Group seeks housing solution


“If you build it, they will come.” That is the conclusion of a market feasibility study conducted by Dave Stumpo, CEO of Amptrex and long-time resident of Point Roberts. Stumpo completed the feasibility study for Circle of Care in December at the behest of the board of trustees, in order to determine the feasibility of building one or more adult family homes (AFH) in Point Roberts (for a copy of the full study, please contact Circle of Care at; the executive summary can be found on our newly revamped website

One of the challenges identified by the study was the shortage of long-term affordable housing for staff. Rental properties of all sorts, long-term or not, affordable or not, are at an all-time low in Point Roberts. Circle of Care trustees are aware that this issue must be addressed in order to have the project be successful. Therefore, we are looking for solutions both near and far.

Navigator Homes of Martha’s Vineyard, for instance, has obtained funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to build nearby, affordable apartments to house the staff hired to provide care and management in its latest development, a skilled nursing facility in partnership with the Green House Project. According to Green House Project communications director Alex Spanko, “Navigator’s commitment to workforce housing is a perfect example of how organizations can think creatively to meet the challenges facing the eldercare sector – particularly around staffing,” he said in an email. “What’s good for elders is good for the entire community, and the same is true for the dedicated people who care for elders.”

Closer to home, on Lopez Island, a non-profit, Housing Lopez, has taken on the challenge of providing long-term affordable housing for its workforce, seniors and low-income residents by developing dedicated, affordable, sustainable rental housing communities. Their first project, Fishbay, opened in November 2019, providing six two-bedroom modular homes built in Ferndale by Method Homes (

Doesn’t this statement, taken from the Fishbay Project website, sound like it could be written about Point Roberts?

“Those of us lucky enough to live, work, and play on Lopez know what a special place this is. What’s not so special is the housing situation. We have a housing crisis that forces many island employees to live in dilapidated structures, move multiple times a year, or relocate off island only to endure expensive and time-consuming commutes. If folks can’t find housing, they can’t take jobs in our emergency services, school, restaurants, or retail. This impacts all of us who spend time on the island.”

The lack of affordable, long-term rental housing adversely effects all elements of Point Roberts’ economy from the restaurants that serve us and our Canadian visitors, the construction industry that builds and repairs our homes, the workers and professionals who install and maintain our phones, internet, water, septic systems, teach in our schools and care for our elderly. Not having available housing keeps our economy in a stranglehold, unable to grow and be vital and resourceful.

If they can do it in Martha’s Vineyard with grant money from the Department of Agriculture and do it on Lopez Island with funds raised from within the community, we can do it here in Point Roberts!

If you are interested in participating in solving this community wide issue, please contact us at


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here