Commerce awards $876,000 to 14 communities to address housing affordability

  • March 30, 2020

Grants will fund housing action plans and city code changes to increase urban residential building capacity and streamline development regulations

OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington State Department of Commerce announced that an additional 14 cities will receive a total of $876,000 to address housing affordability. View the list of new grants here. These funds add to $4 million in grants awarded to 52 cities in November 2020.

These grants may be used to support development of housing action plans, municipal code changes, subarea planning and environmental reviews – actions which are intended to encourage production of more housing and a greater variety of housing types.

“The rising cost of housing is weighing on our economy, burdening struggling families and leaving our most vulnerable people outside,” said Commerce Director Lisa Brown. “These grants will help strengthen communities by helping them plan for more diverse and affordable housing across Washington State.”

Cities and counties planning under the Growth Management Act (GMA) must include a housing element in their comprehensive plans. The GMA housing goal calls for promoting a variety of residential densities and housing types, encouraging the availability of affordable housing for all economic segments of the population, and preservation of existing housing stock.

The Washington State Legislature created this grant program to help address the housing affordability crisis throughout the state. Lawmakers sought to encourage cities to select from a detailed list of land use planning activities and prioritize the creation of affordable, inclusive neighborhoods, especially in areas with frequent transit service and infrastructure that supports added residential capacity.

For the list of grant recipients and more information about this program, visit Commerce’s Growth Management web page on planning for housing

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