HIP Tool: Interjurisdictional Cooperation

Local jurisdictions can partner with each other to pool resources and stretch funding for their housing needs. The central Puget Sound region is fortunate to have a national model for interjurisdictional cooperation in A Regional Coalition for Housing (ARCH). ARCH is comprised of 16 member jurisdictions in east King County. It assists with the following:

  • Support for below-market rate housing through loans, grants and surplus land.
  • Development of comprehensive and neighborhood plan housing policies.
  • Regulation implementation.
  • Housing program implementation and administration.
  • Finding affordable ownership and rental options for households.
  • Education for members and the public.

Background

Local governments create the capacity for housing through their comprehensive plans and zoning codes. They try to remove unnecessary regulations to allow for diverse housing choices at different income levels. It is rare for local governments to actively create housing themselves; this is typically the role of for-profit and non-profit housing developers. It is difficult for local governments by themselves to provide financial resources directly to housing projects. Housing market conditions and challenges to creating housing can be larger than any one community, and thus pooling resources through coordination or local housing fund can be more effective than each jurisdiction planning on its own.

Given the coordinated planning required through the Growth Management Act (RCW 36.70a), there are forums for local governments to discuss ways to partner in facilitating diverse and affordable housing opportunities. These include the King County Growth Management Planning Council, the Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council, the Pierce County Regional Council, and Snohomish County Tomorrow. Snohomish County Tomorrow has been researching national models for interjurisdictional cooperation on housing. Their recent study (see link below) lists important features for a successful interjurisdictional program, including support from key stakeholders, efficient use of resources, and clear identification of program objectives and community needs.

Tool Profile

Focus Areas

  • Urban Centers
  • Transit Oriented Development
  • Expensive Housing Markets
  • Innovative Single Family Techniques
  • Community Education & Outreach

Project Types

  • Single Family
  • Multifamily
  • Ownership
  • Rental
  • Market Rate
  • Subsidized

Affordability Level

  • 80% to 120% AMI
  • Less than 80% AMI

Housing Goal

  • Affordability