A global pandemic, an overdue racial reckoning, and the heat of climate change are just some of the critical issues with which we find ourselves grappling. Against this backdrop, affordable housing is a vital factor in meeting these challenges and creating thriving, stable communities.

Client: Renton Housing Authority
Architect: Schemata Workshop

Photo Credit: William Wright Photography

Unfortunately, safe, affordable, and stable housing is in short supply. To ensure that neighborhoods have an opportunity to grow into healthy, equitable, and resilient communities, it is critical that we accelerate and prioritize our investment in housing.

Extensive, coordinated planning, and significant public funding mechanisms are the norm for transportation projects, why not housing and community development?

In 2005 Transportation Benefit Districts (TBD) was created by the State Legislature as a means for local governments to fund transportation improvements that were a part of local, regional, or state transportation plans. Since then, over 100 TBDs have formed across the state generating a total of over $300M for important transportation improvements.

The success of TBD gives us great confidence that a creation of a similar fund for housing and community development is the path forward in combating the myriad of current and future challenges facing our neighborhoods.

Housing Benefit Districts will:

  • Promote equitable development which includes affordable housing and complete, walkable neighborhoods around transit stations
  • Ensure that we get the most out of our region’s $60 Billion public investments in transportation by building affordable housing at scale near transit stations
  • Enable local governments to fund the acquisition of land around transit centers for low-income and middle-income housing and community development projects
  • Create a mechanism for more affordable housing earlier and throughout the housing development cycle