Housing Action Plan

The Lake Stevens Planning Commission hosted a Housing Forum on January 18 at 6 pm to receive community feedback on future housing needs.  The presentation shared at the meeting is available:  Lake Stevens Housing Action Plan Community Workshop #1

What is a Housing Action Plan?

A Housing Action Plan (HAP) is a policy document that aims to identify current and projected housing needs and develop a series of policies, actions and strategies to help the City of Lake Stevens meet those needs. It is an important document that will serve as the technical and policy foundation for updating the city's Housing Element in the 2024 Comprehensive Plan. Utilizing a grant from the Washington Department of Commerce, the city has contracted with a consultant team to:
  • Complete a Housing Needs Analysis (HNA) that assesses the city's current and future housing needs across a variety of different housing types and income levels and the available land supply and development capacity to meet those needs;
  • Develop a Public Engagement Plan that solicits community feedback from a diverse set of stakeholders through a variety of different outreach methods, including community events, online surveys, and targeted interviews;
  • Assess existing city policies, plans and ordinances related to housing; and
  • Create a Housing Action Plan with a set of actions and strategies that can implemented to help address the city's housing needs.

Why does the city need a Housing Action Plan?

The city has grown rapidly and become increasingly unaffordable
  • Between 2010 and 2022, the city's population grew from approximately 28,000 to over 40,000, a 45% increase that has made Lake Stevens the fourth largest city in Snohomish County.
  • During that same period, the median home value nearly tripled, including a 56% increase in just the last two years. 
The city needs an accurate assessment of its housing needs so it can plan for future growth
  • The majority of the city's residential growth over the past two decades has been detached single family residences, which are typically more expensive and consume more land than other housing options.
  • The city has adopted several plans and code language that seek to expand housing options in the city, including duplexes, triplexes, townhomes, accessory dwelling units, and multifamily housing.
  • State law requires that the city assess its housing needs across a variety of housing and household types and income levels.
  • The Housing Action Plan will provide the technical foundation for the city's upcoming Comprehensive Plan Update, which must be adopted by June 30, 2024.
  • This includes a Housing Needs Analysis (HNA), which is currently under development and is expected to be complete in early Fall 2022. 
The city wants feedback from residents and other stakeholders as it considers ways to increase housing options and improve affordability
  • The city is currently developing a Public Engagement Plan to ensure it hears from a diverse set of voices.
  • Beginning in Summer 2022 at events like AquaFest and the Farmers Market, the city will be soliciting input on housing needs and potential action and strategies.
  • Community engagement will include a mix of in-person events and online surveys, as well as frequent check-ins with the Planning Commission and City Council.
2010-2022 Housing Prices
Population Increase

The city formally kicked off the Housing Action Plan process in June 2022 and continues to develop the engagement plan and project schedule.  For more information, please watch this page or email rwright@lakestevenswa.gov