Master Builder

Fall 2022

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FROM THE PRESIDENT The Key to Social Equity? Home Equity. Homeownership is one of the most powerful economic advancement tools people have as citizens of the United States. There is simply no better way to achieve equity, social mobility, and generational wealth than owning a home. Owning a home doesn't just mean a stable roof over your head. It reinforces financial security, builds wealth that can be passed on, deepens community engagement, and amplifies your political voice. Unfortunately too many people in our region are locked out of the market. There is simply more demand for starter homes than there is supply. Housing is expensive and cost of living high. Many renters spend most of their income on rent and other expenses and can't make a down payment. One way to remedy this situation is building more "missing middle" housing, such as townhomes and duplexes, which offer more naturally affordable options for buyers. While less expensive homes might not pack the long-term space for growing families, they offer the chance to increase resale value, build housing equity, and achieve economic independence. Moreover, they can serve as a financial nest egg for the next generation. If we want to get serious about creating these opportunities for empowerment, we need to make "missing middle" housing easier to build in our region. How do we do that? Right now, these types of housing face a number of regulatory hurdles that makes them more expensive to build and ultimately purchase. Restrictive zoning within cities zoned majority as single-family residences reduces the availability of urban land stock which could be tapped as "missing middle" housing redevelopment. Long permitting timelines, onerous fees, and new ordinances add months if not years to projects, keeping more affordable types of housing off the market and driving up costs. To bring these to the market faster, cities in the Puget Sound need to create regulatory landscape that makes it easier to create supply, update their comprehensive planning and zoning to address rapid regional growth, and streamline permitting processes to shorten timelines and reduce costs. Given the breadth and depth of our current housing crisis, one of our top priorities must be making it easier for everyone to purchase a home. Communities in our region like to talk about creating a more equitable society. Let's start by building a lot more housing. If we want to get serious about creating opportunities for empowerment, we need to make "missing middle" housing easier to build in our region. STRATEGIC PRIORITIES BY CAMERON MCKINNON 2022 PRESIDENT CONFLUENCE DEVELOPMENT 5 FALL 2022 | master BUILDER IN EVERY ISSUE

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