by N-W-P-B’s Anna King.

I’m Dori Luzzo Gilmour.

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