According to Ryan Donohue, there is only one way to solve the shortage of affordable homes in Washington: widescale zoning reform that legalizes multifamily housing without onerous parking mandates, and an influx of public funding to match.
“If we don’t solve both of these problems, we will never be able to solve the housing crisis,” explained Donohue, the Chief Advocacy Officer for Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King & Kittitas Counties (“Habitat SKKC”), Washington’s largest Habitat for Humanity chapter.
All across Washington state, people need more homes of all kinds. One million more, the Department of Commerce estimated, by 2044. But local exclusionary zoning laws adopted by city and county governments between 1920 and 1980 have restricted homebuilders’ ability to meet demand. Bans on apartment buildings, townhomes, and duplexes, combined with costly parking mandates, have contributed to Washington having the fifth worst undersupply of housing in the United States.