Middle Housing Program

Grant Program

The Middle Housing Grant Program is based on a state budget proviso with $7,500,000 in funding for actions that will authorize middle housing types on at least 30% of lots that were zoned for single family residential at the beginning of the grant period.  Grant funds are available to cities within King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties.  These cities have 2024 due dates for periodic review and, as needed, adoption of amendments to comprehensive plans and development regulations.  The proviso states that for this grant, "middle housing types" includes duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, fiveplexes, sixplexes, townhouses, courtyard apartments, cottage housing, and stacked flats.  

While developing the grant program, Commerce heard from many cities that local capacity would not accomodate the additional work to manage this grant and take advantage of the opportunities the funding provided.  In response, Commerce developed a three-person technical assistance team, comprised of former planning directors, who are available to help grantee jurisdictions and other jurisdictions in the defined award area. 

Grants funds are awarded based on population as follows:

  • Cities under 10,000 population:  $60,000
  • Cities between 10,000 and 20,000 population:  $75,000
  • Cities over 20,000 population:  $100,000

Each city must use a racial equity analysis and establish anti-displacement policies as required under RCW 36.70A.070(2)(e) through (h) to ensure there will be no net displacement of very low, low or moderate-income households, as defined in RCW 43.63A.510, or individuals from racial, ethnic and religious communities that have been subject to discriminatory housing policies in the past.

Additional Middle Housing Support

Based on feedback from city and county representatives, Commerce is looking to support adoption of middle housing types within jurisdictions by:

  • Participating in a housing issues survey with Puget Sound Regional Council,
  • Providing information on racial equity analysis and anti-displacement polcies,
  • Developing design packages for middle housing types, and
  • Developing a housing topics video series.

Also, we anticipate learning about other support our agency can offer to promote a greater variety of housing and an increase in housing production. 

 

 

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