Bellingham considers changes to affordable housing program

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — Bellingham could sweeten the deal for developers who agree to build affordable housing.

The Bellingham Herald reports  that since the city's existing incentive program began in 2004, only two projects, totaling 17 homes, have enrolled. Both were built by the same organization.

The program allows builders to put more homes in a given space as long as they sell only to people who earn less than 80 percent of the area's median income. It requires that the homes remain permanently affordable.

The city is now considering a plan that would require homes to remain affordable for 50 years, while 25 percent of homes in a development could be sold at market rates. It would also require projects to be within a quarter-mile of a bus stop or urban village.


Information from: The Bellingham Herald,