Navigating Washington’s housing crisis

Navigating Washington’s housing crisis

Housing unaffordability similar to conditions in California was forecasted for Washington state during a July 8 housing summit in Bellevue. Whether or not Washington...
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...
The long and short of subdivisions

The long and short of subdivisions

A Senate proposal intended to increase the maximum number of units within a short subdivision continues to advance through the legislature. On April 2,...
Same space, more housing

Same space, more housing

As a Senate proposal to increase the housing supply advances, a separate House bill calls for a similar solution by allowing cities and counties...
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...
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...
house with tools

SEPA reform needed

Members of the Seattle City Council have been accused of trying to “...gut bedrock environmental protection rules...” because they state what has been obvious...
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...
Inslee pushes for LCFS, homelessness funding

Inslee pushes for LCFS, homelessness program funding

Governor Jay Inslee’s Jan. 14 State of the State speech focused primarily on a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) proposal that in past session...
Future growth in Washington

Future growth in Washington

The Growth Management Act (GMA) has guided local and regional planning since the state legislature approved it in 1990. In the nearly three decades...
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...
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....
State Senate approves tiny home bill

State Senate approves tiny home bill

The Washington Senate voted overwhelming 44-2 in favor of a bill allowing cities and towns to create ordinances regulating tiny house communities, while prohibiting...
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...
Reforming the housing development process

Reforming the housing development process

Following a recent  housing summit in Bellevue, the House Local Government Committee held a work session in Federal Way examining the various public policies...
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...
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....
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...
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...
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...
Housing proposals ignite debate over local control

Housing proposal ignites debate over local control

The Washington Senate voted 38-10 on Mar. 11 in favor of SB 5812 requiring that cities and counties adopt ordinances and regulations allowing accessory...
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 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...

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...
Seattle houses

Stakeholders discuss affordable housing policy

Green-building advocates and representatives from the housing sector and local government spoke this week at the 2018 Built Green Conference event on hot housing...
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.

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...
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...

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...

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...
Urban density bill signed by Inslee

Urban density bill signed by Inslee

Governor Jay Inslee has signed E2SHB 1923 sponsored by Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon (D-34) into law – a bill that supporters hope will increase housing...
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 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...
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...

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...

City of Kenmore downtown development sets example for future Washington municipal projects

As one King County city moves to develop its downtown, developers and city staff are praising the move as a way to attract more...
Finding compromise on Seattle’s short-term rental rules

Finding compromise on Seattle’s short-term rental rules

Less than one percent of Seattle’s housing is used for short-term rentals. Nevertheless, the Seattle City Council aims to impose a new tax on...
Seattle’s vacation rentals industry hit with new rules

Seattle’s vacation rental industry hit with new rules

The Seattle City Council unanimously approved new regulations at a Monday meeting on short-term and vacation rentals that industry members warn will backfire as...
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...
video

Lens Video – The Growth Management Act

https://www.facebook.com/thelensnews/videos/1933358896881201/ In an interview with Lens, Sen. Tim Sheldon (D-35) reflects on the 1990 state Growth Management Act. He discusses the law's impact on residential...

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...
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 Showbox

Seattle City Council insulates Showbox venue

The Seattle City Council voted this week to prevent the Seattle Showbox concert venue from being torn down and replaced by apartments. Proponents of...
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...
Rent control could prompt housing shortage

Rent control could prompt housing shortage

The average monthly rent for an apartment in Seattle is $2,130, a three percent increase from 2018, according to Rent Café. In July 2016,...
Bellingham climate action proposal could cost homeowners big

Bellingham climate action proposal could cost homeowners big

The state legislature this year passed a law requiring that Washington utility providers convert to 100 percent carbon-neutral energy by 2035. Now, the city...

A Big Punt On Growth Management Reforms – Or A Roadmap To The Future?

A Washington State House panel is now considering proposed reforms to the controversial, 25-year-old Growth Management Act (GMA). It may either be aiming to...
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...
December REET revenue doubles from last year

December REET revenue doubles from last year

According to data from the state Department of Revenue (DOR), the month before the state’s new law restructuring the real estate excise tax (REET)...
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...
Addressing Washington’s housing affordability crisis

Addressing Washington’s housing affordability crisis

A housing summit in Bellevue involving various stakeholders from the private and public sectors could represent a turning point in a statewide housing crisis...

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