Monday, March 20, 2017

Microhousing: More News From the Trenches

Last year I collaborated with Sightline to write “How Seattle Killed Micro-housing” about a series of legislative actions and administrative decisions that have gradually eroded our ability to produce micro-housing, turning Seattle from a national leader into a cautionary tale. While most of the issues detailed in that article remain unaddressed, the Mayor’s office did catch wind of one small aspect of the problem and asked the Construction Code Advisory Board (CCAB) to review some of their recent building code interpretations regarding minimum unit size with affordability in mind.
I served on the CCAB subcommittee that studied the issue, which just wrapped up a minor re-write of the directors rule that governs the design of SEDUs. While the new directors rule will add a little bit of design flexibility, the committee was unable to agree on changes that would allow SEDU's to be as small as they are intended. I've written about the process in a new post on Sightline that explains in detail the issues reviewed by the committee and where we got stuck.