Housing Action Toolkit

What is the Housing Action Toolkit?

In 2019, the Washington State Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) received $5 million to provide grant funds to local governments for activities to increase residential building capacity, streamline development, or develop a Housing Action Toolkit (HAT). The City of University Place chose to develop a HAT. As required by the State legislation, the HAT focuses on possible future actions that would “…encourage construction of additional affordable and market rate housing in a greater variety of housing types and at price….”

The HAT was adopted by the University Place City Council on June 21, 2021. The HAT itself does not result in any Comprehensive Plan Policy or development regulation changes. It is, in fact, a toolkit that outlines information, recommendations, and possible actions that the City can consider taking in the future.

What does a Housing Action Toolkit include?

The Housing Action Toolkit includes the following considerations and steps:

  • Quantify existing and projected housing needs for all income levels, including extremely low-income households, with documentation of housing and household characteristics, and cost-burdened households.
  • Develop strategies to increase the supply of housing, and variety of housing types.
  • Analyze population and employment trends.
  • Consider strategies to minimize displacement of low-income residents resulting from redevelopment.
  • Review and evaluate the current housing element adopted pursuant to RCW 36.70A.070, including an evaluation of success in attaining planned housing types and units, achievement of goals and policies, and implementation of the schedule of programs and actions.
  • Provide for participation and input from community members, community groups, local builders, local realtors, nonprofit housing advocates, and local religious groups.
  • Include a schedule of programs and actions to implement the recommendations of the housing action plan.

How does the Housing Action Toolkit relate to the Growth Management Act (GMA), VISION 2050, County-wide Planning Polices (CWPP) and the University Place Comprehensive Plan?

Broad housing requirements are outlined in the State Growth Management Act (RCW 36.70A.070(2)). Regional Planning for growth including housing is coordinated through the Regional Growth Strategy (RGS), often referred to as VISION. The Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) adopted VISION 2050, which provides a framework for growth out to 2050. The City of University Place participates with the Pierce County Regional Council on the development of Countywide Planning Policies (CWPP). The CWPP outline a framework for meeting the requirements of RCW 36.70A.210 and implement broader policies that have been developed within VISION. An update of the City's Comprehensive Plan is due no later than June of 2024 when the City will be planning for growth out to 2044.  As part of that process the  Housing Action Toolkit will help support the implementation of growth and housing strategies in the updated Comprehensive Plan.

Housing Action Toolkit Documents

For more information, contact:
David Swindale, Development Services Deputy Director, 253.460.2519