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Using Surplus Public Property for Affordable Housing

Tuesday, February 20, 2024
11 AM - 12:30 PM
Cost: $40 (Scholarships Available - See Below)
Credit: CML (C), CM



Registration closes on Monday, February 19 at 5 PM. All registrants will also receive a link to view the webinar recording.

Webinar Overview

Providing affordable housing is a growing challenge for communities throughout Washington State. There isn’t a singular solution to the current housing crisis, so local governments are having to employ as many techniques and strategies as possible. One potential strategy is for public entities to use their surplus properties to encourage the construction of new affordable housing. While this strategy may seem simple at first, it is more difficult than one might think. This webinar is intended to provide a good introduction to the concept of using surplus public land for affordable housing and the steps needed to implement such an approach.

Educational Objectives

This webinar will provide valuable information on:

  • How using surplus public property can fit into a community’s vision, comprehensive plan, and Housing Action and Implementation Plan.
  • What is meant by the terms “surplus real property” and “public benefit.”
  • State laws that explicitly allow for the disposal of surplus public property.
  • Best practices for identifying surplus properties suitable for affordable housing.
  • Tips on establishing a successful program at the local government level and setting realistic expectations.
  • Importance of cross-department coordination and multi-agency partnerships.

Who Should Attend?

City and county planning and community development staff, housing planners and advocates, city managers, county administrators, elected officials, and other people interested in affordable housing.


  • Jesse Bank, Executive Director, Northeast Public Development Authority, Spokane. Jesse is the Executive Director of the Northeast Public Development Authority – an economic development partnership between the City of Spokane and Spokane County focused on the greater Hillyard area. The NEPDA aims to build prosperity within its boundaries by recruiting business, streamlining permitting and communications, connecting projects with incentives, and by making its own direct investments in infrastructure and real estate. Jesse holds an M.Arch from the University of Oregon and an MBA from the University of Colorado Boulder. He is a native of western NY and lives with his wife and baby daughter in the City of Spokane, where he serves on the City Plan Commission, among other boards and associations. 
  • Amanda Beck, AICP, Planner II, City of Spokane. Amanda is an urban planner with coast-to-coast local government experience. She has helped communities plan for their futures in Virginia, Arizona, and now Spokane, WA. She is skilled in public speaking, long-range and current planning, public engagement, and translating technical jargon into plain English. In the office, she focuses on systems thinking and intersectionality, striving to refine how urban planning tells the story of the places we live and love to visit. 
  • Krosbie Carter, MPA, Policy Advisor, Office of the Commissioner of Public Lands, Washington State Department of Natural Resources. Krosbie has been working in local government and the housing field for the past 12 years, after earning her MPA from the Evergreen State College. Having worked for business, nonprofit, and local government, Krosbie brings a strong cross-sector lens to her work, as well as extensive experience across the housing continuum, ranging from homelessness and affordable housing at the city and county level, to residential real estate, and public-private partnership development for housing initiatives. As the new Housing Policy Advisor for DNR, Krosbie is working to develop a new program looking to lease the more urban and residentially zoned lands for housing development and help address the growing affordable housing crises in the state.  
  • Robin Hammill, Assistant Division Manager, Acquisitions and Divestitures, Upland Strategic Planning, Washington State Department of Natural Resources. Robin has 25 years of experience working for the Department of Natural Resources. Her first 20 years were spent in the Aquatic Resource program working on leasing issues, policy development, aquatic ownership, and aquatic transactions. For the last 5 years she has focused on DNR state land acquisitions and divestitures, most recently taking on the role of assistant division manager overseeing the land transaction, transitions lands and DNR’s trust land transfer programs. Robin’s goal is to ensure that DNR’s real estate portfolio is able to operate in a way that benefits not just the trust beneficiaries but all the residents of Washington State. 
  • Samya Lutz, AICP, Housing & Services Program Manager, City of Bellingham. Samya has spent the past two decades focused on community development issues with a varied background that includes nonprofit affordable housing leadership, long-range planning, oil and gas pipeline safety, agricultural land preservation, local food systems support, and small farming. She has been focused on affordable housing policy and budget management for the City of Bellingham as its Housing and Services Program Manager for eight years, supporting about $9 million in annual housing and services contract obligations from local and federal sources, including the Bellingham Housing Levy. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Western Washington University, and a master’s in urban planning from the University of British Columbia, School of Community and Regional Planning. 
  • Kate Newell, GISP, Senior GIS Analyst, City of Bellingham. Kate has been a GIS Analyst for the City of Bellingham Planning Department for the last 20 years. She has worked on a wide variety of short and long-range planning projects including land use and capacity analysis, viewshed analysis, historic resource inventory, comprehensive plan support and web application development. Her passion lies in taking technical and complex planning concepts and transforming them into something more accessible to the public. Her favorite tools to accomplished this include the use of story maps, dashboards, and other web applications.
  • Steve Butler, FAICP, Planning & Policy Manager, MRSC (moderator). Steve has been involved in most aspects of community planning for over 35 years, both in the public and private sectors. At MRSC, he focuses primarily on the topics of planning, zoning, affordable housing, and homelessness. Steve has served as president of statewide planning associations in both Washington and Maine. Steve received a MS in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a BA from St. Lawrence University (Canton, NY). 


This training is eligible for:

Training Scholarships

Payment Policy: Payment for this webinar is completed online by credit card only. If you need to be billed, there will be a $5.00 administrative fee added to your registration fee. Please contact if you need to request an invoice for this webinar.

Refund Policy: Refunds of the webinar fee will be provided in full if registration is canceled before Monday, February 19 at 11:59 PM. After that, refunds will be provided minus a $5.00 administrative fee up until the start of the webinar. Please contact if you need to request a refund.

If you are registered for the webinar and are unable to attend, you will still be able to view the recorded webinar afterwards. However, if you cancel your registration, you will not receive a link to the recording.