Wenatchee Mayor Frank Kuntz joins Clint in the KOHO studio to talk about a severe lack of housing in Chelan County at all price ranges. Kuntz said Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Entiat and Chelan need to work with the Port of Chelan County to incentivize more housing developers to the area.
The mayors from each of those cities presented to the Port Commission that lack of housing is a limiting factor to continued economic growth in the county. Mayor Kuntz referenced the one percent vacancy rate for rentals. Chelan Mayor Mike Cooney highlighted service industry employees driving 30-60 miles because there is no affordable housing in Chelan. Cashmere Mayor Jeff Gomes suggested incentives may be the key to initiating more affordable housing development. Entiat Mayor Keith Vradenburg stated three developments have started there, but all are higher-cost housing which doesn’t address the need for low to mid level housing.
Port Commission President JC Baldwin said this issue should be discussed at the Tri-Commission Meeting held with Port, County and PUD Commissioners of Chelan County. She said the Port would investigate what role they could play to address the need.