City Of Everett Releases Draft Housing Action Plan

It’s complex, changing and requires a lot of reading.

The future of housing in Everett, Washington likely includes more duplexes, townhomes and accessory dwelling units in existing residential neighborhoods and large apartment or condo developments along Broadway and Evergreen Way. The process to decide how much of what goes where happens with the development of the City of Everett’s Housing Action Plan. This week the City is releasing a draft of that plan. Here’s a snippet of the Background page to give you an idea of what Everett is facing.

Everett, like much of the Puget Sound Region, faces a housing availability and affordability crisis. The Puget Sound Regional Council recently issued a regionwide housing needs assessment estimating the region is two years behind on housing production to meet housing demands. This crisis is unequally impacting an unmet community housing need for low income households and other underserved members of the population. The unmet need is notably recognized in the visibility of homelessness in the community. Over the past year, housing challenges have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 Pandemic primarily due to job and wage loss for many workers.

The City is expected to grow to a population of 165,000 and an employment base of about 140,000 by 2035 presenting growth challenges given the city’s vacant land availability and access to a higher level of transportation infrastructure needed to accommodate the growth. According to the City’s Housing Needs Assessment produced in 2019, the future housing need will require an additional 22,777 new housing units for all income levels within the planning period. To meet the growth targets, average production levels would require about 1,500 new units per year. While there have been a number of new housing developments in the past two years, the annual average housing production between 2011 and 2018 was 231 new units indicating housing production levels have not kept pace to meet the current and growing demand.

Rental costs and home sales prices have risen causing many more renters to be cost-burdened while shutting out opportunities for homeownership and wealth building for many households. Over the next three years, Everett will begin planning for a new round of growth targets for the new planning period 2024-2044 establishing additional housing production pressures beyond current zoning capacity.

Understanding this context, most new housing in Everett will be in multifamily development and smaller housing types other than single family homes in both the rental and homeownership markets. According to the US Census Bureau for the period 2015-2019, the average household size in Everett is 2.43, supporting the demand for smaller unit sizes. It is important to fully understand the barriers to housing so that effective solutions can be implemented. These solutions must also include addressing equity for Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and other marginalized community members.

The Rethink Housing Action Plan is an overall plan that includes recommended strategies and actions that will further align city policies, regulations, and funding resources to support housing development and opportunities now and into the future to meet housing needs for all.

The Rethink Housing Advisory Committee will review the draft and make a recommendation to the Mayor and City Council at their meeting June 3rd at 4:00 pm. A second Committee meeting is tentatively schedule for June 10th if additional time is need to issue their recommendation. The Committee is expected to hear community comments at their meeting.

The Committee Recommended Housing Action Plan will be posted for public comment through July 2021. Additional community outreach and engagement activities will also take place during that time. The City Council is expected to take action on the Plan in September 2021. You can sign up for email or text notifications to stay up to date. Scroll down to locate the Newsflash section and then click on the Rethink Zoning/Housing link.

You can also click here to see multiple ways to get involved and follow the progress.



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About myeverettnews

My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring breaking news and events in Everett, WA. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett. It's written by Leland Dart a former Snohomish County based radio reporter born and raised in Everett.

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