Pause on home construction puts families, workers in tough spot

LIBERTY LAKE, Wash. – A street full of homes under construction is quiet without workers in Liberty Lake. 

It’s been almost a week since Governor Jay Inslee ordered Washingtonians to stay home, but what if your home is just being built? 

Gov. Inslee has deemed residential construction unessential. It’s put one couple’s dreams on hold. 

Dallon Andrus has been watching his new home go up for months, waiting excitedly for move-in day in May. 

“We were looking through the window of what could’ve been. Now that we’ll have to wait for a few weeks, but yeah, it’s a bummer,” said Andrus. 

With their lease up in just a few months, and no finish date in sight for their home, they don’t know what to do. The lease for the apartment ends around the time their home was supposed to be finished by.

“It was supposed to end later, and we were able to work it out and it was going to end early,” he said of their apartment lease.”Now, that’s all the governor’s office has said ‘You should work with your apartment complex.’ The problem is we don’t have a timeline. We don’t know when to tell them we need to be out by.”

It’s an especially tough situation, knowing that some neighboring states are allowing home construction like Oregon, California and Idaho with some limitations. It makes Andrus upset, knowing that liquor stores and cannabis shops are open, yet construction workers can’t do their job.

There are a few exceptions to Inslee’s orders for the construction industry. One allows workers to fix up a home to avoid damage or unsafe conditions. 

RELATED: Construction deemed ‘unessential’ under Wash. stay-home order, though there are exceptions

“A lot of unanswered questions about how we’re going to be able to take care of our employees, that’s the most important thing,” said Bob Oliver with Lexar Homes. 

Right now, Lexar homes can still build in Idaho, but they’re facing roadblocks because their suppliers in Washington closed down. 

“We can’t get any of our cabinets in any of our homes in Idaho. There’s impacts across the line that are significant,” said Oliver. 

So they wait. Just like the homes will have to, along with the families dreaming of living in them.  


RELATED: Washington’s stay home order: Your questions, answered

READ: Inslee orders ‘stay home’ order for next two weeks