Housing Affordability and Living agenda (HALA)

The Housing Affordability and Livability agenda (HALA) sets the strategy for building 20,000 affordable homes in Seattle over the next ten years.  A key HALA component is the Mandatory Affordable Housing (“MHA”) program to increase development capacity in zones across the City.  In exchange for the additional development capacity, new developments must pay affordable housing fees on a per square foot basis, or dedicate a certain percentage of units within the project as affordable. 

The Seattle City Council adopted the original MHA-Commercial framework in November 2015, the MHA-Residential framework in August 2016, and the revised MHA-Commercial framework (with higher fees and performance requirements) in December 2016.

When the City adopts additional development capacity through rezones, then the new affordable housing requirements will go into effect.  The first increase is anticipated in the University District in early 2017, followed soon thereafter by Downtown/South Lake Union.  Draft upzone legislation for those three areas has already been released by the City.

Subsequent increases in development capacity are expected throughout the City in late 2017 and into 2018.  The City has released maps of draft zoning changes for several neighborhoods ( and is holding community meetings in order to develop rezone recommendations.

For the last year and a half, HCMP has been a key participant in the MHA policy discussions, and we actively track the legislation and requirements.  If you want to know how MHA affects your development, please contact Holly Golden.