Townhomes. Stock Photo, Metro Creative Graphics

Townhomes. Stock Photo, Metro Creative Graphics

Kent receives $100,000 state grant for affordable housing plan

Goal to increase urban residential building capacity; streamline development regulation

The city of Kent received a $100,000 grant from the state Department of Commerce to help implement a housing action plan strategy to meet affordable housing needs.

“Decades of underbuilding homes (in the state) at all income levels has created a supply and demand imbalance playing out today in the affordable housing and homelessness crisis in communities across Washington state,” according to a May 17 state Department of Commerce news release. “One study suggests the shortage is more than 225,000 units.”

To help communities address this growing challenge, the state Department of Commerce announced $1.7 million in grants for 28 communities to develop housing action plans or implement adopted housing action plan strategies.

Funding will support housing strategies to increase urban residential building capacity and streamline development regulation in 28 communities across the state.

“This funding puts tools in the hands of community leaders to take steps to address housing capacity at the local level,” said Commerce Director Lisa Brown. “Planning for adequate affordable housing at all income levels strengthens communities and supports vibrant, equitable economies that allow more people to live and work where they want.”

Kent was one of 12 cities to receive a housing action plan strategy grant. Arlington, Tacoma and Port Angeles were the only other cities to get $100,000 grants. The other grants ranged from $25,000 to $75,000.

The state Legislature created the grant program in 2019 to help address the statewide housing affordability crisis and encourage local communities to prioritize creation of affordable, inclusive neighborhoods, according to the news release.

Amendments to the Growth Management Act housing goal in 2021 now require communities to plan for and accommodate housing affordable to all economic segments, promote a variety of residential densities and housing types, and encourage preservation of existing housing stock.

The housing grants can help communities update their housing plans and take action to build more housing that meets the needs of all residents, including those who work in communities but can’t afford to live there.




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