City of Spokane Valley addresses need for affordable housing

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. — As more people move to our area, the demand for affordable housing continues to grow.

Spokane Valley just recently released its Housing Needs Assessment. In order to keep up with demand, the city needs 6,660 new housing units by 2037.

“Housing and affordable housing for all is critical and that need is not met in most communities across the state,” said Jeff Kleingartner, Public Information Officer with the City of Spokane Valley.

It’s an issue that the city of Spokane Valley is trying to fix.

“That’s why this housing plan is meant to address people in all different income levels to make sure there’s an option for them,” said Kleingartner.

The Housing Action Plan is made possible thanks to a $100,000 grant from The Washington State Department of Commerce.

The first step to developing that plan — hearing from community members themselves. The findings may surprise you.

The assessment shows city rents have grown more than 15% since 2010. Home prices have also increased by more than 48%.

“Most incomes have not gone up at the pace of housing,” said Kleingartner.

It’s not just the price of housing that’s an issue, but also the type of housing available.

66% of Spokane Valley’s housing mostly consists of single-family detached homes. The city only has 9% of “missing middle” housing. This includes town homes, duplexes, quad homes, and cottages.

The millennial population is also growing in a way that we need to have a variety of housing options.

Getting to the root of it all may take some time. However, the city says it will all be worth it in the end.

“That’s one of the key areas on why we are working on this plan, is so we include everyone in the community so they have a choice,” said Kleingartner.

The final housing plan should be in place no later than July 2021. The city of Spokane is also conducting a survey in the coming weeks.