Courtesy of Maria Ziegler via Unsplash

To help provide communities with more affordable housing options, the Department of Commerce recently awarded $5.9 million in funding through two new growth management grant programs.

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 continues to be a challenge in every part of our state. Population growth and under-building have limited affordable housing options for working families,” said Commerce director Lisa Brown in a prepared statement. “The efforts supported by these grants will strengthen communities as they plan a future with vital, diverse neighborhoods offering good housing options for all.”

According to a 2020 report by Up for Growth, Washington state was flagged as having one of the 10 worst housing shortages in the nation, under-building by over a quarter of a million homes over the prior 15 years. In addition, Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies documented the nationwide housing shortage and potential economic impacts in its 2019 State of the Nation’s Housing.

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