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A micro-housing building in Seattle.
Reviewing a new housing option.

What’s Happening Now? 

On May 19, 2014, the City Council held a public hearing about the proposed changes to the regulations. In response to public comment, Planning Land Use and Sustainability (PLUS) committee chair, Mike O’Brien, convened a stakeholder working group. The working group is made up of residents, developers and neighbors, and it will help the Council dig into our proposed regulations. This process will last through the rest of the summer, with the goal of having recommendations for the City Council to consider in September. More information about the working group can be found on the City Council website.

Our proposed legislation is based on our research and responds to concerns raised by the public and elected officials. You can read the proposed new regulations on the Project Documents page.

Why Are We Doing This?

We have seen an increasing demand for, and construction of, micro-housing, particularly in 2012 and 2013. This emerging form of housing is typically:

  • Small sleeping rooms (usually 100 – 285 square feet) with private bathrooms
  • Grouped together in arrangements of up to 8, with a shared kitchen or common area
  • Located in urban center and urban village neighborhoods, particularly in Capitol Hill and University District
  • Available at lower rent than standard studio or one bedroom apartments

We have also seen more development of the congregate residence arrangement – a similar type of housing.

You can browse examples of micro-housing on flickr.

Project Benefits

Based on our evaluation so far, we recognize micro-housing and congregate residences as an emerging and viable type of housing. This housing can help achieve Seattle's Comprehensive Plan goals and policies by:

  • Reducing the cost of developing new housing
  • Fostering an adequate and diverse supply of housing

The End Result

We will deliver our recommendations on the permitting and design of micro-housing and congregate residences to City Council. After deliberating and holding a public hearing, the City Council will adopt legislation.

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