Governor Inslee recently visited the College of Built Environments, where he met with several faculty members to discuss their research and its relevance to his proposal to increase investment in affordable housing. The group included Steven Bourassa, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of the Runstad Department of Real Estate and the Director of the Washington Center for Real Estate Research, Gregg Colburn, Ph.D., and Vince Wang, Ph.D., Assistant Professors in the Runstad Department of Real Estate, and Rick Mohler, FAIA, Associate Professor, Department of Architecture. Attendees included Kyle Crowder, Professor and Chair in the Department of Sociology, and Randy Hodgins, Vice President for External Affairs.
During the meeting, they reviewed data from the Washington Center for Real Estate Research and had a discussion about the housing continuum. Colburn also shared insights from his book, Homelessness is a Housing Problem, which explores the factors that drive homelessness and the cultural and economic shift that can ultimately benefit everyone.
The conversation concluded with a review of an interdisciplinary CBE student project, which focused on leveraging transit to build complete, equitable, and resilient communities at scale. Mohler told Governor Inslee how his students studied three light rail stations to determine how many homes a housing benefit district, which would give cities (or other kinds of jurisdictions) the ability and funds to acquire land around transit before the land gets expensive, could realistically be built.
Following the meeting, the Governor expressed his thanks and encouraged everyone to read Coburn’s book. “Governor Inslee’s visit and productive discussion about our research was wonderful. We are inspired by his support for affordable housing and interest in our work, and look forward to continuing the conversation,” said Bourassa.