Seattle expands upzoning in an effort to keep housing affordability in check
In an effort to combat increasing affordability issues, the Seattle City Council approved an expansion of zoning changes in 27 neighborhoods.
April 09, 2019
- In an effort to combat increasing affordability issues across the region, the Seattle City Council approved an expansion of zoning changes referred to as the Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) that will take effect in 27 neighborhoods. In 2017, these changes were already in effect in Downtown, South Lake Union, University District and parts of the Central District.
- The changes allow developers to build denser, taller towers within multifamily and commercial areas and urban villages. With additional density, developers are required to allocate between five and eleven percent of units to be allocated as affordable units. Alternatively, developers can pay a onetime fee of $5 to $32.75 per square foot into the city’s affordable housing fund.
- Height changes vary across and within neighborhoods, but will be most dramatic in urban villages that are already dense. For example, First Hill and Northgate.
Barring any additional roadblocks, the new zoning will take effect April 19.
Source: JLL Research, City of Seattle, Seattle Times