Burien Housing Action Plan

Over the last 20 years, housing costs have risen much faster than incomes in Burien. Housing is becoming out of reach for a growing percentage of the community, including families with children, seniors, local workers, young adults, and others.

Burien needs new strategies and strong public will to create housing options to meet our community needs into the future.

Housing Needs in Burien

Between 2013 and 2020, Burien’s average 2-bedroom rents increased 45 percent, while median sales prices increased 103 percent. Burien has the second highest home prices in the South King County sub-region.

Find more information about Burien’s housing needs now and into the future in the South King County Sub-Regional Housing Action Plan Framework 2020: Burien Fact Packet.

About the Housing Action Plan

Burien received a grant from the Washington State Department of Commerce to create a Housing Action Plan by June 2021. Burien’s Housing Action Plan will: 

  • Use an equity lens to develop clear, actionable strategies to meet all our community’s current and future housing needs.
  • Be based on data and analysis grounded in an inclusive public process.
  • Provide a road map for how we can work together to identify policies, implement specific actions, leverage resources, and continue to engage with members of the public.
  • Be tailored to the needs of Burien to ensure healthy, safe, and affordable housing for all.

Housing Action Plan

Get Involved

Burien includes a wide range of households with unique challenges and needs. We want to hear from the community to make sure the Housing Action Plan reflects all residents, and to make sure we understand our community’s strengths and challenges.

The Housing Action Plan will be informed by different types of engagement, including one-on-one interviews, group discussions, panel discussions, a project website, and public virtual meetings. Our Planning Commission and Human Services Commission will provide guidance on project process, analysis, and contents of the plan.

While our in-person engagement is limited in consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have other ways to get involved now: 

Project Timeline

  • Summer 2020: Gathering data to understand the need. We are working to create baseline data for Burien, working in collaboration with other South King County cities. This Housing Needs Assessment looks at Burien’s housing needs—now and in the future—within the context of the Puget Sound region, King County, and south King County.
  • Summer–Fall 2020: Taking stock of our current housing policies. We need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the City of Burien’s current policies and actions around housing.
  • Fall–Winter 2020–2021: Identifying tools and policy options to make sure we can meet the diverse housing needs of Burien now and in the future.
  • By early 2021: Public review of a draft Housing Action Plan.

Project timeline.

Burien Multi-Family Housing Assessment Project

From winter 2019 to early summer 2020, City staff coordinated with UW Master of Public Health student Leslie Sugett to build a database of all the multifamily housing properties in Burien and conduct an external assessment of the quality of those properties from a public health perspective. The City and the student completed many steps that resulted in a final report, a living database of multifamily housing, and GIS data collection experience for future projects. 

South King County Effort

Six cities in south King County, Washington—Auburn, Burien, Federal Way, Kent, Renton, and Tukwila—submitted applications for funding through HB 1923 with portions of each funding identified for a collaborative effort to develop a subregional housing action framework. This framework will include a housing context assessment and recommendations for future housing strategies to increase residential building capacity and plan for growth in the south King County region and participating cities. The resulting reports can be viewed at the links below.

Live Events

Staff hosted two live forums with housing professionals to foster a discussion about housing and development issues in Burien.

On June 4, 2020 the City of Burien hosted a panel discussion with local development professionals to discuss development issues in Burien. The discussion was open to the public and was livestreamed via Zoom.

Panelists discussed the general development climate and market in Burien, permitting and zoning issues, and how to increase affordability in new housing.

View the recorded webinar.

On July 30, 2020 the City of Burien hosted an Affordable Housing Forum as part of the development of a Housing Action Plan. This is an opportunity for the community to learn from a panel of professionals and experts on affordable housing development. The forum will inform housing policy decisions and is a part of a larger outreach plan to ensure that the City has a well-rounded understanding of the community’s housing needs and the best ways to meet those needs. The event was held via Zoom webinar and featured questions and comments from members of the audience.

View the recorded webinar.

Past Burien City Council and Planning Commission Discussions