REDI for prime time

The Regional Equitable Development Initiative (REDI) Fund has debuted.

The idea for the REDI Fund emerged from PSRC’s Growing Transit Communities partnership in 2014.

The idea for the REDI Fund emerged from PSRC’s Growing Transit Communities partnership in 2014.

Designed to spur the creation of affordable, equitable Transit-Oriented Housing in the central Puget Sound region, the new financing tool is available to preserve and create affordable homes in transit-accessible areas for low- and moderate-income households, many of whom spend more than half of their income on housing and transportation.

With affordable housing increasingly difficult to find, especially near job centers and transit, the fund will provide critical, early, low-cost financing to help keep neighborhoods connected to transit economically diverse.

The overall goal of the $21 million revolving loan fund will be to leverage the historic $54 billion transit expansion underway in the region to help increase opportunity for lower-wage households.

A collaboration of private, public and nonprofit investors came together for the creation of the fund:

  • Enterprise Community Loan Fund: $6.5 million
  • Low Income Investment Fund: $4 million
  • Living Cities Blended Catalyst Fund: $3.5 million and staff time support
  • State of Washington, $2.5 million (contributed through an agreement with King County)
  • King County Housing Authority: $2 million
  • City of Seattle: $1 million
  • King County: $1 million
  • A Regional Coalition for Housing: $500,000

The REDI fund will make available acquisition loans up to $5 million to purchase sites that support developments – including affordable housing – within one-half mile of a rail station or one-quarter mile of a frequent-service bus stop in King, Pierce or Snohomish Counties.

Read more about the REDI Fund, or contact James Madden at 206.204.3424 or

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Multifamily housing gaining steam

Construction of multifamily housing is accelerating as the region adds jobs and people.

While single-family housing growth is mostly flat, multifamily housing units have ticked up since 2012.

In 2016, Seattle added about 7,300 multifamily units  – 54% of the regional total.

A booming economy is fueling housing demand. Since 2010,  the region has gained 279,000 jobs – a 16% increase.

That means the region has added over 3 jobs for every new housing unit.

Average rental costs in the region have increased 43% since 2010. Average rent in Seattle is up 51%.

For more, check out our Puget Sound Data Trends presentation.


Partnerships for affordable housing lunch talk on March 17

Housing affordability is making headlines in the immediate region as well as the larger Cascadia region. What can we do to address it?
toolboxSuccessful planning for affordable housing requires an assortment of partnerships—across sectors, across departments within jurisdictions, and often across jurisdictions themselves.

Please join PSRC, APA-Washington and Washington Department of Commerce for a pair of panel discussion sessions and webinars that explores the opportunities and challenges of creating such partnerships for affordable housing on Thursday, March 17 at 12:30 pm at PSRC.

Speakers will include Mike Stanger, A Regional Coalition for Housing & Kristina Gallant, Alliance for Housing Affordability

Find out how subregional coalitions can be an effective means for local jurisdictions to leverage resources and coordinate efforts to produce and preserve affordable housing choices. Several models of varying tenure exist in the central Puget Sound region today, offering different types of staff support and technical assistance to member jurisdictions. Join in a discussion of models of cross-jurisdictional coordination from east and south King County and Snohomish County, and possible opportunities for such partnerships in other parts of the region.

This is part of a peer networking series that is focused on best practices and resources for local planning and implementation. The series is in coordination with the PSRC Comprehensive Plan Review Program and implementation of the Growing Transit Communities Strategy. The sessions will take place on the third Thursday of the month, from 12:30-2:00PM at PSRC and are open to the public. There are 1.5 AICP credits per session pending. For more information, including updates on session descriptions and speakers, visit

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Affordable housing next to transit gets “deliberate” boost

As Sound Transit’s boring machines were churning a new light rail route to Northgate, King County Executive Dow Constantine embraced a trio of intiatives this morning that will help turn a parking lot at Northgate into a community, and shape growth throughout the region.


King County’s Park and Ride lot at Northgate will be replaced by a new community with the arrival of light rail.

“Light rail has the power to transform communities. With this vision we can be deliberate about creating vibrant, walkable, economically diverse neighborhoods around new and existing stations,” said Constantine, who doubles as Chair of the Sound Transit Board.

Constantine’s Transit Station Housing and Development Initiative includes:

  • King County Housing Bonds
    As much as $45 million over the next six years would be generated under new authority from the Legislature to use anticipated lodging tax revenue sooner than expected.
  • REDI Fund
    At least $18 million is currently pledged to a new revolving loan fund called the Regional Equitable Development Initiative due to launch early next year.
  • Sound Transit 3 ballot measure
    The state authorized ST3 with a proviso for an additional $20 million for a revolving loan fund, like  the REDI fund, should ST3 pass.
Dow Northgate

King County Executive Dow Constantine: “Light rail has the power to transform communities.”

“Working together at the state, regional, and local level, we can help catalyze developments to maximize our investment in regional light rail,” said State Representative Jessyn Farrell.

Tunneling is underway for light rail service scheduled for Northgate in 2021.


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REDI fund to spur affordable housing near transit

More affordable housing near transit is the goal of a new loan fund coming online next year.

The Village at Overlake Station in Redmond offers  low- and moderate-income rental housing next to the Overlake Transit Center.

The Village at Overlake Station in Redmond offers low- and moderate-income rental housing with easy access to transit.

The Regional Equitable Development Initiative (REDI) Fund is a financing tool for developing affordable housing and mixed-use projects within walking distance of frequent transit service.

The REDI fund will help developers purchase key sites and existing properties for mixed-income and mixed-use development or preservation.

The idea for the REDI Fund emerged from PSRC’s Growing Transit Communities partnership in 2014.

PSRC convened an interagency working group to identify public sector sources for funding.  This led to a commitment of $1 million from King County, $1 million from the City of Seattle, and $500,000 from  A Regional Coalition for Housing.

A key boost came in July when the legislature approved a budget with $2.5 million for the REDI Fund.

Details on goals, terms and governance structure are being worked out by a subcommittee. It’s anticipated the REDI fund will roll out with an initial $25 million in 2016, with opportunity for expansion of the fund in the future.

You can watch the presentation on REDI at today’s Growth Management Policy Board meeting here.

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Come hear from education and housing leaders at March 5 forum

Are there policies or partnerships that could help students get a better education and meet needs for affordable, stable housing in the region?

Join housing and education leaders a free forum on March 5.

Join housing and education leaders for a free forum on March 5.

The Where We Live and Where We Learn forum will highlight innovative housing and education collaborations that benefit families and children.

The event will be held 2-4:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 5, at Seattle City Hall in the Bertha Knight Landes Room.

The case for interconnected housing and education policies and programs is especially compelling for Washington state policymakers this year. The McCleary decision, which requires that the Washington State Legislature enact reforms to meet its mandate to amply fund public K-12 education, will impact the funding landscape for all statewide programs and services.

The forum will cover:

  • successes and challenges in existing partnerships between housing authorities, schools, and others
  • future partnerships between education and affordable housing developers
  •  strategies to better support these partnerships through policy work

PSRC is co-hosting the forum in partnership with the Housing Development Consortium of Seattle and King County and the Puget Sound Educational Service District.

Register for the free event here.


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PSRC study: Affordability top factor in where to live

Why do people choose to live where they do?  In central Puget Sound, 60% say it’s about affordability.


Of those surveyed, 6 out of 10 said affordability was most important factor in where they chose to live.

The data comes from the Puget Sound Travel Study, which surveyed more than 6,000 households last year.

It’s essential information for forecasting travel demand and planning for the future.

Given a list of nine statements, participants were instructed to rank each from “very unimportant” to “very important” (including “neither or no answer”) about why they chose to live in their current home:

  • A change in family size or marital/partner status
  • Affordability
  • Quality of schools (K-12)
  • Having a walkable neighborhood and being near local activities
  • Having space & separation from others
  • Being close to family or friends
  • Being close to public transit
  • Being close to the highway
  • Being within a 30-minute commute to work 

Affordability was the most important factor across the board. Whether broken out by county or by how long they’ve been at their residence, 6 out of 10 respondents said that was a very important reason for choosing to live where they did.

Click on the graphic to see the chart larger.

Click on the graphic to enlarge.


Snohomish County residents were more emphatic about affordability than those in King County, 66% saying that was very important versus 57% of King County residents doing so. Everywhere only 10% or less said that affordability was in any way unimportant. No other factor came close to matching those numbers.

The second most important factor chosen – “Being within a 30-minute commute to work” – lagged far behind affordability, with 42% regionally saying that factor was very important.

It’s perhaps not surprising that it was the residents in King County who were more concerned with short commutes (46% versus 36-39%). The many people choosing to live in the other three counties and still work in Seattle probably used other criteria to decide to where to live. A less-than-30-minute commute is relatively rare in such situations.

“Walkable neighborhoods and nearby local activities” and “Being close to transit” were very important factors to King County residents, while “Having space and separation from others” were more important in the other counties.

As mentioned above, “Affordability” was by far the most important factor no matter how long respondents have lived in their current home. Other factors show a lot more variance.


Those who have been in their current residence only since 2009 rated “Being close to public transit” and “Walkable neighborhoods” as more important factors than those with longer tenure. Conversely, people who have lived in the same home for 10 or more years were more likely to rate “Quality of schools” and “Having space and separation from others” as very important.

For Seattle residents, four factors stood out as very important: affordability, short commute, walkable neighborhoods, and convenient public transit. Unlike the region as a whole, more Seattleites rated “Walkable neighborhoods and nearby local activities” as “very important” than they did “Affordability” though the difference was small.



A sizable number rated two factors, “Change in family size or marital status” and “Quality of schools” as very unimportant, but for the most part, if they didn’t rate a factor as important in some way, they more often chose “Neither or N/A” rather than unimportant.

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