Mayor Nadine Woodward has declared a housing emergency as housing cost and scarcity continue to skyrocket in the city of Spokane.
In her proclamation, the mayor pledged to speed up the permitting process for new housing projects, hire more staff and consultants and streamline the process of turning vacant commercial buildings into housing.
According to the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington, Spokane’s apartment vacancy rate is at a historic low one-half-of-one-percent. Many in Spokane are also reporting large rent increases.
Housing prices are also spiking. According to a report from the Washington State Association of Realtors, June housing prices were up nearly 35% compared to the average housing price last year.
The Spokane City Council also revised a housing action plan during their 6 p.m. meeting on Monday. That plan would encourage more dense housing types and would also address the city’s housing crisis.