“Seattle’s future growth can and will bring unprecedented challenges for our city, but we can choose our path forward. This can be a moment to engage in battles over density and fear of change, or this can be a moment full of opportunity to create walkable, livable, and affordable mixed-income neighborhoods for everyone.” – Mayor Ed Murray

Mayor Murray and members of City Council have called together leaders in our community to help develop a bold agenda for increasing the affordability and availability of housing in our city by convening a Housing Affordability and Livability Advisory Committee. The twenty-eight member stakeholder Advisory Committee is co-chaired by Faith Li Pettis of Pacifica Law Group and philanthropic-sector leader David Wertheimer, and includes renters and homeowners, for-profit and non-profit developers and other local housing experts.

The Advisory Committee will seek to identify and evaluate policy options to create more available housing for people all along the income spectrum. They will review every piece of the housing puzzle, including exploring innovative ideas to pilot new types of housing, the impact of accessory dwelling units, new efforts to preserve existing affordable housing, opportunities to stretch our valuable Housing Levy dollars using public-private partnerships, and more. A steering committee is directing the Advisory Committee’s efforts, which have included three public meetings in November and December, and an online survey and open comments thread for community input online.

You can learn more by using the navigation on the right to explore Key Background Data the Committee is considering or learn more about Goals and Values set for the Housing Affordability Agenda.

You can participate by sharing your thoughts on our Community Input page.
Strategy workgroups

Over the past weeks, Mayor Murray’s Housing Affordability and Livability Advisory Committee has been working in smaller sub-groups, each tasked with a specific area of the moving toward committee’s goal of increasing housing affordability as Seattle grows.

The seven strategy work groups have given the HALA effort the ability to pull in 55 additional outside experts to allow each group to take a deep dive into the policy details to formulate recommendations that will be finalized by the committee as a whole.

The strategy work groups are facilitated and supported by city staff –mainly from the Office of Housing and Department of Planning and Development – and include staff from relevant offices to assist in the formation of policy development.

The strategy work groups are:

Financing, which will work to develop financing tools and to expand existing financial incentive programs to increase production of housing stock.
New Affordable Housing Resources, a group that will work to increase opportunities to meet a high demand for affordable (or “income restricted”) housing options.
Zoning and Housing Types, which is working to examine code requirements and barriers standing in the way of increased production of a broader variety of housing.
Construction Costs and Timelines, which is working to create efficiencies in construction costs, timelines and permit coordination – as well as evaluating fees, which could add to the cost and timeline of new housing.
Tenant Access and Protections, which is seeking to increase, improve and sustain access to safe, affordable housing regardless of income level or access to resources.
Preservation, in the form of preserving affordability in existing subsidized and at/below market-rate housing stock.

Sustainable Homeownership, which is working to develop strategies to stabilize existing homeowners, prevent foreclosure and provide affordable homeownership opportunities.

These groups are tasked with developing policies, practices and efficiencies that will move the committee as a whole toward a set of policies that will stabilize housing costs and keep Seattle an affordable, vibrant, interconnected and safe city for all.

On Wednesday, February 11th, the Housing Affordability and Advisory Committee will meet as a whole for the fifth time.



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