BERK's Housing Market Policy Dashboard helps Tacoma evaluate the impacts of proposed policy changes
Housing costs are skyrocketing across Washington State. To address affordability challenges, many cities are considering new land use policies, development incentives, and affordable housing requirements to increase the supply of housing and meet local needs. However, the impacts of these policy changes are difficult to predict. If requirements are set too high, will we discourage new housing development? If requirements are set too low, will we miss the opportunity to increase the supply of affordable housing?
These kinds of questions loomed large as the City of Tacoma worked with stakeholders to develop its Affordable Housing Action Strategy. BERK, together with Enterprise Advisors, supported this process with a detailed review of local housing market and regulatory conditions. To help decision makers explore the potential outcomes of proposed housing policies, BERK developed the Housing Market Policy Dashboard. Users can adjust both policy and market assumptions and see how they impact likelihood of apartment or mixed-use building construction on over 1,100 development sites across the city. The interactive map visualizes how market conditions vary across the city and how neighborhoods may need different market-based policies to encourage housing production. Decision-makers can use this information to target actions that address housing supply and affordability issues in effective ways.
This tool can be adapted for implementation in any city across Washington State that is considering changes to building heights, parking requirements, multifamily tax exemptions (MFTE), or inclusionary zoning.