The rental and housing market is hot right now. In some areas of the country the rents can be super expensive, this story from NBC in Mountain View, California describes how one AirBnB landlord got creative offering a tent in his backyard as short term rental housing. For the summer months, he is renting a tent for $46 per night (or $900 per month). He has received an overwhelming amount of inquiries because it is extremely challenging to find affordable housing in the Mountain View area.
In the Seattle area, another way we are getting creative with housing options, is the possible proposition of doing away with Single Family Zoning. This article from the Seattle Times talks about a draft policy that Mayor Ed Murray’s advisory committee on housing is working on. At this point it is just talks, but the idea would be to abolish Single Family Zoning areas to make room for more apartments, condos and allow for more flexibility to build backyard cottages, duplexes, and other very low-density (but not exclusive single-family) housing types. This article from SeattleTransitBlog also discusses the topic and the changes that would effect the city. Specifically the change in height restrictions, allowing buildings to be up to 75-80 feet tall, a change from the current 65 – feet zoning restrictions and the impending parking issue that would come with all the new apartments and condos.
Again, this is just a proposal and could be changed in many ways, but the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda committee is working on ways to increase the amount of multifamily land across the city and expand funding options for affordable housing, along with making incremental changes that would lower barriers to entry for housing. We will continue to follow this news and make sure to report any new updates that arise.