Formed as a Community Land Trust in 2005, Homeward Bound’s seven original trustees had a desire to ensure a source of permanent affordable home ownership for families and individuals in Jefferson and Clallam Counties, the foundation of which is the Community Land Trust Model Ground Lease.
Homeward Bound registered as a nonprofit corporation in the State of Washington and received 501(c)(3) status from the Internal Revenue Service in 2005.
In 2006, Homeward Bound was approached by the Clallam County Commissioners to receive four homes to be moved from the Dungeness River Restoration area at Rivers End. Working with the Commissioners, Homeward Bound negotiated a no-interest loan for $68,000 to purchase a lot for the first home to be moved to Lauridsen Blvd. in West Port Angeles., with construction financing provided by Shore Bank Cascadia (now Craft3). The first Homeward Bound homeowner moved into their home in the Spring of 2009.
The remaining three homes from Rivers End were sold at auction, and the resulting funds were used to support Homeward Bound.
In 2009, Homeward Bound successfully applied for a $180,000 grant from the Washington Housing Trust Fund. Utilizing this grant, three more homes were purchased in late 2009 just prior to the bursting of the housing bubble on the Peninsula.
In 2011, a fifth home was acquired by Homeward Bound. This home required extensive renovations, with the vast majority of the labor performed by community volunteers and the future homeowners.
From 2005 to 2014, Homeward Bound provided housing counseling services in Jefferson County under a grant from the Washington State Housing Finance Commission. These services included a five-hour homebuyer education class taught by partner lenders and Realtors.
Homeward Bound also provided individual housing counseling, credit counseling, and other services for households purchasing homes both with Homeward Bound and on the open market. These services were provided at no cost. It is hoped that Homeward Bound will resume its housing counseling services in 2018 as staff are identified and trained.
In mid-2016 the City of Port Townsend declared a housing emergency. With vacancy rental rates at 1% and home prices rising to more than a median income family could afford, the city of Port Townsend and City Manager David Timmons reached out to housing organizations in the area to revitalize Homeward Bound, which had been in a relatively dormant period in the few years prior.
In the spring of 2017, in the midst of Homeward Bound’s efforts to identify and elect a new Board of Trustees, an opportunity arose with the availability of a wonderful four-unit apartment building in Victoria, British Columbia. The City of Port Townsend loaned Homeward Bound $250,000 to secure the building and move it to its current location on Cherry Street, a 1.5 acre surplus lot purchased from the City of Port Townsend by Homeward Bound for $1.
A new 12-member volunteer Board was elected on October 4, 2017. The new Trustees are working diligently to complete the Cherry Street project, plan for future development in both Jefferson and Clallam Counties, and build a vibrant organization that is a fundamental component of ensuring the availability of affordable housing in perpetuity in Clallam and Jefferson Counties.