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How to Develop a Housing Action Plan

Wednesday, July 8, 2020
1:30 PM - 3 PM
Cost: FREE


Webinar Overview

In 2019, HB 1923 provided grant funding and statutory direction for cities that choose to develop a housing action plan (HAP) as a new way to address housing affordability challenges. A HAP provides a process and framework for assessing local or regional housing needs, identifying barriers to new housing production, and developing strategies to more effectively encourage or support the kinds of new housing construction that can address housing needs.

Educational Objectives

This free webinar, presented in partnership with the Department of Commerce (DOC), will provide valuable information on:

  • Reviewing housing policies, development regulations, and housing programs to assess what is working and what could be improved
  • Designing an effective process for engaging residents and stakeholders
  • Identifying strategies to encourage the construction of diverse and more affordable forms of housing, such as revising zoning standards, process improvements, affordability incentives, and funding options.
  • Evaluating displacement risk and strategies to minimize these risks
  • Developing an implementation plan and schedule
  • Integrating your HAP with your comprehensive plan update

A previous webinar on Housing Needs Assessments is available from the DOC's Growth Management Planning for Housing page, as well as from MRSC in our Archived Webinars page under the Planning section. The final webinar of this three-part series will be on updating the housing element.

Who Should Attend?

Planners, appointed and elected officials, local housing groups, and other people involved/interested in the housing planning process, and those involved in the development of a housing action plan.


  • Moderator: Steve Butler, FAICP, has been a professional planner for over 30 years. He has been with MRSC since 2015, where he conducts research and provides planning advice to cities and counties throughout Washington State. Steve’s previous planning experience includes serving as community development director for Milwaukie, Oregon, community development director for Mill Creek, Washington, and director of planning and community development for SeaTac. He has also worked in the states of Maine and Wisconsin, where he was involved in all aspects of community planning, both in the public and private sectors.
  • Anne Aurelia Fritzel, AICP, is a senior planner with Growth Management Services, at the Washington State Department of Commerce. 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.
  • Kevin Ramsey, PhD, Project Manager at BERK, is an Associate Principal specializing in housing needs assessment and policy analysis. He works with local governments and community stakeholders to assess complex challenges and evaluate strategies for pursuing sustainable and equitable development. Kevin led the Housing and Socioeconomics analysis for the City of Seattle Mandatory Housing Affordability Environmental Impact Statement. He also led BERK’s support of the Tacoma Affordable Housing Action Strategy. As project manager, he has led housing studies for Pierce County and the cities of Cle Elum, Edmonds, Ellensburg, Leavenworth, and Wenatchee. Two of Kevin’s prior projects were recognized by the Washington State Department of Commerce with Governors’ Smart Community Awards. Prior to joining BERK, Kevin worked for the U.S. EPA’s Smart Growth Program where he led and advised the development of geospatial data, tools, and guidance materials to support local planning and policy making. Kevin has published research in peer-reviewed journals and earned a Ph.D. in Geography from University of Washington.
  • Lisa Grueter, AICP is a principal at BERK Consulting and land use planner with more than 30 years of experience in policy planning for the public and private sectors. Her expertise includes comprehensive and subarea planning under the state’s Growth Management Act, customized programmatic and planned action environmental documentation under the State Environmental Policy Act, shoreline master programs under the Shoreline Management Act, and the integration of these laws into cohesive, implementable planning policies.Lisa has developed complete comprehensive plans including housing elements for numerous communities such as the cities of Chelan, Covington, and Yakima and Skagit Counties. She has developed regulation amendments to increase housing variety and remove barriers citywide or in subareas such as for the cities of Lakewood and Chelan. She helped develop Renton’s Healthy Housing Program, and served as the project manager for the PSRC Housing Policy Toolkit. Lisa has worked with counties and cities across Washington State and spent seven years as a senior planner for the cities of Sumner and Renton. She received a B.A. in social ecology from the University of California, Irvine and a Master of City Planning from the University of California, Berkeley.
  • Bob Bengford, AICP, is a partner at MAKERS with over 25 years of planning and urban design experience, including work in California, Idaho, and Washington. Bob is passionate about helping communities craft plans, zoning and design provisions, and review processes that implement their goals and objectives. Bob manages a variety of complex projects including community design guidelines and development regulations, downtown urban design plans, neighborhood plans, and joint land use studies. Bob is a national expert in crafting form-based zoning and design provisions, completing more than 60 projects with MAKERS. Most of these projects emphasize integrating a mixture of housing types that fit the unique needs of each community. These projects represent the full spectrum of community and development types, including dense urban downtowns, historic communities, auto-oriented commercial corridors, established neighborhoods, and rural communities. Bob is a frequent author and speaker on zoning and design regulation subjects and an active board member of Washington APA. His professional experience also includes several years in the public sector. His strong planning and policy analysis experience, enthusiasm, and communication skills have made him an excellent project manager. Bob also co-chairs the Washington APA Community Planning Assistance Team and Great Places programs. Bob has a Bachelor of Science in City and Regional Planning from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
  • Rachel Miller is a Senior Associate at MAKERS, where she applies strong community engagement, community planning, and urban design skills to help communities understand their options and visualize ways forward. Rachel is committed to enhancing each community’s understanding of its place and itself through context-sensitive and culturally-appropriate designs. She has led community engagement efforts in numerous projects and several have won awards, including the Judkins Park Station Access Plan, Olympia Downtown Strategy, Anacortes Comprehensive Plan, and the U District Mobility Study. She has managed difficult community engagement processes and has made a specialty of working with underrepresented populations. She utilizes a range of tools—engaging activities, robust online surveys, stakeholder interviews, steering committees, social media-based outreach, “popping up” at existing community events or hotspots, clear and informative presentations, lively discussions, mindful and empathetic facilitation, real-time audience polling, and creative alternatives analysis—to connect thousands of people to planning. This level of engagement has helped communities spark the ideas that enhance their place, work through contentious issues, and build ownership of a plan for more likely implementation. Prior to joining MAKERS, she coordinated urban design visioning processes in Fairbanks and North Pole, Alaska and managed community development projects as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali, West Africa. She has Masters of Urban Design and Planning and Landscape Architectures from the University of Washington.
  • Andrew Bjorn, PhD, AICP, is a Senior Associate at BERK Consulting and has a background in urban land economics and development planning. He has expertise in civil engineering and policy development, and has worked with communities and organizations across western Canada and the Pacific Northwest. Andrew has extensive experience in growth planning and management, and has worked with clients to address a range of complex urban and regional planning issues. Prior to joining BERK, Andrew served as a Senior Planner/Economist for a consulting firm in Calgary, Alberta working on regional planning and policy development. He was also an instructor at the Department of Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington and the Universitetet for miljø- og biovitenskap in Ås, Norway