In March 2019, the Seattle City Council unanimously approved a measure called Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA), which upzones 27 neighborhoods in the region. Mayor Jenny Durkan quickly signed the measure into law and it is set to go into effect on April 19th. MHA’s main objective is to add affordable housing to the city through the allowance of taller single-family and multi-family residential projects. In all, city official estimates indicate that MHA will, at a minimum, provide 6,000 new affordable homes for low-income residents.
Washington state is among the strictest in the nation when it comes to new condominium development, which has largely deterred developers in recent years from building any new projects outside of apartments for rent. The reason? Developers don’t want to face costly lawsuits, which have become somewhat of a norm. As Sightline Institute reports, conventional wisdom states that “if you build condos, you’ll get sued.”