Sunday, May 07, 2006

Session 6 - Affordable Housing

An extensive affordable housing bill passed - here's the text. Some key provisions related to growth management (as opposed to financing) -- provisions to simplify the use of the small scale amendment process for projects that include affordable housing, provisions increasing DRI thresholds and substantial deviation thresholds for DRIS providing workforce housing, provision for expedited review (and 1 hearing transmission) of comp plan amendments that relate to affordable housing.

It also requires local governments to do a "surplus lands" inventory to identify sites for affordable housing projects and authorizes local governments and school boards to build and supply affordable housing for their employees.

It's a start at mobilizing a wider range of resources to attack the problem and to simplify the regulatory context.

What next? How about provisions that local governments can't apply a zoning restriction that allows less than 15 units per acre on lands within urban service boundaries, with urban services, so long as concurrency is met and the project will provide at least 15 percent affordable or workforce housing? How about making the 2005 "granny flat" provisions mandatory instead of optional?

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