Housing Permits Continue to Grow

A growing number of housing permits were issued in 2011, marking the second consecutive year of growth since 2009.

Net Permitted Housing Units by Structure Type, 2000-2011


PSRC tracks residential permits for new and demolished housing units issued by jurisdictions in the region.  A permit may not always result in a built unit, but this data is a good indication of new housing units that will appear over the next few years.

Permit activity has turned a corner since the recession in 2008–2009 and is slowly recuperating from the housing market slump. Regional employment is showing signs of growth and unemployment rates are on a downward trend.

Growing market confidence from a recovering economy as well as continued low interest rates and lower adjusted home prices are several factors helping to revive housing demand. Read the rest

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PSRC Predicts Population and Job Growth to 2040

We don’t have any crystal balls here at PSRC, but we do predict the future.
Crowd of people at the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon finish line

That is, the future growth of population and jobs.

We’re expecting 5 million people to call the central Puget Sound region home in 2040—that’s 1.3 million over the four-county region’s 2010 population.

Almost as dramatic is the employment increase. The region is expected to add 1.1 million jobs by 2040, to reach a total of 3 million.
Read the rest

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Executive Board Meeting on July 25, 2013

Due to technical difficulties, the web stream of the Executive Board meeting on July 25, 2013 did not work. To listen to an audio recording, please click here.

During the meeting, the Board approved Decision Point B of the Transportation 2040 Update. The board found that the Decision Point B Package is consistent with the Scope of Work approved in October 2012, endorsed the proposed Policy Framework for balancing the financial strategy, and directed staff to proceed with developing scenarios.

In addition, the Board discussed the recently adopted Growing Transit Communities Strategy and the Regional Food Policy: Blueprints for Local Governments.

The Board also moved forward its consent agenda, which included authorization to appoint auditing officers, a routine amendment to the Regional Transportation Improvement Program, and approval of an FTA fund adjustment, which results in $19.5 million in additional funds for the region.

View all the presentation materials from the meeting here.

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Growing Transit Communities Strategy Adopted

The Growing Transit Communities Partnership has voted unanimously to adopt final recommendations to support equitable transit communities in the central Puget Sound region!


The Strategy was adopted on July 12 after a 30+ day public comment period.

The Growing Transit Communities Strategy is the culmination of a two-year corridor-based planning effort that includes 24 key strategies to support equitable TOD, a typology of eight implementation approaches to link strategies to specific communities, and a Regional Compact to pledge an ongoing commitment to implementation  between public, private and non-profit partners from around the region.

Commenting on the innovation and progress that the region has demonstrated through the work, Oversight Committee Chair, Commissioner Josh Brown, credited “the diversity of perspectives around the table, and efforts to reach out to communities that are often times not involved in planning processes. Keeping these partnerships, these conversations, and that inclusiveness is going to be a significant challenge and opportunity moving forward.”

In their action, the Oversight Committee directed staff to work with stakeholders to finalize outstanding actions in the document, revise the draft document with approved edits, and package the final document and support materials for public distribution.

To view the approved Regional Compact, draft document, approved edits, and other support materials, please visit the program website.

For more information, please contact Ben Bakkenta.


Transportation 2040 Plan Upheld by Court

cover-iconOn July 22, the Washington State Court of Appeals affirmed a decision by King County Superior Court dismissing an appeal of the Puget Sound Regional Council’s Transportation 2040 plan.

PSRC released the following statement:

“We’re gratified that the Appeals Court recognized the Transportation 2040 plan is a solid body of work that resulted from a good process.

“We are really proud of the Transportation 2040 plan, and the process by which it was created. In fact, we have put together a 30,000 page record that documents the care that was taken in developing the plan. Thousands of citizens – representing many points of view – participated in the process and contributed to the plan over a several year period.

“The plan offers a balanced, sensible and realistic approach to meeting our region’s transportation needs. One of the exciting things about the plan is the initiatives aimed at addressing climate change. Our plan is one of the most proactive and progressive in the nation in the area of climate change.

“Local elected officials from the four counties overwhelmingly support the plan – the vote to approve the plan was 54 to two. We encourage interested citizens to find out more about the plan by visiting www.psrc.org.”

News media may contact Rodney L. Brown of the Cascadia Law Group with inquiries about the appeal at 206.292.6300.

For more information about the Puget Sound Regional Council and the Transportation 2040 plan, contact Rick Olson at 206.971.3050, rolson@psrc.org.


Bellevue and MIT Partner on Economic Development

Innovate Washington Foundation’s Janet Stephanson, left, gives MIT’s Yuqi Wang and Brendan McEwen, and Emma Johnson and Paul Andersson from the City of Bellevue, an overview on progress of IWF’s Northwest Building Energy Technology Hub.

Innovate Washington Foundation’s Janet Stephanson, left, gives MIT’s Yuqi Wang and Brendan McEwen, and Emma Johnson and Paul Andersson from the City of Bellevue, an overview on progress of IWF’s Northwest Building Energy Technology Hub.

Seattle gets a lot of attention when it comes to energy efficiency and sustainability. But Bellevue is showing that it’s also a national player in this field.

The City of Bellevue and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have partnered on a market transformation research project to grow local jobs in the building energy efficiency industry sector.

MIT is working with Bellevue’s Program Administrator Paul Andersson and Resource Conservation Manager Emma Johnson to explore the role that local government can play in supporting economic development and innovation in this part of the Clean Tech industry.

MIT’s Green Economic Development Initiative’s Associate Director Brendan McEwan and colleague Yuqi Wang were in town recently to meet with energy firms, property managers, educators, agencies, investors, and researchers on issues and opportunities in the Puget Sound region.

PSRC was one of their stops, where they met with Innovate Washington’s Janet Stephenson to learn more about Innovate Washington’s Northwest Building Energy Technology Hub, which is a flagship initiative in the Regional Economic Strategy.

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WWU Center at Olympic College in Poulsbo to Offer Bachelor’s Degrees

When the president of Olympic College told a student recently that she might be able to get a bachelor’s degree in business in Kitsap County, she told him she’d sign up for the program “in a heartbeat.”

Olympic College and Western are partnering to offer baccalaureate degrees at the Olympic College in Poulsbo.

Olympic College and Western are partnering to offer baccalaureate degrees at the Olympic College in Poulsbo.

OC President David Mitchell made good on that promise when he announced on July 17 the creation of The Western Washington University Center at Olympic College’s Poulsbo campus.

Western’s President Bruce Shepard says the partnership is a good fit for Western.

This partnership will have long-term economic impact for the region, says Kitsap Economic Development Alliance Executive Director John Powers.

The OC-Western partnership already offers bachelor’s programs in Elementary Education, Human Services, Environmental Science and Environmental Policy Studies.

Increasing higher enrollment capacity for high demand degrees is one of the top action initiatives in the Regional Economic Strategy to ensure residents have access to family wage jobs and employers have access to world class talent.