MRSC Insight Blog
Posts for Housing
Local governments can tap into numerous financial, administrative, and related tools to help community land trusts kickstart affordable housing development efforts, sustain ongoing operations, or promote new development.
Common themes among these six new planning-related bills include streamlining local project review, decreasing the planning burden on smaller communities, incentivizing annexations, and increasing housing supply throughout the state.
Affordable housing options developed via community land trusts offer significant community development benefits, such as stabilizing hot real estate markets, ensuring long-term tenant stability, and providing investment opportunities to can build household wealth.
Two of the more significant housing laws adopted this year are HB 1110, which requires certain cities to allow "middle housing" in residential zones, and HB 1337, which requires all GMA-planning cities and counties to allow accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in residential areas.
As cities and counties look to expand housing supply in their communities, many are considering infill development, or developing vacant or under-utilized parcels within existing, developed areas. Missing middle housing and accessory dwelling units are two options to consider.
Increasingly, many local governments are shifting away from requiring too much off-street parking, citing social, economic, and/or environmental reasons. What tools can these communities use to better manage existing parking supply and to anticipate future needs?
While parking is an important commodity for a community, too much parking can prevent the land from being used for another purpose, encourage excess car travel, and possibly make other forms of transportation, like biking or walking, both more complicated and dangerous.
Local governments seeking to expand housing options may want to consider a missing middle program that champions use of housing types which may fly under the radar, such as cottage housing, duplexes, and triplexes, alongside more trendy approaches like live-work developments.
It can be difficult for cities, towns, and counties to fund local affordable housing programs, but there are some options available, from taxing options to federal and state grant programs.
New legislation related to the Growth Management Act (GMA) will expand tribal participation, limit appeals for actions to increase housing supply, change periodic update timelines, provide additional options for limited areas of more intense rural development (LAMIRDs), and more.
Manufactured homes are often overlooked yet can be an important affordable housing option. Local governments can protect them by creating new zones (or strengthening existing regulations) that designate areas specifically for manufactured home parks.
Increased zoning can sometimes result in gentrification of a community and the displacement of vulnerable populations. Affordable housing overlay zoning is a tool that can help to increase density without triggering the unintended consequences of gentrification and displacement.
Written by guest author and Anacortes city councilmember Ryan Walters, this blog discusses how the city reworked its development codes to encourage new affordable housing developments, and how it was able to take advantage of SHB 1406 to fund these efforts.
Some cities and counties have enacted tenant protection measures to help renters adversely impacted by the state's booming real estate market. This blog looks at how the courts have ruled in terms of challenges to similar regulations instituted by the City of Seattle.
Manufactured homes can be an affordable option for many families and individuals. This blog looks at a study conducted by the City of Kent as it researched existing manufactured home parks throughout the city and how best to support these.
Do an increasing number of short-term rentals impact the local housing market, especially for low- and moderate-income residents? Research suggests it does, and some local governments are regulating short-term rentals differently as a result.
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.
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.
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.