Apply for Affordable Housing Community Focus Groups

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HALA logoThere are 10 days left to apply to be on the Community Focus Groups that will help guide the citywide conversation around the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA).

Applications are available here. This link also includes some FAQ, which I’ve pasted below. The application deadline is Friday, February 26 at 8 pm.

If this sort of thing isn't for you, the focus groups are not the only way to provide input on how HALA proposals best fit into neighborhoods. Throughout 2016 and 2017, the City will host neighborhood meetings, open houses, telephone town halls, and other engagement opportunities for community feedback (click here for a timeline of engagement activities).

What is the purpose of the HALA Community Focus Groups?

The Community Focus Groups will guide implementation of the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) – the bold action plan put forth by Mayor Murray and the City Council to improve housing affordability and availability throughout Seattle. We are asking residents from neighborhoods across the city to participate as volunteers to inform the HALA process. A key focus of the Community Focus Groups will be land use and zoning changes that could affect neighborhoods.

  • Community Focus Groups will meet monthly, March through December in 2016.
  • 4 or 5 groups will be formed, each comprised of 20 to 40 people.
  • Group will include representatives of every urban village and neighborhood vicinity in the city.
  • The meetings are intended to bring about constructive dialogue about housing programs.
  • Meetings will be open for other members of the public to observe and comment during a set time on the agenda.
  • Meetings may also be recorded or filmed so a broader public audience can follow the process using social media or online tools.

How much time will it take for me to participate?

Community representatives will be asked to attend about 8 meetings, read materials, and respond to emails between meetings. The total time commitment will be 5–10 hours per month. Most meetings will occur at City Hall in downtown outside of typical business hours. Understanding that community members may require assistance with parking and transportation in order to participate, the City will offer access to free parking and public transit for Community Focus Group members during meeting times. Downtown was selected as a central meeting location so that representatives from many neighborhoods have access. City meeting rooms also facilitate audio and video recordings that can be shared with other members of the public.

How will you select participants?

Application forms will be received until the due date. If more applications are received than can be accommodated, a committee of City staff from the Mayor’s Office, the Department of Neighborhoods, the Office of Housing, and the Office of Planning & Community Development will convene to select the group of representatives. The main selection criterion is intended to create a balanced set of representatives in each focus group, as noted on the previous page. Consideration will also be given to applicants who are representative of a larger community organization, council, or cultural community in their local area.