Bellevue Commits to Action

CityOfBellevue-2010While we know many of you have been focused on the affordable housing conversations happening in Seattle, we want to take a moment to acknowledge over two years of work on Bellevue’s Comprehensive Plan and celebrate its adoption.

Through this process, Bellevue residents, housing providers, advocates, volunteer commissioners, and elected leaders have had a robust dialogue about affordable housing needs and solutions in this changing and growing community. Residents of transitional housing stepped up to talk about their desire for a stable place to live so their children can benefit from Bellevue’s great schools. Private developers explained why affordable housing is so important and so difficult for the market to produce on its own. Shelter and housing providers discussed their long waitlists and urged the City to take action.

Because of these conversations, Bellevue’s Comprehensive Plan includes many strong affordable housing policies, including: directing funding to affordable housing; promoting affordable housing in high-growth and opportunity areas of the City such as Downtown; looking at surplus property as an affordable housing solution, and many more. But, just as important, there has been an opportunity to discuss deep community needs and how solving them will benefit the entire city. This political will helps to inform and drive the conversation as the City moves forward with action.

The City plans to begin work on its Housing Strategy Plan now, and it’s up to all of us to ensure it remains a top priority. This strategy document—a commitment that came out of the Comprehensive Plan—will guide how Bellevue will promote affordable housing going forward.

Indeed, there are needs and opportunities across King County. It’s critical that we all engage in these conversations to share best practices, build political will, and let our local leaders know that we support affordable housing in our cities and in our neighborhoods. Together, we can ensure we are building a community that people of all incomes can call home.