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2017 Archive

The Grand Bargain

Mar 10, 2017



The AIA Seattle Urban Design Forum recently hosted a panel discussion on ‘The Grand Bargain’, an agreement negotiated between the City of Seattle, developers and housing advocates to implement some of the more impactful recommendations in the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA). The presentation and discussion were led by Rick Mohler and Marty Kooistra, and provided an informative overview of this recently passed piece of legislation. VIA’s Dylan Glosecki, Co-Chair of the Urban Design Forum, attended and has detailed the major takeaways from the presentation. 


During the Urban Design Forum presentation, it was noted that while The Grand Bargain policies are aimed at providing affordable housing, they do not address the lack of family-sized housing units in the City’s newest multi-family buildings.


‘The Missing Middle’


Nor do The Grand Bargain policies address what has been described as the ‘missing middle’ in Seattle: the lack of medium-density townhouses and small apartments that create transitions between single family neighborhoods and the 65’+ mixed-use construction that is becoming characteristic of Seattle’s Urban Villages.


Seattle citizens need to continue to voice their support for The Grand Bargain as the City Council votes on its implementation over thenext year. The policy is not yet a sure thing, city-wide. Additionally, to combat housing inequity and ensure our city supports an array of urban family types, citizens must stay engaged in housing policy discussions and encourage the City to pass more of the HALA recommendations and encourage the City to increase their focus …