As King County balances the need for 156,000 affordable homes, an effort is being made regarding the need for community-based development that works against displacement and promotes specific community needs. Displacement has been cultural, economic, and systemic. Underpinning this is the underproduction of affordable housing. This session will address the need for higher density and how it can be achieved sustainably and equitably.
The affordable housing experts in the urban built environment movement often advocate for “density done right.” But what exactly does that look like and how specifically can the planning of housing options support vibrant communities? How do we develop while minimizing displacement? How can the integration of new housing center equity, sustainability, and livability in rapidly changing cities? How do we stand firm on the values that promote both scale and local accountability amid a growing need for safe, healthy, and affordable housing? Those aren’t rhetorical questions meant to have you throwing your hands into the air out of frustration. There are solutions and leaders with the will to fight for them.
Laura Benjamin, AICP, is a senior planner with the Growth Management division of the Puget Sound Regional Council, the metropolitan planning organization that develops policies and coordinates decisions about regional growth, transportation, and economic development planning within King, Pierce, Snohomish, and Kitsap counties. Laura's work addresses regional growth management and land use policy, housing and housing affordability, equitable transit-oriented development, and implementation through local plans. Laura brings over 10 years of experience in multijurisdiction policy development and community engagement to her work at PSRC.
Marty Kooistra is recognized for his leadership in community revitalization, poverty alleviation, green building, board development, networks, and strategic alliances domestically and globally. As executive director of the Housing Development Consortium (HDC), Marty leads an association of 180 diverse organizations in a shared mission to increase access to affordable housing.
A first career as founder of a diversified construction business and a subsequent degree in social work allowed Marty to merge his passion for the built environment with his commitment to social justice—and led him directly to the affordable housing sector.
Patience is a policy manager at the Housing Development Consortium (HDC) of Seattle-King County, where she works to promote affordable housing policy and create a strong united voice for a King County that is affordable, equitable, and livable for all. She leads the process of setting HDC’s annual policy priorities and manages advocacy engagement to advance the annual priorities.
Prior to joining HDC, Patience managed Seattle for Everyone, a broad coalition of affordable housing developers and advocates, for-profit developers and businesses, labor organizations, environmentalists, and urbanists to advance the first-ever comprehensive package of affordable housing policies in Seattle, known as the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA).
Lindsay Chou Masters has spent her career working in the affordable housing and community development fields in Chicago and Seattle. After graduating summa cum laude from Dartmouth College, she began working on housing policy and advocacy at the federal, state, and local levels, eventually moving to Seattle, where she joined the public sector, focusing on affordable housing finance and policy.
In 2018, Lindsay became the executive manager of ARCH, A Regional Coalition for Housing, which represents 15 local jurisdictions working to advance affordable housing in east King County. She lives with her husband and two children in the Issaquah, WA area.
Sara Maxana is a Seattleite who believes affordable and walkable urban neighborhoods are key to addressing the social and environmental challenges of our growing and changing world. As citywide initiatives division manager for Seattle’s Office of Planning and Community Development, policy advisor, and former citywide project manager for the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA), she puts these values into action, managing interdepartmental efforts to implement strategies to meet Seattle’s housing affordability needs, minimize residential displacement, and support vibrant and accessible neighborhoods.
Previously, Sara was a principal planner for the Puget Sound Regional Council, where she worked from 2011 to 2016 on the Growing Transit Communities Partnership—a regional effort to create equitable opportunities for people to live and work near high-capacity transit.