Disheartened homebuyers and wearied renters: Spokane residents have two opportunities to weigh in on the city’s housing needs this week.
On Tuesday, the Spokane City Council will host a virtual community forum to discuss the city’s housing crisis and take input from advocacy groups and residents.
Additionally, the city is reaching out with a survey to gauge the community’s needs as it develops a “housing action plan” that looks to narrow the ever-widening gap between the demand and supply of housing in Spokane.
The solicitations for community opinion come as the city grapples with increasing housing costs.
According to a report published by the city last month, the average rent of a two-bedroom apartment has risen 11% since 2010, and vacancy rates were below average. The city needs to add 357 units of housing per year, until 2037, to meet the projected demand, the report found.
In addition to members of the City Council, participants in the forum will include the United Way, Habitat for Humanity, the Spokane Home Builders Association and other stakeholders.
The forum will begin at 6 p.m. and be livestreamed on City Cable 5 and the City Council’s Facebook page, but those who wish to provide testimony must sign up online beginning at 6 p.m. Public testimony starts at 7 p.m. The City Council posted a link to the signup page on its Facebook page.
When completed, the housing action plan will offer a “vision that supports more people being able to find a home that meets their needs with access to opportunities, services and amenities,” according to the city.
The survey is among the first steps in developing that plan.
There are different surveys for people who live in Spokane, work in Spokane or are industry professionals, such as homebuilders.
The anonymous survey must be completed by Dec. 6 and takes about 10 minutes to fill out.
The data will help officials assess the current housing needs in Spokane and provide a baseline to reference while developing the housing action plan.
This story was changed on Nov. 24 to reflect a new signup time for public testimony.
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