Frequently Asked Questions about the City of Selah Housing Action Plan

Why is housing important?

Shelter is the most basic of human needs. When people can secure stable and affordable housing near the locations of jobs and opportunity, they are able to focus on achieving other life goals, such as education, career advancement, health and wellness, or raising a family. Without stable and affordable housing, residents can struggle to achieve these goals.

Why does the City of Selah need a HAP?

There is a housing shortage in Selah, and the city and region continues to grow in population. This results in low vacancy rates, a lack of housing choices for residents seeking to move, and increased competition for the limited supply of homes that are available. When competition is high, housing prices and rents will increase.

Over a third of all families and households in the Yakima valley are cost-burdened, meaning they pay more than 30% of their household income on housing costs. By increasing the supply of housing in formats that are affordable to more families and individuals, we can support secure and stable housing for more residents and increase community resiliency during times of economic uncertainty.

What is the goal of developing a HAP for Selah? How will the Plan help to make the city of Selah better?

Through the HAP, the City of Selah aims to ensure that more housing is available and affordable for people of all income levels, that a greater variety of housing types will be available, and that existing housing is well maintained. The HAP will be flexible in order to accommodate future growth and change in Selah.

What is affordable housing?

Housing is typically considered affordable if total housing costs do not exceed 30% of a household’s gross income. Housing affordability is an issue that affects all kinds of families and individuals in Selah, not just low-income households. This plan will address housing affordability challenges across the entire income spectrum. It will include strategies to encourage both market rate housing development, as well as housing that is subsidized to be affordable for low-income residents. 

What is the process for developing this HAP?

Developing a HAP involves several phases of work. The process will include assessing housing needs and market conditions using publicly available data sources; reviewing past studies and research on the topic; gathering information through interviews with stakeholders; and engaging the public.

What is the timeline for this process?

The plan will be developed from March of 2023 and end in December of 2023. A preliminary project schedule is shown on the City of Selah’s Main HAP webpage.

Who should participate in developing the HAP?

The City of Selah’s community includes a wide range of residents and households with diverse needs and challenges. The City of Selah wants to hear from the entire community to develop the HAP so that the housing strategies will be reflective of all residents, and be grounded to the needs of the community and its strengths and weaknesses.

Broad community engagement in developing the HAP ensures that the plan reflects housing needs that might not show up in statistical data, such as the connection between housing and human services.