Actions & Accomplishments

HDC works closely with government, housing providers, equity advocates, businesses, and community coalitions to implement public policies that create safe, healthy, affordable homes for low-income people in King County. In 2015, HDC’s staff, members and advocates stood up to advocate for affordable homes, equitable communities, and an end to homelessness. Working together, we:

Funded Affordable Homes

  • Engaged in 771 actions to pass the King County Affordable Housing Bonds Bill (Rep. Larry Springer), securing a $45 million investment in affordable housing near transit.
  • With participation from HDC board members, held 57 meetings with elected officials in the cities of Bellevue, Federal Way, Seattle, Shoreline, and Tukwila, with state legislators in Olympia, and with King County Councilmembers. Along with the efforts of the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance, these meetings helped secure increased allocations to the ARCH Housing Trust Fund, a $75 million WA State Housing Trust Fund Investment, and historic equitable development investments as part of Sound Transit 3.
  • Worked with the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance and Rep. Larry Springer to adopt a new local option to fund affordable housing capital, operations, maintenance, as well as mental health facilities and services.

Built Inclusive Communities

  • Took over 103 actions in 19 cities to ensure strong affordable housing policies were adopted in Comprehensive Plan updates, which set the guiding vision for how cities will treat growth issues over the next 20 years.
  • Toiled tirelessly as part of Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) Advisory Committee to enact inclusionary housing policies in Seattle. HDC advocates stood up 929 times to ensure adoption of the HALA agenda, including:
    • Passage of a Mandatory Housing Affordability program for Commercial Development, which will require all new commercial development to fund affordable housing.
    • Renewal of the Multi-Family Tax Exemption (MFTE) program, including incentives for developers to create family-sized units. This program has created thousands of affordable homes in high-opportunity areas across Seattle.
  • Worked with legislators, equity and transit advocates to create new requirements for Sound Transit to use surplus properties for affordable housing.
  • In partnership with our North King County Affordable Housing Workgroup, ensured new development in Shoreline’s 185th Street Light Rail Station Area will include affordable housing. Because of this inclusionary housing policy and an accompanying fee waiver for affordable housing, Shoreline residents of all incomes will be able to live close to transit, jobs, and the services brought by this public investment.

Raised Awareness of Affordable Housing Needs & Solutions

  • Secured 125 organizational endorsements and mobilized 856 emails and on behalf of HDC’s 2015 policy priorities.
  • Submitted 32 comment letters, stressing the importance of affordable housing as an essential ingredient in a healthy community.
  • Presented to municipal governments—including the Joint Meeting of South King County Mayors, the Auburn City Council, the SeaTac City Council, and the Shoreline City Council—civic clubs, educational institutions, and statewide conferences.
  • Worked with students from the University of Washington to produce forward-thinking research on what jurisdictions can do to promote the health and affordability of housing.
  • Testified 169 times in the cities of Bellevue, Seattle, SeaTac, Shoreline, and Tukwila, at the state legislature, and the Growth Management Planning Council.
  • Held a Seattle City Council Candidate forum, with participation from 16  Seattle City Council candidates and over 100 attendees.

Fostered Inter-Jurisdictional Collaboration

  • Spearheaded a new partnership of South King County governments –the South King Housing and Homelessness Partnership (SKHHP).

 

Since 1988, HDC staff, members, and advocates have been working to increase affordable housing opportunities in King County. Select past accomplishments include:

  • Led a group of HDC members and community advocates in supporting a City of Shoreline ordinance exempting affordable housing from transportation impact fees. On July 21, 2014, the Shoreline City Council unanimously adopted the ordinance, which promotes the creation of affordable housing with very limited public investment.
  • Alongside members of HDC and community advocates, HDC successfully advocated for the adoption of Section 8 Anti-Discrimination Ordinances in Kirkland and Redmond.
  • Collaborated with the Puget Sound Regional Council and other regional partners to successfully apply for a HUD Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant, ensuring that equitable development and affordable housing elements were included in the plan.  PSRC was awarded a 3-year, $5 million grant to create “The Growing Transit Communities Strategy”.
  • Ensured housing affordability is included in the redevelopment plans for Bellevue’s Bel-Red corridor.
  • Held a Candidates Forum in Seattle in October of 2013 to educate local office seekers on the importance of affordable housing in their community and to understand their individual stance on the issue.
  • Led a broad coalition in support of the $145 million Seattle Housing Levy’s renewal in 2009. The voters approved the levy (for the fifth consecutive time) by a 66% approval margin. The Seattle Housing Levy creates and preserves housing for the city’s most vulnerable residents: seniors, people with disabilities, domestic violence victims, veterans, and formerly homeless individuals and families.

Note: These metrics reflect those member, staff, and advocate actions we are able to track and report. Please recognize that HDC is involved in policy and advocacy work in several ways, including efforts we lead and efforts we support. Our involvement in coalitions such as the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance and Seattle for Everyone allows our members and many others to engage in advocacy actions that we don’t directly track. To that end, this report is a conservative representation of the totality of our impact.