Wide-ranging solutions are needed to address the root causes of homelessness. Architects will not be able to address all of the issues associated with homelessness, but we do have a strong desire to learn, understand and provide assistance.

Our Priorities for Homelessness

  • Invite discussion about complex issues related to design and development, housing affordability, displacement and homelessness.
  • Advocate for a wide range of emergency, long-term and permanent housing options, including existing and new structures.
  • Promote increased funding for affordable housing through both public and market mechanisms.
  • Connect members with opportunities to directly address Seattle’s homelessness crisis


AIA’s Public Policy Board held an Urban Design Forum on homelessness in March 2017 and a forum on Engaging with Homelessness in October 2017. In late 2017 we convened a Homelessness Task Force to determine AIA policy and a path forward related to this issue.
AIA sent a letter to city councilmembers in January 2021 in support of a proposal to exempt permanent supportive housing projects from Design Review.

AIA Publications

Policy Statement: Homelessness
Endorsement: Seattle Council Bill – Transitional Homeless Encampments


External Resources

Seattle/King County annual report on homelessness, Count Us In, June 2018
City of Seattle Homelessness Response
Homelessness Investment Policy: The Path Forward for the City of Seattle (Poppe Report)
Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness
All Home King County
Understanding Homelessness by Sasaki

More Information

For additional information on AIA Seattle public policy priorities and activities, or to share your views as an AIA Seattle member, contact Executive Director, Melissa K. Neher.

State Advocacy

AIA Washington Council is hard at work for you, promoting legislation on green buildings and livable places, supporting a sustainable state economy, and protecting your ability to practice architecture. Learn more at aiawa.org.

National Advocacy

The AIA represents the interests of architects before federal government and policy-making bodies. This outreach, coupled with sustained member participation and active involvement in the political process, enables the AIA to advocate on behalf of legislative, regulatory, and related issues important to AIA members. Learn more at aia.org.

Seattle Design Festival

Seattle Design Festival

Seattle Design Festival connects designers, community members and civic leaders to explore the ways design improves our city and our lives - 2024 Call for Proposals launched April 3 and are due May 29! Read more