New growth management grants help Washington communities design a future with housing choices affordable to all income levels

Photo of multifamily housing complex under construction
In Washington state, residential construction remained flat, while our population ballooned by over 1 million people since 2010.

“Housing continues to be a challenge in every part of our state. Population growth and underbuilding have limited affordable housing options for working families,” said Commerce Director Lisa Brown. “The efforts supported by these grants will strengthen communities as they plan a future with vital, diverse neighborhoods offering good housing options for all.”

Washington state’s land use planning framework was recently changed to require cities to plan for the affordability of a specific number of homes (House Bill 1220). Communities planning under the Growth Management Act (GMA) must plan for construction of a variety of housing types so that everyone can afford a place to live in and near the communities where they work. A county-wide framework guides each community in planning to absorb their share of the county’s growth. Communities must also consider the effect of new development on existing residents and plan to reduce displacement when development occurs.

Photo of Auburn city plaza
Auburn’s Housing Action Plan includes dense, transit-oriented development, more affordable single-family housing options and preventing current residents from being displaced by rising rents or new development.
Graphic detailing Spokane’s housing priorities in text and pictures
Commerce grants will help Spokane continue moving forward with key development priorities that have been informed by active partnerships and engagement with neighborhood councils.
Banner image from Lynnwood WA Housing Action Plan document
Lynnwood is uniquely positioned to handle additional growth through the redevelopment of aging strip malls and surface parking lots, incoming light rail stations and accessibility to regional job centers.
Photograph of Oak Harbor marina with Mt. Rainier in the background
With its population expected to grow to nearly 26,000 by 2036, Oak Harbor estimates it will need to add about 78 new housing units annually — that’s nearly double the current annual rate of residential construction.



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Washington State Department of Commerce

Washington State Department of Commerce

Washington State Department of Commerce official news and information. Our mission is to strengthen communities in our state.