City seeking community members for HALA Focus Groups

The City is on the lookout for community members to serve on the community focus groups that will guide the implementation of Seattle’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA).

The Community Focus Groups will guide implementation of the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA), the plan put forth by Mayor Murray and the City Council to improve housing affordability and availability throughout Seattle.

“We are asking residents from neighborhoods across the city to participate as volunteers to inform the HALA process. A key focus of the Community Focus Groups will be land use and zoning changes that could affect neighborhoods,” says our Neighborhood District Coordinator Thomas Whittemore.

Check out more information about the focus groups set to be formed in the North Region below:

  • Community Focus Groups will meet monthly, March through December in 2016.
  • 4 or 5 groups will be formed, each comprised of 20 to 40 people.
  • Group will include representatives of every urban village and neighborhood vicinity in the city.
  • The meetings are intended to bring about constructive dialogue about housing programs.
  • Meetings will be open for other members of the public to observe and comment during a set time on the agenda.
  • Meetings may also be recorded or filmed so a broader public audience can follow the process using social media or online tools.

Community representatives involved in the focus groups will be asked to attend about right meetings, read materials, and respond to emails between meetings. The total time commitment will be between 10–15 hours per month.

Most meetings will occur at City Hall downtown outside of typical business hours. The City will also offer access to free parking and public transit for Community Focus Group members during meeting times.

Downtown was selected as a central meeting location so that representatives from many neighborhoods have access. City meeting rooms also facilitate audio and video recordings that can be shared with other members of the public.

The City is accepting applications until Friday, February 26, 2016, by 8 p.m. At the closing of the application period, if more applications are received than can be accommodated, a committee of City staff from the Mayor’s Office, the Department of Neighborhoods, the Office of Housing, and the Office of Planning & Community Development will convene to select the group of representatives.

“The main selection criterion is intended to create a balanced set of representatives in each focus group. Consideration will also be given to applicants who are representative of a larger community organization, council, or cultural community in their local area,” says Whittemore.

The City is looking to make sure that the focus groups represent a range of different demographics and perspectives including traditionally under-represented groups (including minorities, immigrants, refugees, and non-native English speakers), renters, households with children and experienced neighborhood advocates.

If you are not able to commit to joining the community focus groups you are able to participate by attending neighborhood meetings, completing web surveys, via social media and on the HALA website.

Learn more and complete the application online.

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