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Developing an Effective Housing Element

Thursday, March 25, 2021
1 PM - 2:30 PM
Cost: FREE



Webinar Overview

The housing element of a comprehensive plan is integral to understanding how your community should plan to grow. The housing element can tell you how the housing in your community meets the needs of your residents, and what policy choices can guide future development to address those needs. This webinar will cover the Washington state Department of Commerce’s recent guidance on how to develop an effective housing element, which is required of Washington State communities planning under the Growth Management Act (GMA).

Educational Objectives

The webinar will provide valuable information about:

  • Required and recommended steps for communities planning under the GMA
  • An overview of how to determine a community’s housing needs
  • The relationship of a housing element to regional planning efforts
  • How to evaluate a current housing element and align it with current needs
  • How to assess land capacity to meet housing needs
  • How to select strategies to meet housing needs
  • Best practices for crafting clear and effective new goals and policies
  • Recommendations for public and stakeholder engagement and adoption
  • How to develop an effective implementation and monitoring plan
  • Examples from Washington state communities

Who Should Attend?

Planners, appointed and elected officials, local housing groups, housing non-profits and advocates, interested residents and stakeholders, and those involved in the development of housing (realtors, developers, etc.).


  • Anne Fritzel, Senior Planner at Department of Commerce: As a senior planner with Growth Management Services, Anne helps communities throughout the State to develop their comprehensive plans and development regulations to reflect local visions and goals, and to implement the Growth Management Act. Anne is the Growth Management specialist on housing affordability. She is the program manager for the Increasing Urban Residential Capacity (HB 1923) grant program, and the lead in developing housing guidance for Washington communities. She is also the coordinator of the Short Course on Local Planning.
  • Meredith Penny, Principal Planner, Island County: Meredith has been with Island County for 5 years, focusing on the Periodic Review of the Comprehensive Plan, and updates to the Critical Areas Ordinance, the Shoreline Master Program and the Housing Element of the Comprehensive Plan. She has enjoyed the challenge of finding housing solutions for a unique and rural community. She also currently serves as the President of the Northwest Section of APA Washington where she works to support planning professionals in Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan, and Island Counties.
  • Clay White, Director of Planning, LDC, Inc.: Clay has over 20 years’ experience serving private sector clients and local governments including five years as Planning and Development Services Director for Snohomish County. Clay is passionate about working with communities on land use code and policy that will proactively address the housing crisis in our region. He also enjoys working during the legislative session to draft legislation regarding land use and housing. He has served as President of the Washington State Association of Regional and County Planning Directors, been a member of the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board, and Co-Chair of the Regional Staff Committee for the Puget Sound Regional Council.
  • Steve Butler, Policy Manager—Planning Consultant, MRSC. Steve will serve as the webinar moderator.