What Rethink Housing is:

Rethink Housing is a multi-year effort to develop a community-wide housing action plan that will include strategies for addressing the housing needs for current and future Everett residents. The housing need in the Everett community includes and additional approximately 23,000 new housing units are needed by 2035 to accommodate the expect growth.

The following chart shows the number of new units needed by 2035 to accommodate growth management allocation for Everett by income:

Housing spectrum and units needed chart

The purpose of the housing action plan is to evaluate and align programs, policies, funding and regulations across departments and partner agencies affecting housing in the community. Ideally, the strategy will include:

  • Needs assessment and problems to be solved
  • Objective of the strategy
  • Approaches and resources
  • Funding sources
  • Implementation plan
  • Numerical goals/milestones and a monitoring system

Rethink Housing is the companion project to both the Rethink Zoning and Consolidate Plan Update projects currently in process.

Why we are rethinking our housing strategy:

To sustain thriving community, every person needs access to safe and stable housing. Over the past approximately 10 years a shortage of housing has caused a crisis that has swept the nation include the City of Everett. 

Population growth vs. housing units added chart

Although the crisis has affected all economic segments of the population, the notable result of the shortage is most visible in the growing homelessness condition.

No one entity can solve the condition. An immediate call to action and innovative solutions by industries and institutions that influence housing production is necessary. This includes local government rethinking housing in the community.

How we got here:

Understanding the causes

To pinpoint the right actions we must first understand the causes creating the crisis. More than one factor created the situation and more than one solution is necessary to support production of the amount of housing we need. The main factors influencing housing production are characterized in the four Ls: labor, land, lending and lumber. 

LaborConstruction trade labor force shortage
LandBuildable land inventory and density
LendingRates and lending changes since economic downturn
LumberHigh and fluctuating construction costs

Local government will need to align public policy, regulations and funding that affect housing, and cannot solve these issues without community partners and public support.


Not only is there a housing shortage, housing affordability is also a problem for many. Incomes are not keeping pace with costs which have increased up to 173% since 1990, while household income has increase just 92%. Rethinking zoning can lead to providing housing choices and housing opportunities for all people at every economic levels.


Visit the Rethink Zoning page for more information about how the City is rethinking zoning approaches to address the city’s housing needs.