Catch up on your reading
We send out Advocacy Alerts to educate and keep you up to date on city business related to affordable housing, to offer our perspective on a policy or initiative, and to let you know when it’s time to act with a letter or public comment at City Council or Planning Commission.
Bethany Lutheran Church
In May 2021, Bethany Lutheran Church submitted a request to City Council for an increased density bonus, permitted under Washington state law (RCW 36.70A.545), to build affordable housing on its land. The plan envisions 21 units on the 8-plus acre parcel.
Housing Action Plan
The city contracted with ECONorthwest to develop a Housing Action Plan for Bainbridge Island. ECONorthwest will take an inventory of existing conditions, assess demand over the next 20 years, and identify need. The final plan, a draft of which is expects early 2023, will recommend actions the city can take to address these needs through a variety of affordable and market-rate housing and will coordinate with other city plans, such as the Sustainable Transportation Plan and Comprehensive Plan. The process entails extensive community and stakeholder engagement.
Housing Design Demonstration Projects (HDDP)
HDDP is intended to increase the supply and choice of housing and to create housing that serves low-income households and uses innovative green building practices. Qualifying projects are granted incentives, such as density bonuses and reduced parking and setback requirements, in exchange for building affordably and sustainably.
HRB owns one of the last remaining undeveloped plots of land on Ericksen Avenue. It was sold to us at a fraction of its market value by a longtime supporter, providing an incredible opportunity to expand our community land trust. We have begun planning an 18-22-unit multifamily rental building. Construction is close to two years out, but the city approval process has already begun.
Multifamily Tax Exemption (MFTE)
MFTE is used to encourage the development of affordable multifamily housing by granting a partial property tax exemption (for 8, 12, or 20 years in Washington). The exemption applies only to the portion of the development that is affordable. On November 9, City Council approved Ordinance No. 2021-23 creating an MFTE program for Bainbridge Island.