One of the nation’s most expensive housing markets is the focus of a new plan that would encourage new construction focused on affordability.
According to a Seattle Times report
, Mayor Tim Burgess has previewed a plan that was first begun by his predecessor Ed Murray. Under this endeavor, the city would give the greenlight for denser construction and taller buildings in 27 so-called urban villages, which are neighborhood nodes designated since the 1990s to accommodate the majority of Seattle’s expansion. The mayor’s plan would also rewrite zoning mandates in the urban villages to allow a wider variety of housing options, such as cottages, row homes and small apartment buildings. The proposal also includes zoning changes with requirements for developers to build low-income housing as part of their projects or pay fees to finance municipal efforts to create affordable housing elsewhere.
“There is a housing crisis in our city,” Burgess said in a press conference. “I don’t know anyone who disagrees with the desire to create more affordable housing.”
The introduction of the plan is one of Burgess’ last major policy announcements. Jenny Durkan, who was elected mayor on Tuesday, will be sworn in Nov. 28. Burgess said Durkan supported the plan.