What is HALA?
The Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) is a multi-pronged strategy for addressing the housing affordability crisis in Seattle.
"We are facing our worst housing affordability crisis in decades. My vision is a city where people who work in Seattle can afford to live here. Housing affordability is just one building block to a more equitable city. It goes hand in hand with our efforts on raising the minimum wage, providing preschool education for low-income children, and increasing access to parks and transit. We all share a responsibility in making Seattle affordable. Together, this plan will take us there."
Mayor Ed Murray
Who is involved with HALA?
The Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda is a multi-departmental effort being implemented by:
History of HALA
Housing Affordability and Livability Report
In September 2014, Mayor Murray and the City Council gathered leaders in our community to help develop a bold agenda for increasing the affordability and availability of housing in our city by convening a Housing Affordability and Livability Advisory Committee. The 28-member stakeholder group included renters and homeowners, for-profit and non-profit developers, and other local housing experts. After months of deliberation, they reached consensus and published a report with 65 recommendations to consider. Since then, the City and its partners have begun implementing the HALA recommendations, including doubling Seattle's Housing Levy with nearly 70% voter support and strengthening legal protections for renters. Together we are striving to put even more HALA actions into effect.
The Grand Bargain
After more than 20 years of impasse, leaders from the community representing diverse stakeholders (for-profit developers, non-profit affordable housing developers, social justice, labor, and businesses) came together through the HALA process to agree on a framework of principles that paved the way for implementing the Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) program, one of the HALA recommendations that will ensure that growth brings affordability for all.
Under MHA, new development in Seattle will contribute directly to affordable housing by either building affordable homes on site or making a payment to the City uses to fund affordable housing throughout Seattle. The affordable housing created through MHA would be reserved for 75 years for people earning up to 60% of the area median income (AMI) - $37,980 for an individual or $54,180 for a family of four. We expect MHA will create 6,000 affordable homes in the next 10 years.
The Grand Bargain refers to the framework document "Statement of Intent for Basic Framework for Mandatory Inclusionary Housing and Commercial Linkage Fee," which provides the initial principles for developing new MHA policy. However, since the Grand Bargain, these principles have evolved and through input from the community, the City has developed more principles on the implementation of MHA as demonstrated by the MHA Residential Framework ordinance that passed in August 2016 (ordinance no. 125108) and future zoning legislation to implement MHA.
To put MHA requirements into effect, the City must make zoning changes that will allow more development in our urban villages and other areas zoned for multifamily and commercial development. In October 2016, we released draft MHA zoning maps for public input. Share your feedback at HALA.Consider.it.
Specific affordable housing requirements vary depending on the area of the city and the specific zoning change that puts MHA into effect. See the Mayor's recent press release for more information.
Mayor Murray responded to the recommendations of the HALA Advisory Committee with a roadmap to make Seattle affordable, a path to reach his goal of 50,000 new homes over the next decade, including 20,000 homes reserved for low- and moderate-income people. Some items in the action plan could be completed this year, while others will require at least two years to implement. We are well underway with this effort.
When is HALA happening?
Head to our What's Happening page to learn more.