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Housing Strategies
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The City acknowledges that goals alone will not increase the production of housing. The City must use its regulatory powers and resources to encourage future development of housing that meets all of the community’s needs, programs and services. An organized strategic plan and work program, adopted by the City Council, provides the direction needed to determine which strategies will work most effectively in Mercer Island. A strategy plan provides Mercer Island with more adequate time to evaluate each strategy, thereby, increasing the likelihood of adopting policies and regulations that will be effective in Mercer Island.

It is important to evaluate and track the progress made by individual City actions.

A wide array of information could be potentially collected for a data base, with key information presented in a periodic report to the Council. Information that could be relevant for the data base includes:

Number and types of residential building/demolition permits;

Number and types of housing units assisted through public assistance;

Surveys on market rents and home prices;

Vacancy rates;

Conversion of apartments to condominiums;

Tracking projects that will have expiring federal subsidies.

It may also be useful to try to develop some indicators that can help measure the success of the City to meets its housing needs. Examples might include vacancy rates; changes in rents/housing prices relative to changes in income; increase in housing relative to increases in employment; level of demand for homeless shelters.

The housing data base prepared by staff should be done in cooperation with efforts to monitor housing development throughout the County as called for in the Housing Technical Appendix of the King County Countywide Planning Policies. This includes both defining what information should be collected countywide, and providing the requested information on an annual basis. The City’s periodic Housing Strategy and Work Plan should include the information requested by the County. Coordinating this work is currently included in ARCH’s work program, and should continue to be part of its work program in the future.

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Adopt and implement specific strategies designed to achieve the housing goals outlined in this Housing Element. Continue to monitor how well Mercer Island resident’s housing needs are being met.