10/23/2017: "Dept Commerce Works On Affordable Housing"
Relief in sight for local governments seeking standards, guidance on land-use planning to meet community housing needs. The Department of Commerce announced today that John Smith Consulting will develop guidance for local governments to help address insufficient supplies of affordable housing.
Under a $260,000 contract, the firm will deliver a comprehensive report specifying guidance for county-wide Buildable Lands reports, the documents that guide land use planning efforts to address future housing needs.
King, Pierce, Snohomish, Kitsap, Whatcom, Thurston and Clark counties will benefit through this project. John Smith Consulting will work with these counties and other stakeholders to develop the necessary guidelines by Dec. 2018. The 2017 legislature authorized the project (ESSSB 5254, Section 3).
“Skyrocketing housing costs driven by lack of supply is hurting communities across the state. We are seeing more people pushed into homelessness, businesses struggling to attract new workers, and middle class familites unable to afford home ownership,” said Commerce Director Brian Bonlender. “This work will strengthen communities by helping the designated Buildable Lands counties get an accurate picture of the quantity of land available for residential home construction. Only then will we have the ability to accurately determine the extent to which other barriers are contributing to our housing supply crisis.”
For information about the Buildable Lands program in Washington State or other Commerce programs that help Washington develop housing options, please visit www.commerce.wa.gov.