As the Puget Sound region continues to grow, Issaquah has developed multiple policies and programs to address the housing needs of our current and future residents. The Housing Element of the Comprehensive Plan outlines a 20-year vision, while the Housing Strategy Work Plan provides implementation pathways to reach the vision.
Ensuring affordable housing for Issaquah's residents is a top priority. We achieve this priority through partnerships, land use code and investments in projects that advance our vision.
Affordable housing applies to those making 30-80 percent of the King County median income. The City has partnered with A Regional Coalition for Housing (ARCH) to help fund the construction and management of affordable housing, and to help buyers and renters find affordable housing
In addition, the City is working with King County Housing Authority (KCHA) on a mixed-use, mixed-income, transit-oriented development (TOD) on a prime opportunity site to align with the Central Issaquah Plan vision. This project will increase affordable and market rate housing adjacent to the transit center as well as provide space for a medical, dental and mental health service provider that serves the entire community.
Land Use Code
The City’s Affordable Housing Chapter of the Land Use Code includes many tools to encourage affordable housing. These tools include fee waivers and reduced parking requirements for affordable housing as well as a development bonus program. In addition, an inclusionary zoning provision for housing development in the Urban Core and Mixed Use-Central Issaquah zones requires a percentage of housing be affordable to 60% Area Median Income (AMI) or below.
The City invests in multiple ways to support affordable housing. These include contributing to the ARCH Housing Trust Fund to build affordable housing in the region, investing in human service providers, and leveraging capital investments through a Strategic Opportunity Fund.
These investments are from the City’s general fund, a 0.1% sales tax for affordable housing, as well as state funding for affordable housing. This 0.1% sales tax funding supports capital and operations for affordable housing and related services, as per RCW 82.14.530, while the state funding criteria is outlined in RCW 82.14.540. In the 2023-2024 budget biennium, investments have been made for rental assistance, behavioral health responders, pilot shelter program, investment in the TOD project as well as creation of the Strategic Opportunity Fund.
Contact us for more information about the Strategic Opportunity Fund program that is currently under development.
Each year, a Housing Report Card is prepared to show the City’s progress toward implementing the 2017 Housing Strategy Work Plan aimed at achieving the type of housing growth and development patterns that support and help define the community’s quality of life. The Report Card addresses residential growth and development in terms of the four Key Challenges identified in the Housing Strategy Work Plan: Growth, Evolving Housing Market, Affordability and Vulnerable Residents.
Partners are the key to Issaquah’s success in providing a range of housing types that attracts residents and businesses to our community. We welcome you to contact us for more information about any of these topics or to discuss your innovative idea.
- Developers with questions about regulations can contact our Permit Center.
- Developers or organizations that want to explore innovative projects can contact our Economic Development Manager.
- Residents looking for assistance can view the Resources webpage or contact our Human Services staff.
- Anyone with general questions about the City’s housing plans can contact the Long Range Planning team.