Housing In Seattle-King County Is "Severely Unaffordable": Here's Why

Housing In Seattle-King County Is “Severely Unaffordable”: Here’s Why

Many words are spilled by government and advocates about the need to make housing more affordable in Seattle and King County. Special fees are...
Second Real Estate Excise Tax Would Hurt Housing Affordability

Second Real Estate Excise Tax Would Hurt Housing Affordability

A cascade of reports and analyses have already established that Washington State's Growth Management Act and its implementation locally drives up housing costs in Seattle...
It's Only A Matter Of Time Before Washington State's Growth Management Act Gets A Well-Deserved Overhaul

It’s Only A Matter Of Time Before Washington State’s Growth Management Act Gets A...

In this off-year supplemental budget session few major policy reforms or new budget paradigms were expected to gain traction in the Washington state legislature....
Business Digging In To Homelessness

Business Digging In To Homelessness

It's been 11 years since issuance of a plan to end homelessness in 10 years by the City of Seattle, King County and non-profits....

Washington State Lawmakers To Take Aim At High Court’s Well Water Ruling

Washington state lawmakers are aiming to mitigate a State Supreme Court decision that effectively halts new construction in many rural counties in the state. The developments come after public outcry from...
Expanding Washington’s housing supply

Expanding Washington’s housing supply

Although Seattle’s real estate market has finally begun to cool, a shortage of available housing remains a statewide problem that has also contributed to...
Lawmakers: Regional growth plans must acknowledge reality

Lawmakers: Regional growth plans must acknowledge reality

As the central Puget Sound region continues to struggle with explosive growth, some state lawmakers say certain provisions in the state’s Growth Management Act...
Creating Clark County jobs for local commuters

Creating Clark County jobs for local commuters

Around a third of Clark County’s workforce – 60,000 residents – commute for work each day across the Columbia River into Oregon. In coming...
Helping cross-laminated timber go mainstream

Helping cross-laminated timber go mainstream

Cross-laminated timber (CLT) isn’t a silver bullet for Washington’s rural economy and public forestland health, but it may be as close as it gets. The...

Housing Affordability And Traffic Collide

Despite often fierce reactions to express toll lanes installed in 2015 on I-405's northern portion, recent state data show most toll lane and general-purpose lane drivers on the...
Seattle Condos

Condos stage comeback in Seattle, Bellevue

Condos are returning to Seattle and Bellevue on a large scale for the first time since 2010. Representatives from the housing sector say new...
Fixing The Growth Management Act

Fixing The Growth Management Act

As Lens reported last week, lawmakers will begin public work sessions next month to look at how the Growth Management Act (GMA) could be...

Seattle mayoral and city council candidates discuss Seattle housing

Two Seattle mayoral candidates and one city council candidate shared their perspectives this week on hot housing topics in the expanding city, including affordable...
Seattle ripe for ‘cottage’ industry

Seattle ripe for ‘cottage’ industry

The city of Seattle has 55,000 ways to add more rentals to the market without developing new land. That’s according to a recent article...
Well in a garden

Hirst fix update: Water bill becomes law

After 18 months of stakeholder meetings and debate, the Washington State Legislature passed and Governor Jay Inslee signed into law a bill to address...
Seattle homebuilding

Stakeholders brainstorm housing solutions

Housing prices have begun to stabilize in the Puget Sound region, however the trend will not last long if homebuilders and developers are unable...
Washington River

House Hirst bill may provide needed clarification

State lawmakers are hearing from building industry representatives and other stakeholders on a bill which aims to address the ongoing implications of the 2016...

A moratorium is not the answer to our housing affordability crisis

Over the past 18 months, five King County cities have adopted a building moratorium, temporarily putting the brakes on new home construction. While a moratorium...
Construction workers and equipment

Washington’s housing and transportation disconnect

Washington has spent roughly $12.5 billion on transportation capital projects since 2011-13, yet a lack of cohesion between transportation investments, regional housing and job...
The politics of congestion tolling

The politics of congestion tolling

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has announced plans to toll certain roads in the city to reduce congestion and carbon emissions. Although the details aren’t...

Fish Or Well Water: The False Dichotomy

Three months after a Washington State Supreme Court ruling effectively halted rural development that is reliant on well water, the effort to safeguard property rights...
video

Lens Video: Bolstering housing efforts to prepare for the future

Lens attended the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties (MBAKS) Housing Solutions Breakfast on Oct. 24.
There's Affordable Housing For The Few, But Not For The Many, In Greater Seattle

There’s Affordable Housing For The Few, But Not For The Many, In Greater...

At first blush it might seem unlikely that Seattle affordable housing activists and real estate professionals would have much of anything in common. But...

Building a sustainable housing future

The Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties (MBAKS) hosted builders, developers, realtors and other housing stakeholders for its fourth annual housing summit,...
Housing Crisis 'Ugly And Getting Uglier'

Housing Crisis “Ugly And Getting Uglier”

In terms of housing availability and affordability, there are two predominant types of major metro regions these days, writes BuildZoom Chief Economist Issi Romem....
Residential well

Development picks up with Hirst fix

Three months since Governor Jay Inslee signed Senate Bill 6091, commonly referred to as the Hirst fix, into law, representatives from the Legislature, the...
Opinions Still Clashing Over Hist Decision Bill

Opinions Still Clashing Over Hirst Decision Bill

A proposed legislative fix to the October 2016 Washington State Supreme Court "Hirst" ruling drew attention this week from state bankers, realtors, building sector businesses, and Native American tribe...
Seattle housing construction

Seattle’s housing market cools

Seattle’s housing prices have declined at one of the fastest rates in the country over the late summer into the fall months. Coupled with...
Move To Limit Growth In "Small Cities" Sparks Uprising Against Puget Sound Regional Council

Move To Limit Growth In “Small Cities” Sparks Uprising Against PSRC

Taking a visitor on a car tour of his suburban city center, replete with a growing supply of affordable apartments and the beginnings of...
Puget Sound’s home price conundrum

Puget Sound’s home price conundrum

The Puget Sound region has always had an edge related to other parts of Washington state when it comes to the real estate market....
Regional Housing Crisis Headed To Lawmakers

Regional Housing Crisis Headed To Lawmakers

Already considered by the President of Seattle King County Realtors to be a crisis that is “ugly and getting uglier,” housing affordability in Greater...
First GMA appeal under new Hirst law

First GMA appeal under new Hirst law

Earlier this year state lawmakers and Governor Jay Inslee approved a law addressing rural growth restrictions imposed by the State Supreme Court’s 2016 Hirst...

Homeownership Is Still the Foundation of the American Dream and a Strong Economy

June is National Homeownership Month, which was created with the goal of helping more families achieve the American dream of homeownership. And while buying...
Taking mass timber mainstream

Taking mass timber mainstream

The Washington State Building Code Council took a major step last week toward broader use of cross-laminated timber (CLT), or “mass timber, in building...
New Barriers Added By State Supreme Court For Building Homes With Well Water

New Barriers Added By State Supreme Court For Building Homes With Well Water

In the wake of a recent Washington State Supreme Court ruling, potential homebuilders relying on water from wells would be required to spend tens...
Seattle’s income tax could lead to even higher home, rental prices, industry leaders say

Seattle’s income tax could lead to even higher home, rental prices, industry leaders say

One of the justifications cited in the city ordinance for Seattle’s income tax is to address the “affordable housing crisis.” However, real estate industry...
Washington State Lawmakers Get An Earful On Growth Management Act Reform

Washington State Lawmakers Get An Earful On Growth Management Act Reform

Representatives of Washington cities, counties, schools and citizens groups packed a committee meeting room in Olympia this week to urge that lawmakers amend the...
Fixing Puget Sound region’s growing pains

Fixing Puget Sound region’s growing pains

It’s no secret that the Puget Sound region has a housing and traffic problem, but some local and regional lawmakers say regional policy for...

New Buildable Lands Law Projected to Improve Data, Fill Gaps In State Housing Inventory

Washington homebuilders and realtors are praising a new law that would clarify what land is considered buildable under Growth Management Act (GMA) comprehensive plan...
The year of GMA reform?

The year of GMA reform?

A recurring criticism of the state Growth Management Act (GMA) is that its regulations artificially restrict housing supply and stymie rural economic development. Two...
Recalibrating local growth management plans

Recalibrating local growth management plans

Washington has a growth problem, but the problem differs depending on where you live. In the Puget Sound region, an exploding population has led to...

Housing affordability crisis requires bold action

One of the biggest challenges facing our region is a lack of attainable housing, especially near job centers. Continued growth is driving the demand...
Different Prescriptions To Ease Clark County Growing Pains

Different Prescriptions To Ease Clark County Growing Pains

As the legislature begins to wade into the contentious task of developing changes to the state’s Growth Management Act (GMA), one of Washington’s fastest-growing...
Seattle housing

Housing inventory woes may ease

It’s no surprise that Seattle and King County have problems with expensive housing prices and inventory shortages, Seattle was ranked 2nd on Forbes’ list...

Builders: Land-use policy reform would improve traffic congestion

It’s no secret that Seattle traffic is bad. According to the Kirkland-based INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard, the city ranks 10th nationally and 20th worldwide...
The push for minimum density standards

The push for minimum density standards

A frequent observation made by builders operating in the central Puget Sound area when discussing housing affordability is the varying housing density standards created...
State Council Forced To Rescind Building Code Revisions

State Council Will Rescind Building Code Revisions; Hid The Ball

The Washington's State Building Code Council (SBCC) has agreed to rescind code amendments that a major trade group feared might weaken residential fire safety. The...
Killing affordable micro-housing has complicated Seattle housing landscape

Killing affordable micro-housing has complicated Seattle housing landscape

One stated objective of the city of Seattle’s hotly contested income tax proposal is to address the regional housing affordability crisis. Not only has...

Small Cities Press County, PSRC On Growth

A shot across the bow was fired last week last week as two regional growth planning bodies met in Seattle. They were trying to...
Officials contemplate affordable housing strategy

Officials contemplate affordable housing strategy

The job tax unanimously approved by the Seattle City Council in May was purportedly intended to fund affordable housing efforts. Although the tax has...

Increase housing density near transit centers to ease traffic, industry leaders say

Seattle metro’s traffic congestion isn’t a problem that will be rectified soon or with a single fix. However, building and real estate industry members...

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