NeighborWorks® of Grays Harbor contributes to the community conversation on housing issues through a weekly column in the Daily World titled "Nailing it Down."

 

 Since 1999, the "Nailing it Down"articles have been published in the Daily World and other countywide weekly newspapers. NeighborWorks® of Grays Harbor County has collaborated with local newspapers, elected officials and local experts to publish articles covering hundreds of topics.

 

 

Nailing It Down

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From cleaning closets and attics to washing houses, fixing fences, staining decks and putting in gardens, it’s clear that many of us are using our sheltering at home time during this pandemic to improve our homes.

Of course, we are all for that! In fact, we here at NeighborWorks might be able to help you in some very practical ways. Read on!

Transfer station open

If, like so many, you’ve either cleaned out closets, garages and attics or plan to soon, you may already know that as of right now most charities are not open to receive donations. So, after you call and confirm this, you’ll need to store those boxes of reusable items a little bit longer.

However, the good news is that the stuff that just needs to be thrown away, you can still take care of now. The LeMay Transfer Station, which is now located at 29 Gavett Lane N., Montesano, is available to take your junk. It’s open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Look them up online or call (360) 53...

At all times, being able to live in safe, decent housing is a key factor for health.  And, when the top medical and governmental agencies have us all on a “stay at home” order, it’s nice to have some place to hunker-down. That same order, however, has presented many with unemployment issues that have reduced or eliminated the very income needed to pay rent, mortgage and monthly bills.

Even for folks who outright own their home but are not working, it can be a struggle to pay for utilities, taxes and insurance.  The same goes for landlords when their rental income is reduced or stops altogether. That landlord still has to pay for all city utilities, garbage, insurance, taxes and often a monthly mortgage payment.

When those expenses don’t get paid, the municipalities and companies that provide and maintain necessary services often don’t get paid creating new negative economic spirals with more people getting laid-off and more services reduced,  adding to health risks for all of us. We are...

Like just about everyone, because of the coronavirus, doing business and living life are looking different for us here at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor.

As a nonprofit organization that works to provide safe, affordable housing opportunities for people of Grays Harbor County, we are as committed as ever to help clarify renter and landlord issues, to help homeowners avoid foreclosure, to support homebuyer education with counseling, to make loans for home purchase and repair, and to qualify residents for free ductless heat pumps. But all these activities require contact for both you and us.

           

Going to Work Looks Different

We have been spending the last two months social distancing and primarily working from home. However, we are also changing our physical office to create a safer and more efficient workspace for what we believe will be a very busy time for all of us, again.  

Changes we have made in our office at 710 East Market...

Last week we talked about various programs designed to help folks pay their mortgage during the financial impact of COVID-19. Today, we’ll concentrate on information that renters and landlords need to know during these unprecedented times.

The basic message is that because of various governmental actions, renters in most all situations should be able to stay in their homes or apartments regardless of their ability to pay.

Once again, we turned to Julie Galligan, our housing counselor here at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor. She’s working hard to keep up with all the latest COVID-19 related financial programs and has several practical tips.

“This is such an unusual time for our society with so many people out of work, so many businesses shut down and so much uncertainty. Even once the economy gets going again, many people will struggle to pay their rent for a while,” said Julie.

However, Washington State has enacted a moratorium that provides protection to renters through June 4 so they can’t...

April 27, 2020

The devastating economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic are hitting hard here in Grays Harbor County, affecting each of our lives each day.

Even many folks who had a bit of an emergency fund for a financial buffer are beginning to find themselves in a difficult situation as unemployment soars, businesses close and many organizations are forced to go on hiatus.

Can’t pay your bills?

So, what do you do if you can’t pay your bills?

Today we’re talking with Julie Galligan our housing counselor here at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor. She’s working hard to keep up with all the latest COVID-19 related financial programs and has many very practical tips.

“The recession of 2008 was very difficult,” said Julie, “but what we are experiencing now is on a whole other level. This is just wiping everything out economically from the bottom to the top. It’s a whole different economic crash.”

Before we get into some details of what you can do, we want you to hear her over-arching advice for those who are...

April 22, 2020

Grays Harbor’s homelessness action plan is making a difference!  

While it may not be easy to see for the average person, great work is being done to combat homelessness in Grays Harbor. And a lot of that success is a direct result of Cassie Lentz, who gathered all the stakeholders together to create a truly actionable five-year plan – the 2019-2024 Grays Harbor County Five Year Plan to Address Unmet Housing Needs.

We at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor are one of the organizations at the table, so we know of the impact firsthand.

When the plan was developed, Lentz was Grays Harbor County’s housing resource coordinator. Now she is Healthy Places manager for Grays Harbor County Public Health, overseeing the homeless housing program.

“We updated our homelessness action plan about a year ago and it is by far the most user-friendly of the plans that we have created over the years,” Lentz explained. “The plan lays out a clear scope of need and outlines the work that is already happening to ad...

April 13, 2020

We applaud the dedication, creativity and Herculean effort of the Grays Harbor area’s social services organizations and employees during this COVID-19 crisis. And in the next few weeks, we also want to take a look at the county’s progress in combatting homelessness in our area.

Now more than ever, it is clear that housing is health care.

A recent article from the National Low Income Housing Coalition expounded on that, stating, “Those experiencing homelessness in America are at extreme risk during the pandemic. Many are seniors, have disabilities and/or underlying medical conditions, live in crowded shelters or unsanitary conditions, and lack the ability to quarantine, isolate and recover.

“The lowest-income, severely housing cost-burdened renters – many of whom also are seniors and/or people with disabilities or health conditions – are at high risk of COVID-19 complications as well as the threat of eviction and homelessness due to loss of income.

“The spread of COVID-19 among these popula...

How are you all doing dealing with your new normal? One thing that strikes us as we all cope with social distancing during the governor’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order is how different this is than other difficult situations we’ve faced in Grays Harbor.

Usually in Grays Harbor when there is a problem, need or emergency, we physically get together to solve it, but during this pandemic, the best way we can fight it is to stay apart physically.

Think about it. If a family needs money for medical expenses we gather for spaghetti feeds, or to help children’s sports teams we cluster around bake sales. Then there are the United Way events to raise money for various local charities, and Foodball to gather food and money for our area food banks.

We’re well known here for our Relay for Life weekend where we meet together in two different venues to raise money to battle cancer and support those who are fighting it.

Not that long ago, we here at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor organized “Paint the Corri...