Housing Memo Available
The Department of Commerce has released its Housing Memo: Issues Affecting Housing Availability and Affordability to the public. The Memo addresses barriers to housing production and affordability in Washington, and provides tools aimed at assisting local governments in improving housing affordability. The Memo was requested by the 2017 Legislature’s E2SSB 5254 as part of an update to the Buildable Lands program, and is relevant to cities and counties statewide.
Updated Buildable Lands Guidance Now Available
Included as a component of the Growth Management Act (GMA) in 1997, the Review and Evaluation Program under RCW 36.70A.215 is often referred to as the Buildable Lands Program. It requires that Clark, King, Kitsap, Pierce, Snohomish, Thurston and Whatcom (as of 2017) Counties and the cities within them complete a Buildable Lands Report every eight years. The Buildable Lands reports are a look back at actual development to determine if cities and counties have designated adequate amounts of residential, commercial, and industrial lands to meet the growth needs incorporated in their comprehensive plans. With the exception of Whatcom County, Buildable Lands counties have each produced three reports since 1997.
Guidelines for local governments were adopted in 2000 and technical summaries were prepared and issued in 2003 and 2007. In 2017 a number of changes were made to the Review and Evaluation Program through E2SSB 5254. With the changes to the Buildable Lands Program, the Legislature appropriated funds to the Department of Commerce to update the existing Buildable Lands guidance, the first comprehensive update to the guidance since 2000. This project involved an analysis of how existing Buildable Lands reports are being performed and engaged a wide array of stakeholders and diverse steering committee.
With the help of a Consultant Team, and a dedicated group of stakeholders we were able to complete the project by the December 1, 2018 deadline.
Thank you to:
Washington State Affordable Housing Advisory Board (AHAB), Association of Washington Cities (AWC), Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW), City of Olympia, City of Poulsbo, City of Seattle, City of Vancouver, Clark County, Department of Ecology, Futurewise, King County, Kitsap County, LDC Inc., Pierce County, PNW Economics, Puget Sound Partnership, Puget Sound Regional Council, Snohomish County, Thurston County, Thurston Regional Planning Council, Washington Realtors Association, Whatcom County, Washington State Association of Counties (WSAC)
The 2018 Supplemental Operating Budget included funding for counties within the Review and Evaluation Program. These funds will became available on July 1, 2018. Grant contracts with the Buildable Lands counties will be managed by the Growth Management Services Unit.
Governor’s Smart Communities Awards Program
GMA Laws and Rules
GMA Periodic Update
Growth Management Grants
Growth Management Topics
Guidebooks and Resources
Defense Community Compatibility
SeaTac Airport Impact Study
Regional Planners’ Forums
Short Course on Local Planning
Submitting Materials to the State for Review