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Posts for Housing

2021 Housing and Planning-Related Legislative Outcomes

2021 Housing and Planning-Related Legislative Outcomes

August 16, 2021  by  Lisa Pool
Category:  Housing Impact Fees New Legislation and Regulations Homelessness

This blog post summarizes several housing and planning-related bills that were passed during the 2021 legislative session.  

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Expanding Olympia’s Residential Building Capacity Under HB 1923

Expanding Olympia’s Residential Building Capacity Under HB 1923

May 20, 2021  by  Joyce Phillips
Category:  Housing Guest Author

This blog, the second in a two-part series on how finding missing middle housing can expand affordable housing options, will focus on how Olympia used state-based legislation, E2SHB 1923 and SHB 2343, to encourage the development of more missing middle housing in the city.

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Expanding Affordable Housing Options Through Missing Middle Housing

Expanding Affordable Housing Options Through Missing Middle Housing

May 17, 2021  by  Leonard Bauer
Category:  Housing Development Regulations and Zoning Guest Author

Part 1 of this two-part blog series looks at how a missing middle housing program can bring new affordable housing options to a city, using case studies from Wenatchee, Orting, Lake Stevens, Fife, and Walla Walla.

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Six-County Pilot Program to Help with Eviction Backlog

Six-County Pilot Program to Help with Eviction Backlog

November 25, 2020  by  Leah LaCivita
Category:  Housing COVID-19

This blog covers the pilot Eviction Resolution Program, a court-based approach to resolve more eviction-related cases before a landlord has the need to file an unlawful detainer action. 

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Keeping People Housed: Homelessness Prevention Strategies to Bridge Emergencies

Keeping People Housed: Homelessness Prevention Strategies to Bridge Emergencies

September 10, 2020  by  Laura Crandall
Category:  Housing Homelessness COVID-19

This blog post identifies root cause contributors to homelessness and details a variety of prevention strategies for local governments.

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Micro-Units: Another Tool in your Affordable Housing Toolbelt

Micro-Units: Another Tool in your Affordable Housing Toolbelt

December 12, 2019  by  Sarah Bollard
Category:  Housing

This blog post provides an overview of micro-units, or small apartments between 125 to 400 square feet in size, their benefits, and some issues to consider when developing micro-housing plans. 

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Ballot Measure Results from the 2019 General Election

Ballot Measure Results from the 2019 General Election

November 12, 2019  by  Steve Hawley
Category:  Elections Forms of Government-City Housing Public Transit

This blog post provides a brief summary of I-976 as well as many of the city, county, and special purpose district ballot measure results across the state.

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Announcing an Updated Homelessness & Housing Toolkit

Announcing an Updated Homelessness & Housing Toolkit

October 18, 2019  by  Steve Butler
Category:  Housing Homelessness

In 2017 MRSC partnered with the Association of Washington Cities to develop the Homelessness & Housing Toolkit for Cities. This publication has been updated for 2019 and covers such hot-topic items as SHB 1406, Martin v. City of Boise, and more. 

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New Bill Provides Incentives for Washington Cities to Increase Residential Capacity

New Bill Provides Incentives for Washington Cities to Increase Residential Capacity

July 26, 2019  by  Steve Butler
Category:  Housing New Legislation and Regulations Development Regulations and Zoning

This past legislative session saw the passage E2SHB 1923, a bill intended to encourage more residential development capacity and increase local governments’ emphasis on affordable housing. 

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SHB 1406: Understanding the Affordable Housing Sales Tax Credit

SHB 1406: Understanding the Affordable Housing Sales Tax Credit

July 17, 2019  by  Toni Nelson
Category:  Housing New Legislation and Regulations Sales and Use Taxes

SHB 1406 will provide a new affordable housing revenue stream for those counties, cities, and towns that choose to participate; But to do so, those entities must act fast. 

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Affordable Housing Legislative Round-Up

Affordable Housing Legislative Round-Up

June 26, 2019  by  Jill Dvorkin
Category:  Housing New Legislation and Regulations

This blog post summarizes bills passed in 2019 that address affordable housing issues.

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From Tenant Protections to Vaping: A Peek at New Local Legislation

From Tenant Protections to Vaping: A Peek at New Local Legislation

June 24, 2019  by  Laura Crandall
Category:  Licensing and Regulation Housing New Legislation and Regulations

This post presents a potpourri of interesting legislation that local governments in Washington State have passed, from the City of Kenmore to Clark County. 

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Legislature Paves the Way for Tiny Houses

Legislature Paves the Way for Tiny Houses

May 14, 2019  by  Jill Dvorkin
Category:  Housing New Legislation and Regulations

This blog post covers ESSB 5383, a new bill intended to enable the development of tiny house communities throughout the state.

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Finding ‘Missing Middle’ Housing, Part 2

Finding ‘Missing Middle’ Housing, Part 2

April 18, 2019  by  Leonard Bauer
Category:  Housing Guest Author

The second of a 2-part series looking at the City of ​Olympia’s 2-year experience to encourage the growth of missing middle housing. Part 2 covers lessons learned. 

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Finding ‘Missing Middle’ Housing, Part 1

Finding ‘Missing Middle’ Housing, Part 1

March 28, 2019  by  Leonard Bauer
Category:  Housing Guest Author

This 2-part series looks at the City of ​Olympia’s 2-year experience to encourage the growth of missing middle housing. Part 1 examines the formal processes the city undertook, including the creation of a 16-member workgroup to study the issue.

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HB 2578 Prohibits Source of Income Discrimination

HB 2578 Prohibits Source of Income Discrimination

December 3, 2018  by  Laura Crandall
Category:  Housing

Passed in 2018 by the legislature, HB 2578 enacts source of income discrimination protections that prohibit landlords from discriminating against prospective and current tenants based on alternative, non-wage sources of income.

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New Legislation Related to Affordable Housing

New Legislation Related to Affordable Housing

August 30, 2018  by  Jill Dvorkin
Category:  Housing New Legislation and Regulations

This post looks at laws from the 2018 Legislative Session that promote the development of affordable housing and address the housing affordability crisis, including 3SHB, 2382, HB 1085, SHB 2538, ESSB 5143, and ESSB 1570.

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Mobile Home Parks: The Newest Front for Housing Affordability

Mobile Home Parks: The Newest Front for Housing Affordability

December 18, 2017  by  Lynn Nordby
Category:  Housing

One under-recognized inventory of affordable housing is the mobile home park. Consultant Lynn Nordby looks at  how communities across the country are protecting this affordable housing resource.

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Building Consensus for Bellevue’s Affordable Housing Strategy

Building Consensus for Bellevue’s Affordable Housing Strategy

September 11, 2017  by  Michael Kattermann
Category:  Housing Guest Author

According to a 2015 survey, a lack of affordable housing was cited as a major challenge for Bellevue businesses. Guest author Micheal Katterman talks about the city's successful effort to build an affordable housing strategy— by building consensus among a variety of stakeholders. 

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Inclusionary Zoning: One Approach to Create Affordable Housing

Inclusionary Zoning: One Approach to Create Affordable Housing

November 23, 2016  by  Steve Butler
Category:  Housing

Affordable housing is a big issue facing many communities in Washington. One approach used by a number of cities is called "inclusionary zoning," which requires affordable units to be included within new residential development projects or requires payment for construction of affordable units elsewhere.

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Accessory Dwelling Units under the Microscope

Accessory Dwelling Units under the Microscope

July 21, 2016  by  Steve Butler
Category:  Housing

A look at what ADUs are, how they are regulated by Washington local governments, and new regualtory innovations that may help increase their production.

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It’s Time to Implement Your Affordable Housing Policies

It’s Time to Implement Your Affordable Housing Policies

March 18, 2016  by  Andy Lane
Category:  Housing Guest Author

When affordable housing developers step up to meet this need, they are sometimes frustrated by the disconnect between the adopted policies and inconsistent development regulations. This post examines how to get started on implementing regulations that provide fee relief and regulatory incentive programs.

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Cooperative Senior Housing: An Alternative to Meet the Needs of Today’s Senior Citizens

Cooperative Senior Housing: An Alternative to Meet the Needs of Today’s Senior Citizens

November 14, 2014  by  Sue Enger
Category:  Housing

The needs of retirees continue to change as they age. Innocative alternatives such as senior co-operative housing may better address today's seniors than traditional senior housing models.

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Is Your Community Ready for Micro-Housing?

November 13, 2014  by  Andy Lane
Category:  Housing Guest Author

You're sitting at your desk at the permit counter. An application is dropped in front of you. You quickly skim the application — hmmm... five stories... 40 residential units... five shared kitchens — huh? Then you recognize the project address as a rather small lot. Your eyebrows (and your brain) furrow as you wonder how the architect could fit 40 units on that lot. Your forehead exchanges its confused furrows for wide-eyed astonishment as it dawns on you — each unit is only 120 square feet! At that moment, what pops into your head?

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Affordable Housing: Where Do We Go From Here?

Affordable Housing: Where Do We Go From Here?

January 15, 2014  by  Carol Tobin
Category:  Housing

In December 2013, the National League of Cities issued a report identifying ten critical imperatives facing U.S. cities. One of these critical imperatives is the need for affordable housing and another is the related issue of the shrinking middle class.

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