Government Planning and Policy
Understanding how states, counties and cities govern housing policy and growth management can be complex and intimidating, so here are the basics to get you started. Much of our regional policy stems from the Washington State Growth Management Act, described below. We encourage you to read these plans and assess for yourself their progress, and engage with your local and statewide representatives to make sure that housing is a top priority.
- Washington State Growth Management Act (GMA)
- Jefferson County Comprehensive Plan, Housing Element
- JC/PT Housing Needs Assessments and Housing Action Plan
- City of Port Townsend’s Strategic Plan
- City of Port Townsend’s Committee on Housing
- Interlocal Cooperation Agreement (ILA) and Homeless Planning
- Jefferson County Strategy for Permanent Affordable Housing—Unlocking the Potential of House Bill 1590
Washington State Growth Management Act (GMA)
In 1990, Washington State leadership recognized the threats that sprawl developments posed to natural landscapes. The legislature developed and adopted the Washington State Growth Management Act (GMA). The GMA requires fast-growing cities and counties to develop a comprehensive plan to manage their population growth, and Jefferson County was required to fully comply. Among the 13 goals of the GMA were affordable housing, sprawl reduction, and concentrated urban growth. While the GMA has been very effective in urban areas, many rural communities, including Jefferson County, have found it problematic and limiting in their ability to meet housing demand. Visit Municipal Research and Services Center or Wikipedia to learn more about GMA’s goals and requirements related to population growth and land-use planning.
Jefferson County Comprehensive Plan, Housing Element
JC/PT Housing Needs Assessments and Housing Action Plan
Staff from the County and City of Port Townsend have worked together on a Housing Needs Assessment & Action Plan. The findings shape dialogue and decision-making at the City and County levels. The last Housing Action Plan was in 2006.
City of Port Townsend’s Committee on Housing
Interlocal Cooperation Agreement (ILA) and Joint Oversight Committee
- 2018 Interlocal Agreement
- The Washington State Department of Commerce Homeless Plan Guidelines
- Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness in Jefferson County