Seattle’s Housing Future

Seattle’s Housing Future: More Choice, More Innovation, More Access

More jobs and people coming to Seattle is great news for our economy, culture, and innovation. But where will all those jobs go and where will all those people live? It’s a question that is complex but the answer can be simple: Seattle needs more housing!


Housing choice is important to a single mom trying to raise two kids on minimum wage and for a young code writer just hired for a job at Amazon. Growth is really about people, and that means people of all incomes, backgrounds, living many different lifestyles.

The ideas here come from an array of sources. Some are new ideas, some have been tried successfully already, and some are really just about keeping some things that are working already. Change isn’t easy. But together, using smart, forward looking ideas, we can begin to welcome everyone who wants to live in our city to their new home. Just click on the link below to see more detail and you can download a PDF of the ideas here: Ideas for Change Version 3.1

Zoning and Housing Types

Single Family Infill

Δ Idea: Keep Seattle’s single-family neighborhoods a viable option by allowing more new homes in single-family neighborhoods.

  • Small-lot homes
  • Cottages
  • DADUs and ADUs
  • Flex housing
  • Corner lots


Δ Idea: Preserve and expand housing in dense, transit rich neighborhoods

  • Expand the Multifamily Tax Exemption (MFTE) Program
  • Support continued microhousing development
  • Keep the LR3 Zone as a growth zone
  • Reduce barriers for more housing
  • Create real incentives for developers to build more housing
  • Subsidize housing where people want it and need it most


Δ Idea: Use existing financial tools and resources more effectively and develop new ones

  • Make existing affordable housing funds easier to access and use
  • Develop more land acquisition funds and loan programs for land purchase
  • Tax underutilized land to fund subsidies
  • Partner with private entities for financing, land acquisition, and technical assistance
  • Offer more relocation assistance
  • Explore versions of value capture (Tax Benefit Districts and Public Development Authorities)
  • Push for TIF in Olympia

Reform, Reformat, Reduce, and Rethink Rules and Regulation

Δ Idea: Review ways in which current regulation could be pared back to allow more housing, both market rate and affordable

  • Use public lands for housing
  • Fix design review
  • Create new NDM position
  • Explore Lean Urbanism
  • Promote and incentivize innovative solutions to welcome growth
  • Try a zero based zoning experiment
Of these, which do you think is most important for Seattle’s Housing Future? free polls 
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