Housing Action Plan

The City of Port Orchard is developing a Housing Action Plan, described in RCW 36.70A.600(2), that will define strategies and actions that promote greater housing diversity, affordability, and access to opportunity for residents of all income levels.

Why a Housing Action Plan?

Housing affordability and choices are a high priority for the city. Since 2015, incomes have stagnated while home values have increased 33% and rent prices have increased 42% between 2010 and 2020.

Port Orchard has also seen a significant amount of growth in recent years. The 2022 population is 16,400 and it grew 40% between 2010 and 2020, equal to a relatively large 4% annual growth rate. The amount of housing increased by about 26%, an increase of 1,188 units. The Comprehensive Plan estimates the population in 2040 will be 21,300.

During this time most of the residential developments have been single-family homes or apartment complexes – with few choices in-between for current and new residents. Those “missing middle” housing choices like townhomes, duplexes, and cottages are needed to provide more options to residents with a variety of housing budgets and family needs.

The Housing Action Plan (HAP) will create a local strategy with recommended policies, programs, and regulations to address these concerns and more. The project will include an assessment of existing conditions and specific housing needs for different segments of the population like low-income households, families with children, seniors, and people with disabilities.

Resulting Housing Action Plan strategies will be used to further inform and develop the Housing Element of the Comprehensive Plan, which is required by State law to be revised in 2024.

The main goal of the HAP is to encourage construction of additional affordable and market rate housing in a greater variety of housing types and at prices accessible to a greater variety of incomes.

To identify and develop the strategies and actions to address these opportunities, the City of Port Orchard applied for and received a grant in the amount of $75,000 from the Washington State Department of Commerce (under E2SHB 1923). The City is working with Makers Architecture & Urban Design and Leland Consulting Group to create the HAP.

Research Questions

The following research questions will guide the team’s work under each action and step.

  1. What are the most pressing housing needs in Port Orchard for each segment of the population (based on income, ability/disability, family size/type, etc.)?
  2. What are we most concerned about and most hopeful about for residential development in Port Orchard over the next 10 years?
  3. What code updates can be made to meet the needs of all economic segments of the Port Orchard community?
  4. What are the biggest longstanding or new barriers to affordable and diverse residential development in Port Orchard?
  5. What new or updated tools, policies, staff capacity, and funding are mostly likely to meet Port Orchard’s housing goals related to affordability and choice?

Project Elements

To deliver effective and pertinent strategies and recommended actions, several vital elements need to be addressed. In addition to a balanced and functional document for use by the City, the Housing Action Plan will include specific items to satisfy grant requirements. The following are key elements:

  • Public Engagement Plan: The Public Engagement Plan will include forums to receive valuable public input, working with the City Council, stakeholders, and online tools like this website.
  • Existing Conditions and Housing Needs Analysis Report: Identify demand for housing types among current population with a focus on special needs housing, supportive housing, and the needs of cost-burdened residents.
  • Evaluation and Development of Policies and Tools for Increasing Housing Diversity: Investigate the specific strategies identified in the Comprehensive Plan Housing Element and the Affordable Housing Strategic Plan including inclusionary zoning and fee-in-lieu strategies, inventory of surplus public land, fee waivers/reductions, and review of permitted housing types and zoning standards.
  • Housing Action Plan: The Action Plan combines and synthesizes all the information and proposes strategies and actions designed to meet and potentially satisfy the identified trends, needs, or gaps.

Preliminary Schedule

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