Home & Hope: Progress on New Tool to Map Public Sites
As questions about housing availability and affordability loom large in the Seattle region, publicly owned parcels of land are a resource that governments can tap and put to use to address our pressing housing and community needs. Affordable housing strategies from Seattle’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda to Washington’s Housing Affordability Response Team and from Bellevue to Tacoma, all agree on that point.
- Where are these sites?
- Who owns them?
- How can we find the most suitable ones?
Enterprise recently previewed to the Seattle City Council a mapping tool that aims to help answer those questions.
Enterprise’s Home & Hope initiative catalyzes the transformation of underutilized public and tax-exempt sites into affordable homes and early learning centers. In partnership with Futurewise – and with support from the King County Assessor and funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – Enterprise is creating a mapping tool to help stakeholders search for public and tax-exempt sites throughout King County.
The tool includes filters for:
- Site attributes
- Proximity to other uses like transit
- Eligibility for financing tools like the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit or Opportunity Zones
- Owner agency types
The mapping tool is scheduled to be finalized and ready for use by this fall. We are currently creating a new iteration of the tool based on initial feedback and will refine and test the mapping tool over the summer.
The preview garnered news coverage on KUOW, KOMO, KIRO7, and an article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
James Madden, senior program director, said, "I think it is important to realize that we as a public have resources besides just tax dollars to commit to solving problems. Even as Seattle becomes more expensive, we can have the tools to keep creating housing for everyone who wants to live here."