Seattle's Answer to Affordable Housing

Zach Patton details the effects of Seattle's zoning regulation which allows for the construction of "backyard cottages." These cottages, writes the author, are a viable way to increase urban density and provide affordable housing.
May 2, 2011, 1pm PDT | Victor Negrete
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From article by Zach Patton on Governing. com:

"Today, almost two-thirds of the city is zoned for single-family homes, so it's harder for Seattle to accommodate its growing population -- the city swelled from 563,374 residents in 2000 to 608,660 last year -- without spreading farther and farther into the forests of the Pacific Northwest. That's partly why the city saw backyard cottages as an attractive new alternative, a way to add affordable housing options without a wholesale redesign of the city's signature neighborhoods."

Patton explains that backyard cottages and granny flats are actually a throwback to common urban design practices of the first half of the 20th century. By the 1950s, however, Americans fled to the suburbs in pursuit of large single-family homes on large tracts of land. Further, "many urban zoning codes of the second half of the century essentially banned the construction of new backyard cottages."

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Published on Monday, May 2, 2011 in Governing
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