Habitat in the News OpEd: Ease restrictions on ADUs to address housing crisis

On a warm Saturday morning in early October, we at Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King County opened the doors to 13 new permanently affordable homes where they had been illegal except for a special “Urban Village” area designation.

That flexibility built into the zoning for the South Park neighborhood – long reserved for only the biggest, most expensive housing, that is, single-detached houses, just one per lot – allowed us to welcome 13 new homeowners who now benefit from nearby jobs, schools, and transit. We turned one home into many homes: seven single-detached homes, two townhomes, and four mother-In-law homes or “accessory dwelling units (ADUs).” Such housing choices helped these families afford a place right now and helps stabilize prices overall by alleviating the housing shortage that’s pushing people farther from their livelihoods and communities. 

It’s time for Washington state to join them and lay the foundation for addressing our affordability crisis, while simultaneously taking overdue steps to undo the racial discrimination built into our city rules.”

Ryan Donohue

Want to see more of Habitat SKC in the News? We were recently featured in The Stranger as well read here.