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Alternative title

Recommendations for municipal land use policy revisions to encourage the production of entry-level homeownership opportunities through infill development, using strategies of incremental development and community-informed planning.

Date of Award

Winter 2024

Document Type

Masters Field Project

Department or Program Affiliation

College of the Environment

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Laninga, Tamara Jean

Second Advisor

Miller, James (Professor of comparative indigenous studies)

Third Advisor

Bowers, Melanie


This graduate research field study delves into the design of land use and municipal policies aimed at fostering the creation of entry-level homeownership opportunities in Bellingham, Washington. Drawing upon recommendations from the Final Report of the Washington Department of Commerce Homeownership Disparities Working Group and the American Planning Association's "Planning for Equity Policy Guide," this study prioritizes affordable homeownership. Methodologically, it incorporates insights from a thorough literature review, an analysis of diverse case studies across North America, and guidance from the Incremental Development Alliance. Furthermore, it integrates proposed modifications to Bellingham's municipal code, as advocated by the Kulshan Community Land Trust and the Whatcom Business Advisory Council in 2022. By aligning local policy recommendations with insights gleaned from case studies, the study develops a preliminary draft of proposed policy amendments, which subsequently serve as the basis for stakeholder interviews. Through ongoing engagement and dialogue with stakeholders and community allies, the study culminates in a comprehensive set of local policy adjustments aimed at bolstering the production of entry-level homeownership opportunities through urban infill development in Bellingham, Washington.




urban planning, housing, affordable housing, homeownership, affordable home ownership, entry level homeownership, decommodification, non-market housing, community land trust, housing for all economic sectors, growth management, incremental development, community control, occupancy and tenure, municipal code, local, bellingham, washington, housing crisis


Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Infill housing--Washington (State)--Bellingham; Housing--Washington (State)--Bellingham; Home ownership--Washington (State)--Bellingham; Housing policy--Washington (State)--Bellingham; Housing trusts--Washington (State)--Bellingham; Land trusts--Washington (State)--Bellingham; Land use--Government policy--Washington (State)--Bellingham

Geographic Coverage

Bellingham (Wash.)




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