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OPAL and San Juan Community Home Trust: Barge Relocation

OPAL and San Juan Community Home Trust: Barge Relocation

For the past few years in Washington state, two community land trusts, and Grounded Solutions Network members, have been tackling the growing affordable housing crises in their respective communities through an innovative method— barge relocation.

Communities nearby, in both Washington and Canada, have been experiencing a development boom, creating increased demand for buildable land. To make room for the new developments, historic homes in the affected areas are being slated for demolition. OPAL Community Land Trust, and San Juan Community Home Trust, both located on the San Juan Islands north of Seattle, have worked with neighboring communities to relocate and restore some of these homes to provide affordable housing opportunities in their respective communities. Being that both communities are located on islands, moving these houses required the use of specialized barges and trucks to ensure structural integrity throughout transportation.

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This inventive approach attracted local attention, eventually leading to international coverage of their efforts:
     

 

New York Times– Old Houses in Canada Become New Houses in Washington State

The Guardian- How Washington is Creating Affordable Housing— with Recycled Canadian Homes

Seattle Times- “Up” House in Ballard Could Move By Barge to Orcas Islands

We want to congratulate these member organizations for their creative solutions for finding (and moving) houses regardless of the barriers in their way!

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