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Built by Blue Sound Construction, designed by MaKe Design, photos by Alex Hayden

Task Force: ‘County Needs 244,000 More Affordable Homes’

Posted on Nov 9, 2018 in:
  • Housing Affordability
  • Industry Issues
  • Advocacy

Current estimates show a need for 244,000 additional affordable homes (below 80 percent AMI) in King County by 2040, according to the Regional Affordable Housing Task Force, a group of elected officials that has been meeting since summer 2017.

The overall goal is to “strive to eliminate cost burden (low-income households who spend more than 30 percent of their income for housing) for households earning 80 percent AMI and below, with a priority for serving households at or below 50 percent AMI.” Their recently released plan identifies seven goals, along with a number of strategies and action steps.

Your association worked with the task force to include policy language supporting increased housing supply of all types and at all levels of affordability to meet the need for additional homes, though we were disappointed that this was not more explicitly addressed in their recommendations. We will continue to engage and advocate support for more diverse, for-sale housing opportunities for King County builders and home buyers.

Here’s a summary of task force recommendations:

  • Create a new committee within the Growth Management Planning Council (GMPC) dedicated to affordable housing;
  • Increase construction and preservation of affordable homes for households earning less than 50 percent AMI (e.g. family of four living on an annual salary of $53,000);
  • Prioritize building/preserving affordable housing within a half mile of existing or planned high-capacity transit services;
  • Preserve access to affordable homes for renters by supporting tenant protections to increase housing stability and reduce risk of homelessness;
  • Protect existing communities of color and low-income communities from displacement in gentrifying communities;
  • Promote greater housing growth and diversity to achieve a variety of housing types at a range of affordability and improve jobs/housing connections throughout the county; and
  • Better engage local communities and other partners in addressing the urgent need for and benefits of affordable housing.

For more information, contact External Relations Manager Patricia Akiyama, 425.457.7067.

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Photo courtesy Blue Sound Construction, builder; MaKe Design, architect; and Alex Hayden, photographer