Council Roundup: Affordable housing strategy in next phase

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (RealEstateRama) — In their first council meeting back from the August recess, City Councilmembers were given an update on the affordable housing strategy. The council approved staff’s recommendations to move forward evaluating over 30 potential actions with only minor modifications. The next study phase will look at the potential for preserving or creating affordable housing in Bellevue, among other outcomes, and be used by the council to inform their choices of which actions to include in the strategy. During the briefing, staff stressed that further evaluation of the actions does not mean they will be included in the final plan.

Bellevue

Earlier this year the council adopted “develop an affordable housing plan for the needs of our diverse population” as one of the city’s two-year priorities. The project also aligns with Bellevue’s comprehensive plan and economic development plan strategies.

Staff analyzed a full list of potential actions before sorting them into five categories. Particular weight was given to those the Technical Advisory Group deemed “highly productive.” The TAG is a group of stakeholders with expertise in different aspects of affordable housing. The categories are:

Preservation
Direct and Indirect Public Support
City Regulations and Incentives
Pursuing Legislative Changes
Do not evaluate
As the discussion progressed, several councilmembers noted they were uncomfortable with any further study of “linkage fees” — fees charged to new commercial developments used to fund affordable housing. The council agreed drop the policy from consideration.

Next in the process, staff will continue to work with the TAG while evaluating the list of potential actions. A council briefing on the findings will be scheduled this fall

Contact: Brad Harwood, Acting Strategic Communications Advisor
Phone: 425-452-6837

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