Frequently Asked Questions

 

While we will be preparing Question-and-Answer information to respond to a wide variety of questions about the Housing Strategy, a few examples are provided for now.  If you have suggestions for other questions, please send them to:  brad.shipley@edmondswa.gov.

General

What is meant by a “housing strategy”?

A housing strategy is a set of ideas that the City can further explore to help meet future housing needs.  A strategy is an approach, not the final action.  Having a written strategy can help the community keep track of the general direction on issues that have been identified. 

Why have a housing strategy for Edmonds?

The purpose of a housing strategy, based on the Edmonds Comprehensive Plan, is to identify how housing can be retained or added to meet a wide range of needs and incomes.  (Note:  While some people have assumed the strategy’s main purpose is to accommodate projected population growth, that is not really the case.   The focus is on what the City can do to provide housing options for different needs and incomes, while also taking actions that complement the quality of life in Edmonds.)

Have other cities been working on housing issues?  

The answer is yes.   Examples include Shoreline, Bothell, Lynnwood, Olympia, Bellingham, Redmond, and Issaquah.  Of course, cities can’t solve housing issues by themselves but they do have a role in making it easier or harder to plan for future housing and to assist people who want to stay in their community.

What does state law say about how cities should plan for housing? 

One of the broadest requirements under state law is in the state’s Growth Management Act, especially RCW 36.70A.070(2), which calls for ensuring the vitality and character of established residential neighborhoods, identifying sufficient land for many types of housing, and making “adequate provisions for existing and projected needs of all economic segments of the community.”

If a housing strategy is adopted, must the City Council follow it?

While under state law, each local government must follow its Comprehensive Plan, the same requirement does not necessarily apply to a strategy.  A housing strategy provides guidance on approaches and ideas as the City moves forward.  But it is not mandatory, nor written in stone.  Other factors will also be an influence.