Sound Transit is advancing affordability

April 27, 2018

On April 27th, the Sound Transit Board updated the agency transit oriented development (TOD) policies to implement equitable transit oriented development (eTOD) and adopted a plan that allows for land to be discounted for affordable housing. This is the culmination of 3 years of work, starting with the 2015 transportation package, to update and incorporate affordable housing requirements in the Sound Transit TOD policy. With the passage of ST3 in 2016, Futurewise went straight to work with Sound Transit and partner organizations to advocate with staff and Sound Transit Board members to shape the policy. 

For the past 18 months Futurewise has provided feedback, policy advice, and worked closely with Sound Transit Board members to craft a policy that will set our region apart in developing eTOD across Sound Transit owned properties. The resulting policy recognizes the important connection between land use and transportation by requiring a process in which property will be offered to nonprofit housing developers or other affordable housing developers at a discount, and in some cases at no cost to develop affordable housing.

The work of Futurewise was focused on ensuring that the sale of properties will be fully discounted to provide the most, and deepest levels of affordability. We worked to ensure that the ST3 system plan didn’t rely on the profits of land to continue to build the system, and embedded that into the eTOD policy, ensuring affordable housing is a top priority as the system continues to be built-out. 

The draft policy adopted by the Board is here - and the final amendments are here.

Futurewise and our partners will be continuing to advocate with Sound Transit staff on this issue in the coming months, as the process and procedures manual to implement the property disposition policies is developed.  We also plan to be engaged on each property sale as they are brought before the Board for disposition.  The work of advancing equitable, transit-oriented communities continues!