The City of Bellevue has staff working on many separate housing efforts at any one time, but they are all tied together by the overarching Affordable Housing Strategy. Below you will find a list of recently completed, currently active, and upcoming projects. Many of the ongoing projects have opportunities for community input that are linked in the project description.
Increasing Affordable Housing Capacity on Faith-Owned Properties
This initiative includes a Comprehensive Plan Amendment (CPA) as part of the 2022 annual CPA work program and an associated Land Use Code Amendment (LUCA) to further increase affordable housing potential on certain faith-owned properties in single family land use districts.
1590 Work program
The HB 1590 Initiative increases the City's funding for affordable housing, behavioral health services, and housing-related services to serve our very-low and low-income families and individuals.
Due to recent state legislation regarding the siting of housing and supportive services for people experiencing homelessness, the City of Bellevue is required to update the Land Use Code to conform with state law.
Affordable Housing "Next Right Work"
The City is in the process of working with stakeholders and city Council to identify a prioritized list of the next right work to pursue over the 12-18 months to further overall housing production and income-restricted affordable housing.
OMFE Affordable Housing
Sound Transit and the City partnered to offer up land adjacent to the Sound Transit Operations and Maintenance Base for a mixed-use development that includes significant affordable housing. Sound Transit has selected a development partner and are in the early stages of concept design and refinement.
130th Transit Oriented Development Opportunity
The City is seeking a development partner to build a mixed-use project adjacent to the 130th/BelRed light rail station. The project will include affordable housing and 300 park & ride stalls to serve the light rail station.
Recently Completed Code and Policy Changes
- Multifamily Tax Exemption (MFTE) Program Update: The City adopted updated regulations for the MFTE program in July, 2021. This program provides a property tax exemption in exchange for inclusionary affordability for a period of twelve years. Among other details, the update to the program expanded the eligible geographic area to the whole city, simplified the affordability requirements and raised them to 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) to encourage additional participation, and introduced rent stabilization for tenants participating in the program.
- Reduced Parking Minimum Residential Parking Standards: In 2020, the Washington State Legislature adopted new regulations imposing caps on minimum residential parking requirements cities can set for certain types of housing located near transit stops with frequent service. In addition, cities may not require off-street parking for accessory dwelling units located within 1/4 mile of a frequent transit stop. This Land Use Code Amendment (LUCA) implements permanent regulations consistent with state law while going further to support affordable housing development and development in future light rail station areas.
- Unit Lot Subdivisions: This Land Use Code Amendment provides for fee-simple ownership of lots on which townhome dwellings are placed. This advances the City's Affordable Housing Strategy, which calls for the creation of a variety of housing choices that appeal to people at different income levels and life stages. Providing a broad range of homeownership opportunities promotes mixed-income neighborhoods, allows for a diversity of housing types, and increases available housing choices for residnets.
- Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Three-Year Rule Removal: This Land Use Code Amendment (LUCA) updates the Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) standards to increase the overall supply of ADUs in the City. ADU construction was previously restricted until three years after the final building permit inspection of new construction. Allowing for the construction and permitting of ADUs at the time of new construction will make this housing more feasible to build and encourage construction in residential neighborhoods. ADUs provide diversity in housing size, type, geographic location, and cultural options to help ensure all residents are welcomed and that long-term residents can remain in the City.
- C-1 Affordable Housing Density Bonus: This Land Use Code Amendment (LUCA) implemented a density bonus available for permanent affordable housing development on land owned by religious organizations and nonprofit organizations or on public surplus land.
- Periodic Comprehensive Plan Update: As required by the state Growth Management Act, the City of Bellevue will be updating the Comprehensive Plan for the 2024 Periodic Update. This project will launch in early 2022 and will include updates to the city's growth targets for both housing and jobs.
- Housing Needs Assessment: The city periodically assesses the current stock of housing and how it relates to various affordability levels across the city's residents and potential residents. The last Housing Needs Assessment occurred in 2016 in order to influence the 2017 Affordable Housing Strategy. As the city ramps up for the 2024 Periodic Update to the Comprehensive Plan, an updated Housing Needs Assessment will be essential to shape its overall housing strategy and growth management approach. This housing needs assessment will begin in late 2021 and be completed in 2022.