Breaking news and resources from across the industry.

​PRESS RELEASE: Housing Choices Toolkit Released to Assist With Local Planning

Posted on Aug 19, 2020 in:
  • Press Releases
  • MBAKS News
  • Issue Briefs
  • Built Green
  • Advocacy

Nona Raybern, PR & Media Manager
Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties
p 425.457.7067
m 425.208.6308

Housing Choices Toolkit Released to Assist With Local Planning

Toolkit offers proven policies to help create more housing choices so current residents, newcomers, and future generations can find a home that best fits their lives

BELLEVUE, Wash—August 19, 2020—Today, the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties (MBAKS) released a toolkit designed to help local communities create more housing choices.

As the Puget Sound region advances its collective response to the health, economic, and social crises created by the COVID-19 pandemic, those in the local homebuilding industry stand with their fellow community members. In creating and distributing this Housing Toolkit, MBAKS continues its collaborative approach to encourage the creation of more housing and more variety.

“Our region has for years been grappling with a housing crisis, and the pandemic and related economic crisis have significantly amplified the need for solutions that create more diverse and affordable housing choices for all,” said MBAKS Executive Director Kat Sims.

“We are often asked by local governments and community leaders for actionable ideas and solutions to plan for and enable more housing choices that fit the unique needs of each community. We are providing this toolkit in a spirit of partnership so cities and counties may more easily find a spectrum of proven housing policies and see which of their neighboring communities are already implementing these ideas.”

The MBAKS Housing Toolkit contains 37 specific code updates and process improvements jurisdictions can take to help provide more diverse, more affordable housing for our growing population. The toolkit is intended to serve the unique local needs of individual communities, help protect what current residents already love about our region and support the broader regional effort to plan for more housing choices.

Regulations and long permit timelines can create significant obstacles for those seeking housing by driving up costs and pushing new homes even further out of reach for many buyers and renters. There are, however, simple steps cities and counties can take today to help ease some of these regulatory burdens and reduce certain cost pressures on new housing without compromising environmental protections or other important policy goals.

All the tools featured in the toolkit can be adopted locally. None of them require state-enabling legislation. Included throughout the toolkit are examples of local jurisdictions already utilizing these tools and model codes that cities can reference. Some examples include policies that support accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in single-family zones, reduced parking requirements near transit, planning tools that facilitate infill development, video inspections, more transparency in permit timeline data, Built Green incentives, and affordable housing levies.

The MBAKS Housing Toolkit also includes a chart indicating the effectiveness of each measure to facilitate housing.

View the Housing Toolkit



Founded in 1909 and headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties (MBAKS) is the nation’s oldest and largest local homebuilders association. Like our founders, our members continue to take a leading role in all facets of homebuilding and support the planning for a growing region. From new technology to advances in sustainability and from collaborative public policy efforts to investing in our communities, our commitment to a thriving, inclusive, and well-planned region never wavers. We are the professional homebuilders, architects, remodelers, tradespeople (carpenters, framers, roofers, plumbers, electricians), planners and engineers, suppliers, manufacturers, and sales and marketing professionals in your community who believe everyone deserves access to a healthy and productive place to call home.


Help us build a sound future.