As the City Council debates Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) amendments in the lead up to next Thursday’s big public hearing on MHA, the Seattle Planning Commission (SPC), an appointed board that advises on broad planning goals, policies and plans, is currently advocating for two proposed amendments to the City Comprehensive Plan that would ensure full implementation of MHA.
The first amendment would expand the boundaries for ten urban villages to provide more housing options near frequent transit nodes, while the second amendment would revise neighborhood plan policies that seek to retain single-family zoning in urban villages.
In a draft letter to Councilmember Rob Johnson, SPC wrote, “The amendments ensure consistency with citywide policies and support the implementation of MHA, which is a critical step in addressing housing affordability.”
Last November, SPC, emerged as advocates for increasing affordability and homeownership through “flexible zoning that promotes diverse neighborhoods” with their publication Neighborhoods For All.
SPC is continuing that work through their stewardship of the Comprehensive Plan, specifically in how it can support the goal of MHA to create 6,000 affordable homes.
“We are trying to have more options for people in urban villages,” said Grace Kim, Seattle Planning Commission member. “Single-family home owners are benefitting from access to amenities and resources. This privilege needs to be shared as our city continues to grow.”