Housing Action Plan

In 2019, Redmond received a grant to develop a Housing Action Plan.  The Plan identifies specific strategies for ways in which the City can optimize housing supply, variety and affordability.  The Housing Action Plan includes an analysis of the existing housing stock, current and projected housing needs and opportunities for housing.  The community’s vision has also been included through a variety of engagement opportunities.  This information will help the City to develop strategies to address current and future housing needs.  Providing for affordable housing in Redmond with a variety of housing types is a priority for the City as outlined in our Community Strategic Plan.

Required Updates

At a high level, required updates to Housing policies include:

  • Aligning with the Regional Housing Strategy found in VISION 2050;
  • Accommodating planned population growth;
  • Mitigating displacement of disenfranchised populations;
  • Promoting housing security and encouraging community stability, particularly for lower income households; and
  • Achieving a more balanced jobs-to-housing ratio.

The countywide planning policy updates have a strong focus on equity and program evaluation. There is a strong theme of removing barriers that have disproportionately impacted Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities. The countywide planning policies also require jurisdictions to pursue implementation strategies and regulations that will generate housing for people at all income levels. In addition, the countywide planning policies identify data collection requirements that will allow organizations to evaluate their programs and compare results across the region.

These updates reflect the Redmond 2050 themes of Equity and Inclusion and Technology Forward. Equity policies include promoting the adoption of anti-displacement policies. Further, jurisdictions are required to document the local history of racially exclusive and discriminatory housing practices, implement strategies to address those impacts, and repair past harms. Technology Forward policy direction includes collecting data to monitor progress towards meeting countywide housing targets and providing information for use in the King County Affordable Housing Dashboard. 

Policy Updates Under Consideration

The Redmond 2050 Existing Conditions Report concludes each chapter of the report with related policy considerations for potential updates to the Comprehensive Plan, including the Housing Element. 

Staff developed policy considerations based on the Housing Action Plan and the Existing Conditions Report, with input from the Planning Commission and many other stakeholders in late 2020 and early 2021. Staff then compiled existing policies and proposed policy considerations in the change matrices. In doing so, staff has identified policy options and alternatives, in other words, areas of tension between two or more policy considerations. These tension points require discussion and ultimately a decision for the most appropriate way forward. The policy options and alternatives are not inclusive of all the policies that will be considered for a topic, but rather are only those policy considerations that have divergent approaches that may be in conflict or require prioritization. Likewise, the potential strategies listed in the options and alternatives documents are illustrative of the types of action that could be taken to pursue that policy direction but are not exhaustive of the range of strategies that may be needed.

Of the 80 policy considerations in Housing, there are two areas of tensions that require policy direction. The first tension is between implementing actions of the Housing Action Plan (HAP) and continuing to implement some neighborhood plan policies. The HAP directs the City to expand “missing middle” housing typologies and housing choices in the City. However, neighborhood plans often have policies that restrict these types of housing.

The second tension is between energy efficiency and sustainability requirements for new construction and lowering the cost of new construction. “Green” buildings often have an associated cost premium compared to conventional buildings.

Community Inputicon-speech-bubbles-conversation Opens in new window

Redmond 2050 project staff shared the policy considerations with the public, stakeholders, and boards, commissions, and community partner organizations. A workshop was held and a Lets Connection questionnaire provided additional methods for input to help determine community priorities.

Next Steps

At their Study Session on September 28, 2021, the Redmond City Council considered input to date and provided guidance to staff on how to proceed with drafting the policies for the Economic Vitality Element.  Staff is currently developing draft 1.0 of this element, which will be finalized and released for public comment in 4th quarter 2021 or early 1st quarter 2022.

  1. Ian Lefcourte

    Planner, Long Range Planning
    Phone: 425-556-2438

  2. Brooke Buckingham

    Human Services Manager
    Phone: 425-556-2416