SPOKANE, Wash. —
Spokane’s population is continuing to grow and the city wants housing options to keep up.
In July 2022, the city of Spokane passed a one-year ordinance to allow duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes through the “Building Opportunities and Choices for All” program.
City planning director Spencer Gardner said the multi-family housing plan can be beneficial for communities for many reasons.
“They can be less expensive, they're more efficient with land are more efficient with infrastructure,” Gardner said. “They're often available at a more attainable price point for people.”
Gardner said the program came about as a temporary solution to make living in Spokane more accessible.
“One of the goals of this change is allowing different housing types that can often be achieved at lower price points, and making sure that they are allowed and integrated throughout the entire city so that we're not just creating this change in one neighborhood that then feels disproportionately impacted, but that all neighborhoods are participating in the growth of Spokane,” Gardner said.
It’s been one year since the city approved the pilot year of the program. Today, all stages of construction can be found across the city.
“What we've seen is that there is demand for this housing type, we're pleased that there has been construction and that there are permits moving forward,” Gardner said.
70 housing units have been built or are in the process of being approved and built.
- 42 duplexes
- 20 fourplexes
- 5 townhouses
- 2 detached homes
- 1 SFR conversion to duplex
“We knew that this was a serious problem throughout the community and we decided to take pretty quick and decisive action to try to solve the problem," Gardner shared.
City data reports there have been more residential permits issued for new multi-family buildings in 2023 than any year since 1995.
While the first year has come to a close, Spokane city council approved an extension of the multi-family housing ordinance through the end of the year.
But Gardner said the goal is establish a permanent change to the code by November.
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