Housing and Community Planning
Safe and affordable housing options are vital to creating healthy communities. Worrying about housing is stressful, and can have health impacts. In addition, children without housing may struggle in school.
Washington County’s goal is to promote housing choices to meet the community’s needs by:
- Encouraging increased housing variety and supply to help slow rent increases and keep home prices modest.
- Increasing affordable housing to help meet the needs of low and middle-income households.
- Identifying incentives and funding to support affordable and equitable housing options.
Washington County is working on a multi-year effort to improve housing access and affordability. The Long Range Planning section is conducting research, analyzing housing trends and engaging stakeholders to to support and encourage housing through a comprehensive set of tools and policies.
The following changes have been implemented:
- The Equitable Housing Site Barriers and Solutions project analyzed the Community Development Code (CDC) to find possible code updates to land use designations and development standards that could help improve affordability.
- The CDC was updated to allow retirement housing communities in more places and better comply with Fair Housing law and best practices
- Several standards were updated to make it easier to develop housing, especially in areas that allow more residential development.
- Property tax exemption for regulated, affordable rental properties owned or operated by a nonprofit organization were enabled.
- Parking requirements were updated to allow lower parking minimums for regulated affordable housing
- A more flexible alternative development path allowing optional density bonuses was created for developers producing regulated affordable housing