The City of Spokane is creating the Housing Action Plan to help increase housing options that are affordable and accessible for people and families of all incomes. As Spokane grows, we are facing a gap in housing supply. The plan will provide a strategic approach to address current and future housing needs of the Spokane community. When completed, it will provide a coordinated vision that supports more people being able to find a home that meets their needs with access to opportunities, services and amenities. This process builds upon previous community discussions and initiatives around infill development, housing quality, and affordable housing funding.
Spokane's Housing Action Plan will:
The City received a grant from the Washington Department of Commerce to complete the plan, which is expected to adopted by City Council in April 2021.
We want to hear from the community throughout the process so that the housing strategies will reflect all residents and be grounded in community members' knowledge of Spokane's strengths and challenges. We are continually monitoring the public health considerations for COVID-19. We will follow current guidance from the City on engagement, and create opportunities for the community to share experiences and provide input in a safe and accessible manner.
The Draft Housing Needs Assessment, prepared by ECONorthwest, is part of the deliverables provided for the Housing Action Plan. It helps define the range of housing needs by analyzing data that describes the city of Spokane's housing and associated demographic, workforce, and market trends over the past few decades. The draft assessment also provides a comparison to Spokane County.
The Housing Action Plan Working Group will provide guidance on the project process and analysis, as well as the contents of the final Housing Action Plan. The working group is comprised of housing stakeholders, community groups, and community members who will support and represent a variety of perspectives and experiences in the community.
The City hosted a series of virtual roundtables in September 2020 as an opportunity to dive deeper into key topics and discuss potential strategies with stakeholders, partners, and community groups and members.
Development Regulations – September 10, 2020
Land Use and Housing Policy – September 15, 2020
Equity in Housing – September 17, 2020
Affordable Housing and Rental Housing – September 23, 2020
City Council Updates
Plan Commission Updates
Board and Commissions Updates
The Housing Action Plan will follow a data-driven, community-informed approach with a focus on equity built on inclusive outreach and engagement with residents, partners, and City leaders. The plan will be developed in collaboration with a stakeholder working group and public input throughout the process, and data and evidence will build a common and accurate understanding of current and future housing needs. The core part of this will be to conduct a housing needs assessment to help us answer questions about our community#&39;s housing needs.
The Housing Action Plan will work to answer these important questions and more:
As the City addresses housing needs and affordability challenges, it is important to understand and consider the historic context that has contributed to the patterns of inequity present today. Housing options, and especially homeownership, are not equally accessible to everyone in the community. Practices such as 'red lining,' restrictive covenants on property, and exclusionary zoning have had long-lasting impacts on neighborhoods, like wealth inequality, less access to opportunity, and lower health outcomes. These inequalities are reproduced across generations, leading to continued patterns of inequality today.
As part of the focus on equity in the Housing Action Plan, we will work to understand and address the history of racial and income inequality. This includes:
In 2019, the Northwest Fair Housing Alliance created a video outlining the history of housing discrimination in Spokane, funded under a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. View the video and learn more: Systemic Residential Race Discrimination in Spokane - A 6 Minute History.
The federal-sponsored Homeowners' Loan Corporation (HOLC) created maps in cities across the country in the 1930s to evaluate lending risk. Neighborhoods considered high risk were “hazardous” or "redlined," meaning they were denied loans and capital investment. This often corresponded to the presence of low-income households, African Americans and immigrants. Learn more at the University of Richmond's Mapping Inequality project.
The City of Spokane and community have participated in a number of housing initiatives over the past five years to address infill housing, housing quality and affordability, code changes, and other important housing topics. The Housing Action Plan seeks to build upon these discussions and push forward recommendations into action.
Below are links to related housing initiatives and recommendations:
In 2019, the Washington Legislature passed E2SHB 1923 to increase residential capacity in cities across Washington. The bill emphasizes the need to increase housing supply for all income levels, and encourages cities to prioritize the creation of affordable, inclusive neighborhoods. The City of Spokane received a grant from Commerce to develop our local housing action plan. This planning process builds on previous City initiatives around infill housing and housing choice, safe and quality housing, affordable housing construction, and re-housing for those experiencing homelessness.