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Roundtable Highlights Opportunities Created by New Middle Housing Law

Posted on May 17, 2024 in:
  • Advocacy
  • Industry Issues
  • Housing Affordability

On Wednesday, May 15, MBAKS hosted a roundtable conversation on middle housing, presented by the Coalition for More Housing Choices. The roundtable was one of the many opportunities for connection and learning during Affordable Housing Week (May 13-17) put on by Coalition partner, Housing Development Consortium of Seattle-King County (HDC).

The event featured a panel discussion led by Ryan Donohue, Chief Advocacy Officer at Habitat for Humanity—King & Kittitas Counties. Panelists included Randy Bannecker, Founding Partner at Bannecker Public Affairs; Anna G. Boone, Senior Manager, Government Relations and Public Affairs at Zillow; and Jesse Simpson, Government Relations and Policy Manager at HDC.

The discussion focused on the new middle housing state law, HB 1110, and the role it will play in helping to address our region’s housing shortage. The new law promises to deliver more affordable choices—ranging from duplexes and triplexes to townhouses and courtyard apartments—closer to transit and urban amenities.  

Panelists covered a range of topics, such as the benefits of middle housing, what is needed for successful implementation, how HB 1110 could help provide more affordable housing choices and support the goal of increasing Black homeownership opportunities. Read a full summary of the roundtable discussion.

When asked to share what is the most important thing that they would like policymakers to know about middle housing implementation, here is what panelists had to say:

  • Randy: Match local development regulations to the vision in your comprehensive plan. Let’s make sure we can build it, and where there are barriers outside of a city’s local control, go to legislators at the state level to work on solutions.
  • Anna: Homeowners and renters alike support housing density. Surveys show there is an overwhelming amount of support for diverse housing types in neighborhoods. There is wide support for middle housing options.
  • Jesse: Make your rules simple and straightforward, and flexible enough to allow for middle housing development. Work with city staff and council members and builders to make it happen. Also, communicate the benefits to the general public, and make sure they know housing is not a cost to communities but a vital benefit.
  • Ryan: We need more housing, of more types, for more income levels, across every jurisdiction in this state. Healthy communities are diverse in all ways, and those are the kind of cities where people want to live.

MBAKS Executive Director Jerry Hall thanked everyone for coming to hear this important conversation and the panel for sharing their valuable insights.


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