Addressing the Need for Affordable Housing in Spokane Valley
What’s a HAP?
In 2019, the Washington State Legislature passed legislation encouraging all cities planning under the Growth Management Act to adopt actions to increase residential capacity, especially in areas with supportive transportation and utility infrastructure. The legislation also encouraged the prioritization of affordable, inclusive neighborhoods that consider the risk of residential displacement, particularly in neighborhoods with communities at high risk of displacement.
To receive a portion of the $5 million in grant assistance provided with this legislation, cities must either adopt two of the accompanying actions listed in the plan or develop a housing action plan (HAP).
Community planning for affordable housing
The City of Spokane Valley (the City) is developing a HAP to identify ways to meet immediate and future housing needs as its population grows. The City engaged MFA and our partners at ECONorthwest, Inc. to develop the HAP and move the project forward with considerable stakeholder engagement while social distancing requirements are in place.
The nuts and bolts
Our team is conducting a housing needs assessment that tells the City how much and what types of housing it has within the city limits, what the projected need is, and what gaps exist between what it has and what it needs.
Following the housing needs assessment, findings will be shared with the community. Participants will have the ability to share feedback on whether the findings align with their experience living in Spokane Valley. Our team will also conduct interviews with stakeholders from the business community, organizations, and community groups that work in the housing sector and with housing issues to gather feedback on the HAP development process and the housing needs assessment findings.
Our team is also conducting a technical assessment to explore Spokane Valley’s housing policies, programs, and city code to evaluate if its housing framework is producing units as intended. Based on this analysis, the housing needs assessment, and the public’s input, the team will identify a range of potential measures the City can take to ensure it is providing appropriate housing for its residents.
The final technical step includes developing a housing strategies evaluation and implementation plan. A draft plan will be shared with the community, and we will use online tools to gather feedback on the recommendations. We will update the recommendations to align with public feedback and then share with the community as the City guides its constituents through the formal adoption process.
Addressing the need for affordable housing in your community
Interested in learning more about using MFA’s planning services to address the need for affordable housing in your community? Please get in touch using the contact form below!
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