Looking at downtown Seattle through trees in the foreground.

Our Region Needs Housing and Trees

The Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties is partnering with housing advocates, non-profit organizations and other community leaders to help solve a key part of our region’s housing crisis—housing availability and affordability. Learn more about the issue and our proposed solution below and sign up to receive updates!

What is our Housing and Trees campaign all about?

We all know the Puget Sound region is facing a housing crisis. The Puget Sound Regional Council estimates that, by 2050, we’ll need an additional 800,000 homes to keep up with demand of our growing population, but our region is already tens of thousands of homes behind in production for our current needs. Addressing this crisis will require many solutions and building more homes of all types is one way we can create a sustainable future for our diverse and growing population.

We created HousingAndTrees.com to spread awareness about the connection between the housing crisis and local tree policies.

What’s the problem?

Trees are vital to our quality of life, the beauty of our neighborhoods and our community identity and maintaining a healthy tree canopy should be a priority for our region. At the same time, restrictive tree codes can have a significant impact on the Puget Sound region’s ability to produce enough housing to accommodate current residents, newcomers, and future generations. When too restrictive or unclear, tree policies can delay or stop new home construction, which ultimately increases housing costs and creates unnecessary barriers for those to rent or buy.

Likewise, property owners, who are not typically engaged in the process of developing these policies, can be impacted by them as well. These policies can limit or prevent property owners from making changes to their property. Homeowners have a right to build on their own properties, such as remodeling or adding a backyard cottage.

What’s the solution?

We encourage people across the region to learn about and advocate for balanced tree policies in their communities. Local tree policies are important in maintaining a city’s tree coverage, but they can have unintended consequences when it comes to housing. Our communities need policies that allow flexibility in the building process to maintain tree coverage while responding to urgent housing needs.

Follow our social media channels to continue learning about this issue and receive updates about tree code changes in communities across the region:

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