Commerce grant winners announced

Funding for housing action plans and transit-oriented development

The Department of Commerce recently awarded $5.9 million in funding through two new growth management grant programs to help communities better address housing affordability and accessibility. 

The Legislature provided the funding for the new grant programs. The programs were designed to encourage cities to prioritize creation of affordable, inclusive neighborhoods, especially in areas with frequent transit service and other infrastructure that can support increased residential capacity.

Funding will support zoning changes to allow more housing and a greater variety of housing types, and help cities encourage developers to build smaller and more affordable housing.

Housing Action Plan Implementation grants: $3.5 million to 44 communities

The Housing Action Plan and Implementation (HAPI) grant provides funding for cities to develop strategies to meet their housing needs. Commerce awarded $3.5 million to 44 communities to research their housing needs, engage the community in a public process and identity zoning changes or programs that would encourage private developers to build more housing to meet the needs of residents, including those who work in communities but can’t afford to live there. View the list of grant recipients.

Transit-Oriented Development and Implementation grants: $2.4 million to 11 cities

The Transit-Oriented Development and Implementation (TODI) grants provide funding to leverage investments in light rail and bus service. Commerce awarded $2.4 million to 11 cities to review zoning around transit stations and streamline permit processing times for more development in station areas. Transit-oriented development is an efficient way to absorb the state’s expanding population and build high-quality neighborhoods, while minimizing traffic and costly sprawl. View the list of grant recipients.

This grant funded work will also support the Regional Housing Strategy, expected to be adopted by the Executive Board in late 2021 or early 2022. The Regional Housing Strategy strives to engage all 86 jurisdictions in the central Puget Sound region to address housing in a more coordinated and collaborative way, while also recognizing local circumstances. It will serve as a “playbook” of regional and local actions to preserve, improve, and expand housing stock in the region. The aim is to make a range of affordable, accessible, healthy, and safe housing choices available to every resident and to promote fair and equal access to housing for all people.