Planning for Housing

The Planning for Housing page contains information on grants, guidance, and links to other housing pages. 

photo of affordable housing development

Housing News

Growth Management Housing Programs

Photo graphic showing housing needs by housing type from largest to smallest.

Updating GMA Housing Elements

Updating your housing element includes significant changes after HB 1220 (2021) was passed. Housing elements now require housing projections based on population and income bracket, a review of racially disparate impacts and displacement, and adequate land capacity and adequate provisions to be analyzed

Updating GMA Housing Elements

Photo of row of duplex housing in a neighborhood.

Middle Housing

This page shares definitions, guidelines and technical support materials for local governments in Washington with an interest in pursuing middle housing as a part of their comprehensive planning and local regulations.

Middle Housing under the GMA

Photo of construction site with an apartment complex structure.

Connecting Housing to Infrastructure (CHIP)

The Connecting Housing to Infrastructure Program (CHIP) was created in 2021 to fund utility improvements for affordable housing. This program was funded again in the 2023 legislative session with $55.5 million budgeted for grants through the next fiscal biennium from July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2025.

CHIP Grants

Multi-Family Housing Property Tax Exemption Program

The Multi-Family Housing Property Tax Exemption (MFTE) program began in 1995, codified as RCW 84.14, to incentivize residential development in urban centers. The program authorizes 8, 12 and 20-year property tax exemptions to encourage the development of multifamily housing.

MFTE Program

Photo of light rail station next to urban housing.

Transit-Oriented Development

TOD is the practice of planning for greater development intensity near transit stops, such as mixed-use buildings with employment, commercial, multifamily residential, and public spaces.

Transit-Oriented Development

Housing Architecture Montage

Housing EZView Website

Many of the housing programs have ongoing project updates and intricate details that are shared by project managers on our EZView webpages. Take a moment to look over the project work our housing planners are performing on a regular basis.

Housing EZView website

Housing Laws and Rules

Here is a list of the most recent laws affecting how we plan for housing and a link to the current rulemaking page:

Housing Survey - December 2022

Housing and homelessness were the top two issues that Washington residents named in a 12-county survey conducted by Commerce and the Puget Sound Regional Council in late 2022. The majority of respondents in every county wanted to see more diverse housing and more affordability, including some types of multi-unit housing in single-family zones. You can read the full survey report here (PDF) *Updated January 26, 2023.

Communications Tools on Housing Topics

Commerce created these communications tools – which include videos, fact sheets and power point presentations – for use by Washington state jurisdictions and other housing stakeholders to share, download and edit as needed for use in your community. They are available in Chinese, Spanish, and English, and address a variety of issues relating to planning for housing including homelessness, racially disparate impacts, and environmental considerations. 


Power Points

Fact Sheets