Innovative Housing Demonstrations Policy

Creating a pathway for housing that advances equity, inclusion, housing and climate goals

The Innovative Housing Demonstration Policy (IHDP) policy initiative responds to the declared housing and climate emergencies by providing a pathway for greater flexibility in regulations, including zoning and building requirements to test and facilitate rapid-deployment of innovative housing solutions.

This policy precedent provides a framework for testing new design models, identifying code barriers, a method for evaluation and a process for review and permitting a limited number of demonstrations in a variety of sizes and scales with low risk to the City while offering more opportunity to expand the range of solutions for decisionmakers and community advocates. This proposal is based on an
existing policy precedent from the City of Redmond, WA that we have adapted to fit a new approach for multifamily to increase houseless solutions, affordable housing and innovation.

Example Innovative Housing Types: Possible now but have barriers to advance

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Benefits 

An Innovative Housing Demonstration Policy could:

  • Advance equity, inclusion, housing and climate goals

  • Incentivize innovation & climate-responsive design

  • Provide a framework to test and model creative housing solutions with low risk

  • Create a policy pathway to identify & remove code barriers based on existing precedent

  • Expand opportunities for houseless solutions

  • Leverage under-developed multifamily zoned properties for housing now

  • Scale up examples to advance longer term market change

  • Reinvigorate our legacy as a mecca of sustainability and innovation

  • Inspire positive, community-based solutions with visionary planning and development at the top and grassroots levels

  • Create visionary solutions that can build equity, generate wealth for previously under-served and marginalized communities

Challenges Addressed in this Policy

  • We have a houselessness & affordable housing crisis that demands action now

  • Code barriers prevent innovative and low-cost housing solutions

  • High cost of land & development of typical multifamily housing, long timelines to develop

  • Limited pool of people with the skills, funding, and capacity to build housing

  • Lack of equity in who benefits and can participate in new housing

  • Governments, funders, and developers are generally risk averse without proven models

  • We have a global climate crisis that requires innovative, outside-the-box leadership

Support

  • Endorse with your name or organization's logo

  • Provide a testimonial or letter in support

  • Donate to help us advocate

  • Advise on the policy proposal

  • Advocate: write City Council, submit an op-ed, testify on RIP 2

  • Share on social media, email your friends and colleagues

  • Contact us to find out more or request a presentation

 

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