City of Gold Bar Housing Action Plan
The City of Gold Bar won a state grant for policy creation and planning regarding housing. This grant work results in a Housing Action Plan (HAP). Developing a HAP is a multi-step process as shown below.
The goal of the Housing Action Plan (HAP) is to create an actionable policy document, supported by data and public input, that outlines how to meet Gold Bar’s housing needs. A strong housing action plan is built on feedback from community members and stakeholders, so that their interests and local knowledge are reflected throughout the document. The City of Gold Bar is committed to effective and inclusive community engagement.
We want to hear from you. Please take a few minutes to provide your input about housing in Gold Bar. This survey will run through August 5, 2022. Thanks!
Access the Gold Bar Housing Survey through this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7F2HDR3
Or scan the QR code below.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
General Housing Action Plan Questions
What is a Housing Action Plan (HAP)?
A Housing Action Plan is a strategic plan about increasing housing options and choices in the city. The plan centers on community engagement. Provided input will guide the strategies and policies of the HAP.
Why are we doing a Housing Action Plan (HAP)?
This document will outline how the city can meet its housing needs and will be shaped by data and public input. The City opted to pursue this work and is committed to incorporating community voices into this plan.
About the Housing Action Plan process
When will the HAP be done?
The final HAP needs to be completed and adopted by June 2023. This deadline is based on grant guidelines.
How is the HAP funded?
The HAP is a state grant-funded effort that provides the opportunity to create an actionable policy document. The funding for this effort is provided via Washington State Legislature passed House Bill (HB) 1923.
What are the steps for a HAP?
The HAP includes several key components, as listed below:
- Housing Needs Assessment (HNA): A HNA involves compiling various data sources to create a baseline demographic picture of a community. completed in the spring of 2022
- Housing Policy Framework Review
- Community Engagement: Grant requirements prescribe that residents and community members are given opportunities to provide input for this plan. late spring and summer of 2022
- Draft Housing Action Plan (HAP): A draft HAP will be written and presented following the community outreach. This draft will incorporate community feedback, policy and code recommendations.
- Review and Adoption: A formal review and public hearings processes will allow the HAP to be adopted by the grant mandated deadline of June 2023.
Who is representing the community for this effort?
Blueline asked the City to identify persons to sit on two different groups. One committee is made up of city stakeholders, like residents with neighborhood ties and community leaders. The second is comprised of housing professionals, persons like developers and real estate experts. Together these two groups provide a community perspective and a technical perspective of housing in the city. Lastly, the survey is available to all residents, and everyone is encouraged to submit responses. The survey results will also inform policy recommendations for the HAP.
About the Housing Needs Assessment
What is a Housing Needs Assessment (HNA)?
A HNA is a document requirement for this grant effort. It serves as a baseline regarding housing and is a data-heavy document prepared before the HAP. The Gold Bar HNA was reviewed by City Council in April 2022. A copy of the HNA is found in the Additional Sources section of this webpage.
Why is the data in the HNA from 2019?
The HNA is comprised of numerous data sources including the U.S. Census and the American Community Survey (ACS) which are all based on earlier (2019) findings. More recent, federal data was not available at the time this report was written. Although a Census was conducted in 2020, release of the data products has been delayed. You can read more about that here and here.
Also, bear in mind that the HNA data, in addition to the housing policy framework review and public engagement, are what guides the development of the HAP. The housing policy framework review evaluates current progress toward meeting the city’s housing element and the effectiveness of housing programs and policies. The public engagement process allows the community-at-large and key stakeholders to speak to the city’s more recent housing trends and needs.
City Planning Requirements
How does the HAP impact future city planning?
The HAP provides structure for updating the housing element of the comprehensive plan. Additionally, the HAP recommends actions and strategies around addressing the housing needs of the city.
What are other cities doing for their HAPs?
Numerous cities received this grant funding, a complete list of these municipalities can be found on the Washington State Department of Commerce Planning for Housing website.
What other planning is the City doing?
The City is also working on the Comprehensive Plan. Cities of certain sizes are required to plan per the Washington State Growth Management Act (GMA). RCW 36.70A.070(2) requires the following for a housing element (emphasis added for language changed since 1990):
(2) A housing element ensuring the vitality and character of established residential neighborhoods that:
(a) Includes an inventory and analysis of existing and projected housing needs that identifies the number of housing units necessary to manage projected growth;
(b) Includes a statement of goals, policies, objectives, and mandatory provisions for the preservation, improvement, and development of housing, including single-family residences;
(c) Identifies sufficient land for housing, including, but not limited to, government-assisted housing, housing for low-income families, manufactured housing, multifamily housing, and group homes and foster care facilities; and
(d) Makes adequate provisions for existing and projected needs of all economic segments of the community. In counties and cities subject to the review and evaluation requirements of RCW 36.70A.215, any revision to the housing element shall include consideration of prior review and evaluation reports and any reasonable measures identified.
The update of the Comprehensive Plan Housing Element will be largely based on the HAP work.
HB 1923 requires the HAP to “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, the achievement of goals and policies, and implementation of the schedule of programs and actions.”
What are the City’s existing housing policies?
The 2015 Gold Bar Comprehensive Plan includes the following housing goals and policies:
H-G1 Provide a range of housing types to encourage an adequate choice of living accommodation for all current and future residents of Gold Bar.
H-G2 Encourage the preservation of existing housing stock.
H-G3 Promote strong, stable residential neighborhoods through public investments in physical improvements and through public policy decisions intended to protect and preserve existing neighborhoods.
H-G4 Encourage the availability of affordable housing to all economic segments of the population of the City.
H-G5 Promote fair and equal access to housing for all persons regardless of race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, family status, source of income or disability.
H-P1 Strive for a variety of housing types and prices, including multi-family, attached, and small-lot, single-family units.
H-P2 Focus higher density housing options close to downtown, transportation facilities, and public services.
H-P3 Development of accessory housing units shall be consistent with Land Use Policy 17.
H-P4 Encourage innovative housing development, such as planned unit developments, cluster housing and cottage housing that increases the range of housing types available.
Preserve Existing Housing
H-P5 Conserve the City’s existing housing through code enforcement and participation in rehabilitation programs.
H-P6 Encourage individual homeowners to reinvest in their homes by providing information, technical assistance and referrals to appropriate agencies.
H-P7 Encourage owners of buildings that are showing signs of deterioration to bring their homes into conformance with building code standards through voluntary community-wide compliance programs.
H-P8 Maintain public infrastructure in residential areas to preserve the character and vitality of existing neighborhoods.
H-P9 Encourage private sector efforts to secure federal and/or state funds to provide housing for elderly and disabled citizens.
H-P10 Encourage local participation in state programs, such as Housing Assistance Program and the State Housing Finance Commission’s home-ownership loan program, which facilitate home ownership by low and moderate income families.
H-P11 Review and monitor development regulations and standards to promote efficient and economical permit procedures that do not unnecessarily add to the cost of housing.
H-P12 Evaluate the effectiveness of development regulations to encourage residential developments that increase housing choice and affordability, and are compatible with adjacent neighborhoods.
H-P13 Allow manufactured homes under ordinances and regulations governing other residential buildings, providing the dwelling unit is certified by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries as meeting the Factor Built Housing code, if set on a permanent foundation, with the wheels and tongue removed and skirting applied.
H-P14 Ensure the building code is consistent with State Department of Labor and Industries standards for siting and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Safety and Construction standards for manufactured homes.
Fair and Equal Access
H-P15 Maintain zoning and development regulations for all persons regardless of race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, family status, source of income or disability, including group homes, consistent with the Federal Fair Housing Act.
H-P16 Encourage the utilization of housing resources from federal or state sources to assist in providing better housing opportunities for low-income, elderly, or handicapped persons.
H-P17 Residential areas should include space for affordable housing for elderly, disadvantaged, disabled and low-income households.
H-P18 Make reasonable accommodations in its rules, policies, practices, and services to afford persons with disabilities and other special needs equal opportunity to use or enjoy a dwelling.
HAP and Housing Affordability
What is affordable housing?
The term affordable housing refers to households spending less than 30% of the total household income on housing. Housing includes costs like rent, mortgage, insurance, and utilities.
The Washington State Growth Management Act (GMA) defines affordable housing as:
(2) “Affordable housing” means, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, residential housing whose monthly costs, including utilities other than telephone, do not exceed thirty percent of the monthly income of a household:
(a) For rental housing, households whose income is 60% of the median household income adjusted for household size, for the county where the household is located, as reported by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development; or
(b) For owner-occupied housing, households whose income is 80% of the median household income adjusted for household size, for the county where the household is located, as reported by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Will the HAP force Gold Bar to meet quotas for housing, Section 8, or rent control, or to build low-income housing?
The grant requirements and the HAP do not establish mandates. Rather the HAP provides policy recommendations. Per the GMA, the City is required to ensure sufficient land to meet population targets established by the state. These requirements are independent of the HAP.
Will the HAP address the cost of housing?
The HAP will provide policy recommendations that may indirectly address housing costs. These recommendations may influence how and what kind of housing is built.
Gold Bar Housing Needs Assessment
Additional Sources of Information
Washington State Department of Commerce Short Course on Housing Affordability
Washington State Department of Commerce Guidance for Developing a Housing Needs Assessment
Washington State Department of Commerce Guidance for Developing a Housing Action Plan
Washington State Growth Management Act (GMA)
2015 Gold Bar Comprehensive Plan