A developer of mixed-use multifamily and office buildings in Seattle, Washington says micro- housing is a good solution for housing in urban areas but it should go through the same design review as other projects. Patrick Foley of Lake Union Partners, responding to a query about affordable housing is Seattle, said: “The multifamily tax exemption and incentive zoning provide the right performance structure for developers to create affordable housing by realizing economic benefits. Many states successfully use tax increment financing to fund affordable housing and it’s unfortunate that our state’s constitution doesn’t allow for the same effectiveness of the program.” Saying modular construction is more popular in parts of Western Europe than in the U. S., Its promise of a shorter construction schedule doesn’t provide enough economic benefit to developers. Quoted in djc.com, he said, “There are feasible options for using pre-fabricated systems, such as pre-framed walls, but what is known as ‘modular construction’ is mainly used as a marketing tool for projects. Over time our hope is that modular construction becomes more mainstream and makes economic sense. Having said that, I think OneBuild’s projects and process are cool.” As MHProNews reported Oct. 16, 2013, OneBuild is constructing the modules for a 49-unit modular studio apartment building in the Belltown area of Seattle.
(Photo credit: Charter Construction–Belltown, WA)