U District Rezone Legislation Represents Years of Community Work and Planning

On March 2, Mayor Ed Murray signed legislation guiding growth and affordable housing in the University District. The mayor was joined by City Councilmembers, neighborhood advocates, and local business owners to celebrate the more than five years of community-driven conversation to help shape growth and public investments in the U District. The legislation was a key recommendation of the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA).

The ordinance will focus growth in the core of the neighborhood, near the UW Campus and the new light rail station which opens in 2021. This will put more homes and jobs within a short walk from frequent transit, revitalize the business district, and provide thousands more homes for our growing city.

The U-District will also be the first neighborhood to implement Mandatory Housing Affordability – a main component of HALA. This means that all new development in the U District will contribute to affordable housing in Seattle, generating between 600-900 new affordable homes for lower-income individuals and families over the next 20 years.

The ordinance also includes other public benefits: historic preservation, childcare, public open space, and street improvements, as well as incentives for providing schools, performing arts spaces, and room for social service organizations.

Seattle Department of Neighborhoods has been leading the City’s outreach and engagement efforts around HALA. We’ve seen first-hand the hard work that neighbors, City planners, and community stakeholders in the U District have invested in developing these plans for future growth. This ordinance, and its adoption by City Council, reflects that hard work.

Thank you to everyone who engaged in this process.

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