The latest research from the Sightline Institute:
How Seattle Killed Micro-Housing
Micro-housing—dorm-room-sized apartments in desirable, walkable neighborhoods—isn’t for everyone, but it most definitely is for Anna Rogers. Anna is a recent college graduate who grew up in the suburbs of Seattle and now works a retail job while looking to start a career that harnesses her passion for politics. …
Unfortunately for the many other Annas out there, eager to live close to good city jobs or to participate in city life, Seattle has now effectively outlawed micro-housing through the minutiae of policy and zoning rules. Seattle was the modern birthplace of micro-housing in North America. It went strong from 2009 to 2013, but building micro-housing projects has since become an uphill battle. In fact, the local war about micro-housing is over… and micro-housing lost.
Article here.


In fast-growing cities across Cascadia and beyond, bitter stories of people priced out of their homes and of affordable buildings torn down for new construction are all too familiar. Dan Bertolet’s latest article lays out evidence on displacement in Seattle—the different types, rates, and causes—and assesses strategies for protecting our communities from it.
P.S. Check out this companion photo essay that shows how just 21 homes were demolished to make way for 1,764 new homes in Seattle this year.



  1. One possibility to eliminate the squeezing out of units would be to focus slightly less on FSR and have a ‘units per acre’ type of metric … so that units could grow but because there was still leftover ‘UPA’ density leftover, the whole building could grow slightly to accommodate also.
    The cost of the ‘inbetween space’ necessary to grow a unit from 250-300sf is much less than the overall building cost (with kitchens and bathrooms, etc), so that this mandate for larger units would add cost, but much less than the 50% rental bump necessary to support the Seattle example (given that in that case, bigger units are required at the expense of more units)
    Squamish for instance has both minimum and maximum densities for their downtown development.

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