North Bend awarded grant to address affordable housing; will fund city code changes

On April 6, 2020 the City of North Bend announced it was awarded a $50,000 grant from the State of Washington Department of Commerce as part of $876,756 to assist 14 Washington communities address housing affordability.

According to a city news release, “Providing housing for North Bend’s low-income residents is a top priority for City Council and administration.’

The $50,000 grant will fund costs associated with city code changes that will:

1.   Authorize at least one duplex, triplex, or courtyard apartment on each parcel in one or more zoning districts that permit single-family residences

2.   Create a new form based code for downtown and North Bend Way, enabling better urban design along the main arterial and enabling compatible density and housing affordability in the downtown

3.  Create a new medium density zoning district for small lot and bungalow starter homes

These costs include staff time and consulting fees. 

“We are also creating a missing middle medium density zoning district to allow for a variety of building types like condos, townhouses and small lot single family detached homes to meet the first time home buyer or constrained budget buyer’s needs to be able to enter the housing ownership market,” said Community Economic Development Director, Dave Miller.

The City of North Bend said it plans to enact these proposed zoning code changes as a catalyst to increase affordable housing. 

“We have already been actively exploring ways to open our affordability options and increase density in the core areas of our city. The Complete Streets Ordinance will be in place to support requiring the City and developers to follow prescribed street and frontage standards. The form-based code would cover the areas around the right-of-way to create and product that is a pedestrian-friendly and affordable neighborhood,” stated Senior Long Range Planner, Jesse Reynolds, in the grant application. 

Downtown North Bend looking east, July 2018. Photo: Mary Miller

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  • Unfortunately jobs need to be made to make housing affordable and not the other way around. The Growth Management act was supposed to do that but didn’t.
    Developers and builders are not going to build unless they can do it for a profit for their investors and how do you keep it so called affordable as taxes and rents and individual utilities keep getting raised by the governments will continue to climb?

  • Living Snoqualmie