The Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties (MBAKS) released a plan today at its annual Housing Summit to promote the creation of more housing options for Puget Sound consumers. The ten-point plan suggests both regulatory and legislative changes to increase housing attainability that could be implemented by state or local government.
One recommendation calls for the reform of condominium liability laws to stimulate the production of more affordable homeownership options. “Homeownership bridges the economic divide between the haves and the have-nots in our society,” said Gail Luxenberg, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King County. Luxenberg explained how Habitat seeks to help service sector employees with housing options close to where they work. “We need to go vertical with condominiums, to have an impact for our clients. That’s why we are aligned with the building community to seek solutions,” she said.
Clay White, principal planner for LDC Inc., praised the proposal as “a great plan with quick to implement regulatory changes and more comprehensive suggestions that will help us address housing needs now and into the future.” He suggested that cities adopt a minimum requirement for the development of single family housing in their comprehensive plans.
Economist Elliot Eisenberg detailed how dire the housing shortage is in our region. He said the problem with housing affordability is simple: “We’re not building enough houses.” He explained that we currently have housing production levels that are consistent with past recessions despite being in the 100th month of an economic recovery. Eisenberg encouraged action now to address the production shortage, before the millennial generation reaches its peak home-buying years.
Troy Thiel of Windermere East, Inc. was one of several REALTORS® to attend the MBA Summit. “The builders presented many great options to address our housing affordability crisis,” he said. “They are just one of the many housing choice organizations that REALTORS® will work with as we partner to improve our communities.”