Packed In: Mayor Woodward declares housing emergency in Spokane

SPOKANE, Wash. — Mayor Nadine Woodward has declared a housing emergency in Spokane.

Along with the declaration, Woodward proposed several priority actions designed to improve housing availability, including incentives for converting commercial buildings into residential spaces, using revenue made available through state legislation, shortening review processes for residential projects and augmenting staff with consultants to help with developments.

“We are at a crossroads in our community and with this proclamation I am taking immediate action to address the critical housing needs in our city,” said Woodward. “These initial steps will take advantage of some existing market momentum and help sustain it.”

Other proposals include loosening restrictions, fees, and otherwise speeding up development processes, which are expected to be discussed by the City Council in their Monday meeting.

RELATED: ‘Affordable housing is going out the window’: Builders turn clients away, can’t build homes at prices people can afford

RELATED: Stakeholders call on Spokane City Council to revise Housing Action Plan