Tomorrow evening, starting at 5pm, there is a meeting to officially launch the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) work plan for 2016. Mayor Ed Murray will be in attendance along with a number of department leaders discussing the work required to implement the HALA recommendations. We strongly encourage urbanists to attend:

Seattle City Hall—600 4th Ave
Bertha Knight Landes Room
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
5:00 – 7:00 PM

Overall, the meeting will likely focus on the primary HALA recommendations, increases in development capacity coupled with inclusionary housing and linkage fees.

A graphic of how the commercial program would work. (City of Seattle)
The extra development capacity and subsidized units. (City of Seattle)

This strategy was crafted in order to meet the needs of a broad spectrum of stakeholders. The strategy will increase the number of market rate homes, explicitly require mixed-income neighborhoods and overcome legal hurdles, such as regulatory takings. The hope is that the value added from additional development can subsidize affordable units. If you want a deep dive into the policy, Scott Bonjukian wrote a detailed summary of the primary recommendations.

Seattle's goals for housing production and preservation over the next decade. (City of Seattle)
HALA recommendations are targeting 30,000 market rate and 20,000 affordable units. (City of Seattle)

During the first Council hearings on HALA legislation, there was a diverse group of supporters and mostly positive testimony. More recently some HALA recommendations have been discussed at neighborhood meetings. At least one of these meetings drew a large crowd and mostly negative comments about increased development capacity. If you care about increased development capacity and affordable housing, it will be important for the Mayor to hear that support. This meeting is a great opportunity, but if you can’t make it you can email the Council and the Mayor’s working group to express support for the mandatory inclusionary upzones.

Article Author
Owen Pickford holding a beer, wearing a Sounders shirt in front of a bridge, river and large towers in Tokyo.
Owen Pickford

Owen is a solutions engineer for a software company. He has an amateur interest in urban policy, focusing on housing. His primary mode is a bicycle but isn't ashamed of riding down the hill and taking the bus back up. Feel free to tweet at him: @pickovven.