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.

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."

Full Story: Seattle Looks to Cottages for Affordable Housing

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month

City Coasters

Hand-drawn engraved maps of your favorite neighborhoods are divided up across 4 coasters making each one unique.
$36.00
Woman wearing city map tote bag

City Shoulder Totes

Durable CityFabric© shoulder tote bags available from 5 different cities.
$22.00