Contact: Kent Patton
Executive Somers Launches Housing Affordability Regional Task Force
The Task Force will identify opportunities to increase the stock of affordable housing.
EVERETT, Wash., May 31, 2019 – Today, Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers, partnering with the County Council, Cities and Tribes, launched the Housing Affordability Regional Task Force (HART). The HART will collaboratively develop a five-year action plan that identifies opportunities for county, city and tribal governments to improve the region’s ability to meet affordable housing needs. The plan will set a foundation for continued success through 2050. HART will release its report by December 2019.
“The lack of affordable housing across the region is holding back our economy and contributing to congestion as people continue to move further away from job centers,” said Dave Somers, Snohomish County Executive. “The Snohomish County Housing Affordability Regional Task Force will bring elected officials together to devise an action plan for addressing this challenge. We must find incentives for increasing housing stock across the spectrum.”
Affordable housing is an issue that is hitting our region particularly hard. With one of the hottest housing markets in the country, the Puget Sound region is growing increasingly unaffordable for some residents, and homeownership is becoming less attainable for the middle class.
“The need for more affordable housing is undeniable,” said Nate Nehring, Vice Chair of the Snohomish County Council. “We must identify and address local government barriers to the construction of additional affordable housing. Working together across the region, we can make a difference in the lives of our residents who are struggling to afford a home.”
“Anyone who struggles to pay rent or is at risk of becoming homeless knows that we have a problem,” said Stephanie Wright, Snohomish County Councilmember. “Working with our local partners will give us a clear path forward for increasing housing options for everyone in our community.”
HART will consist of a team of city, tribal, and county officials, supported by other community leaders. The focus of the work will be on middle-income and affordable housing, subsidized housing, alternative housing models, and land use and redevelopment.
For more information on the Task Force, go to https://www.snohomishcountywa.gov/HART.