Housing Action Plan (NEW)
The City of Blaine is growing, and we recognize the critical role that affordable and accessible housing plays in creating a healthy and thriving community. Every year our city welcomes an average of 100 new residents.
To plan for future growth, we are creating a Housing Action Plan (HAP). A HAP is a policy document and implementation guide that includes an assessment of how we’re doing now with housing and what steps we’ll need to take in the future. Assessing our needs helps us plan for and encourage the development of a variety of housing options that are affordable for people of all incomes.
To ensure that the Housing Action Plan reflects the needs and priorities of the community, the City of Blaine plans to involve community members, stakeholders, and housing experts in the process. The city has launched an online survey to gather input from community members on their housing needs and experiences. In the coming months, the city plans to host a series of presentations, focus groups, and workshops to gather feedback and ideas from housing providers, local employers, and stakeholders.
Take our survey!
Do you live in or near Blaine? Then we want to hear from you! Please take our short (10 minute) online survey about your housing needs. All responses will be anonymous. Your input will be essential in shaping the plan and ensuring that it reflects the needs and priorities of our community.
The online survey can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JPXVKJ7
What is a Housing Action Plan?
A Housing Action Plan, or a HAP, is a policy document and implementation guide for the city to help us plan for and support new housing over the next 20 years. Washington state law requires that HAP strategies encourage construction of a greater variety of housing types and housing at prices that are accessible to people with a wide range of incomes. Once complete, the HAP will help guide decisions we make regarding changes to city policies that shape our housing landscape, including zoning laws, permitting processes, lot size requirements, and the sizes and types of housing we encourage.
Why is Blaine creating a Housing Action Plan?
The City and region are growing. Between 2022 and 2044 Whatcom County is expected to grow by 58,601 people and the city by 2,382 people. The city’s share of this growth is four percent. Between 2020 and 2044 the City is projected to need about 1,400 new housing units to support the growing population. At the same time, preliminary housing needs assessment data show a demonstrated need for housing across all affordability levels.
The Housing Action Plan provides an opportunity to review existing policies, create strategies to fill needed gaps, and present a unified housing vision for the City today and beyond.
Resulting Housing Action Plan strategies will be used to further inform and develop the Housing Element of the Comprehensive Plan, scheduled to be updated by June 30, 2025.
In 2019, the state of Washington passed legislation to increase residential capacity in cities across the state and instruct local governments to “plan and accommodate” for housing affordable to all income levels. In 2022, the City of Blaine received a grant from the state Department of Commerce to develop a Housing Action Plan (HAP), which will serve as a policy document and implementation guide for construction of a greater variety of housing types and housing at prices that are accessible to people with a wide range of incomes. The HAP will guide decisions regarding changes to city policies that shape the housing landscape, including zoning laws, permitting processes, lot size requirements, and the sizes and types of housing encouraged in Blaine.