Saratoga Community Housing is a grassroots non-profit organization formed in response to the skyrocketing real-estate prices that have created a shortage of truly affordable housing here in Island County. Using the traditional Community Land Trust (CLT) model, Saratoga Community Housing acquires land and homes to provide affordable homeownership opportunities for lower to moderate income residents. Affordable housing built within the Community Land Trust (CLT) model contributes to the vitality and sustainability of communities in many ways….
INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES BENEFIT:
- Limited income individuals and families become homeowners
- Homeowners build equity in their homes, an investment in their future
- Homeownership promotes healthy families and community involvement
- CLTs provide ongoing support and education for their homeowners
- Safe and stable housing means safe and stable communities
- Affordable housing allows people to live where they work (stable workforce)
- Community Land Trusts protect limited income residents from displacement
- Communities make the most of the land while preserving green space
Our Board of Trustees:
Julia Price – President: Julia has worked for Island Property Management/Island Construction since 1996 performing loan administration, project management, property management, sales and marketing and administrative assistant functions. Her previous experience includes 4 years as an office manager and administrative assistant at J.P. Morgan & Co. in San Francisco. Julia served for 7 years on the board of Habitat for Humanity of Island County from 2003 to 2010 and as its Board President from 2009 to 2010.
Janice Libbey – Secretary/Treasurer: Janice has been employed by Whidbey Island Bank for over 43 years. She currently holds the position of VP/Compliance & Security Officer. Over the last eight years Janice has been involved in the Bank’s membership with Federal Home Loan Bank Home$tart grant program, working with the Housing Authority of Island County and Habitat for Humanity of Island County to secure grant funds for home buyers. For many years she has helped to promote the Bank’s annual funding assistance to Kulshan Community Land Trust in Whatcom County for their affordable homeownership program.
Katharine Gray – Vice President: Katharine has been working at the Housing Authority of Island County since moving from California over ten years ago. She has a background in finance, accounting and property management. In addition to her accounting responsibilities at the Housing Authority, she is also the Homeownership Coordinator for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program and has helped 15 low-income families become first time homeowners. Katharine also provides homeownership counseling and loan packaging. Katharine enjoys volunteering as a Court Appointed Special Advocate here in Island County. As a CASA worker, she spends time with children that have been removed from their homes and placed in foster care by the court system.
Martha Olsen: Martha’s awareness of housing issues began in community organizing and civil rights activities in the 1960’s. Her professional life included work as a HUD-certified Occupancy Specialist at CamBey Apartments and as fiscal manager for Senior Services of Island County. She spent 17 years as accountant and CFO for Service Alternatives, Inc., whose work includes housing for challenged children and adults. She and her husband remodeled an abandoned house. They were Section 8 landlords for 10 years. She is also co-founder of Small Miracles Coupeville Medical Support Fund and has served on numerous community service boards.
Steve Strehlau : Steve has lived in South Whidbey for over 20 years. Since 1994, he has been Managing Broker and Sales Manager with Windermere Real Estate, Langley. He was a board member of Whidbey Island Share a Home (WISH) from 2003-2013. He participates in support activities for Hearts and Hammers, Habitat for Humanity, Good Cheer and other local charities.