Don’t Miss the South Seattle Home Fair!

You’re invited to a South Seattle Home Fair on February 10, 2018, hosted by the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections. Are you planning a remodeling project? Ask us about our permitting process, inspections, and codes requirements. Do you rent, or are you a landlord? Come ask about rental housing rules. We’ll also have information tables about affordable housing, landslide awareness, emergency preparedness, energy rebates, home ownership assistance, weatherization of homes, and much, much more!

Whether you’re a homeowner, landlord, renter, or potential homeowner, this event has something for you.

Saturday, February 10, 2018
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Filipino Community Center
5740 Martin Luther King Jr Way S
(The Filipino Community Center is ADA accessible.)


RSVP here. RSVPs are not required, but are appreciated.

We’ll have information tables where you can ask an expert your questions and get advice about your project or about available services. We’ll also have three presentations:

  • 10:30 – 11:00 a.m. – Earthquake Retrofit (protect your home in case of an earthquake)
  • 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Landslide Awareness (learn how to prevent landslides on your property)
  • 12:45 – 1:45 p.m. – Backyard Cottages / Accessory Dwelling Units (what you need to know about planning your project and getting a permit)


You’ll have an opportunity to learn about:

  • Affordable housing
  • Building and residential codes
  • Building, electrical, boiler, and mechanical inspections
  • Building permits
  • Community tool library
  • Emergency information
  • Energy rebates
  • Home ownership assistance
  • Land use rules
  • Landslide awareness
  • Metro transit projects
  • RainWise information
  • Rental housing rules
  • Tree protection rules
  • Weatherization of homes

Other City departments and local organizations will also be available to answer questions.

  • HomeSightwill provide information about Prepurchase Education classes, Homeownership Counseling, First mortgage lending for refinance, and purchase and down payment assistance.
  • Homestead Community Land Trust will provide a program description of their Permanent Affordable Housing model, including eligibility guidelines and resources to get started on the homebuyer process. HCLT staff will be able to answer questions about the Community Land Trust model, ways to get involved in permanent affordable housing advocacy, and much more.
  • King County Metro Transit will provide information about their projects and available services.
  • Office of Housing will provide information about their Homewise Weatherization and Home Repair Loan programs. The HomeWise Weatherization Program provides FREE energy efficiency improvements to qualified homes, increasing comfort and saving money. The Home Repair Loan Program provides affordable loans to income-qualified homeowners to address critical health, safety, and structural issues. The program is designed for owner-occupied, single family homes with low- to moderate-income households.
  • RainWise will help you find out if you are eligible to get a rebate from Seattle Public Utilities and King County for up to 100 percent of the cost of installing a rain garden or cistern on your property. RainWise staff will talk about rain gardens and cisterns, discuss the rebate process, and connect you with trained RainWise contractors. This table will have rain garden planting guides, visual tours of rain garden and cistern installations, maintenance guides, contractor contact lists, and information on low-income grants and funding.
  • Rebuilding Together Seattleis a nonprofit that provides free health- and safety-focused home repairs for low income homeowners. They will answer any questions about their program and will have applications and information available at their table.
  • Seattle City Lightwill have information about energy-saving tips, available rebates for your home, and how to buy the right LED bulb and take advantage of in-store instant discounts on LEDs.
  • The Seattle Hubstable will be staffed by Rainer Beach Ready volunteers who will describe how the Emergency Communications Hubs function, where the Rainier Beach Hub is located and have quick tips and multi-language brochures on how to be prepared and communicate during an emergency, as well as information on establishing new hubs in other South Seattle neighborhoods.
  • Seattle Public Utilities will be on-site to provide information and tools for recycling, composting, and reducing waste.
  • The Southeast Seattle Tool Library will present some fascinating facts about the tool collection and the interesting projects the tools have inspired at this community lending library.


For more information about the South Seattle Home Fair, contact:

Moon Callison
(206) 615-1486


Backyard Cottages Update & Meeting

On January 19, the Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD) co-hosted the first of two community meetings with Councilmember Mike O’Brien on ways to encourage more backyard cottages and accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in Seattle. Cottages are a housing option suitable for a wide range of households and can provide a reliable source of income for homeowners. They have been allowed citywide since 2010, with 220 of them built since then.

To increase production of backyard cottages, we are exploring a range of Land Use Code changes, such as:

  • Removing the off-street parking requirement for ADUs
  • Removing the requirement that the owner must live on the property
  • Modifying certain development standards

We’re also considering how we can help streamline the process for getting financing and permitting. At the January 19 meeting, we asked for input on these potential code changes and for other ideas that could encourage more ADUs and backyard cottages.

Our second community meeting is Wednesday, February 3, at the Wallingford Community Senior Center. This is a second opportunity for the public to weigh in on the range of code changes we are exploring in advance of legislation to be drafted in late February and early March.

Meeting Details:

Wednesday, February 3
6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Wallingford Senior Center
4649 Sunnyside Ave. N

Please join us to share your feedback about how we can increase the number of backyard cottages and expand housing options in residential neighborhoods.

For more information, visit the backyard cottages website or contact:

Nick Welch
Office of Planning and Community Development

Jasmine Marwaha
Councilmember Mike O’Brien’s Office

Encouraging Backyard Cottages

At the Office of Planning and Community Development, we are continuing our work with City Council to explore land use code changes that could encourage greater production of backyard cottages (also known as detached accessory dwelling units or DADUs). Expanding construction of backyard cottages could provide thousands of new housing units throughout Seattle and give homeowners an opportunity to earn stable, extra income that can help them remain in their neighborhoods.

In 2014, the City Council adopted Resolution 31547 directing us to explore changes that would increase the number of accessory dwelling units in Seattle. Since then, we have spoken with homeowners who have built backyard cottages to learn about their experience. We’ve also heard from many people who are eager, but unable, to build a cottage due to restrictions in the land use code. In December 2015, we hosted a Lunch & Learn event at City Council to hear from four homeowners who have built backyard cottages. If you missed it, check out the presentation or watch the archived video of the meeting on the Seattle Channel.

We are considering a range of changes that would make it easier to build a backyard cottage or allow them on more lots. Now we want to hear from you. Join us and Councilmember Mike O’Brien at two public meetings in early 2016 to learn more and discuss policy options for encouraging more backyard cottages. Please note that we have rescheduled the second meeting.

January 19, 2016, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Filipino Community Center
5740 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way

February 3, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. (New Date)
Wallingford Senior Center
4649 Sunnyside Ave N

For more information, visit our project website or contact:

Nick Welch
(206) 684-8203

Backyard Cottage Lunch & Learn

Expanding the construction of backyard cottages could provide thousands of new housing units throughout Seattle and give homeowners an opportunity to earn stable, extra income and remain in their homes. On December 9, from noon to 1:00 p.m., Councilmember Mike O’Brien is hosting a Lunch & Learn with the Department of Planning and Development to explore opportunities to increase production of backyard cottages. The event, at City Hall’s Council Chambers (600 4th Ave), will feature backyard cottage owners discussing their experiences permitting and constructing their cottages. DPD staff will discuss policy options to address some of the common difficulties property owners face in building a cottage, in anticipation of legislation to be drafted early next year.