Affordable housing on tourist-laden island 

Even the San Juan Islands, tourist destinations filled with high-cost vacation home (mansions), struggle to provide adequate housing for locals. Because these islands off the coast of Washington state are attractive second-home destinations, land prices are exorbitant. Furthermore, the cost of construction materials is inflated because everything must be imported via ferry; there are limited existing resources. Even rural areas can be costly, because infrastructure such as water and sewage are expensive to implement in the island environment.

Even moderate-prices homes are out of reach, because they are often purchased or rented for out-of-town use. The government is trying to mitigate the problem by tracking the homes used as vacation properties. I am unclear as to how keeping tabs on these units will help the supply of affordable housing, but perhaps it is to ensure that some homes are left over for year-round residents.

While the island looks, to a visitor, like an ideal place to live, as with most tourist areas the locals know a different story.

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