Matt the Engineer
SWASHBUCKLING HERO 2012
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9:08 AM Matt the Engineer commented on From "aPodments" to Luxury One-Bedrooms, We Scoured Seattle to Find Out What the Rental Market is Like.
Wait. JUXT is a glorified dormitory? What kind of overpriced school did you go to? We got a shared room smaller than a parking space, shared showers and bathrooms, and coin operated laundry on a different floor.
11:49 AM yesterday Matt the Engineer commented on Betsy DeVos: We Need Guns In Schools to Protect Children From Grizzly Bears.
@7 At least one right to bear arms joke? No? (ok, did a bit of googling, and why is Goldy on this one?)

Ok, that out of my system I agree completely. It is more terrifying to have Mrs. DeVos in charge of our classrooms than having bears in them.
Jan 17 Matt the Engineer commented on Uber Sues Seattle to Try to Stop Unionization Law.
"claims that process was 'arbitrary,' 'capricious,' and 'piecemeal,' " Yep, sounds like the Seattle process.

"and 'denied the public a meaningful opportunity to comment.' " Now wait a minute, that's just not possible here.
Jan 4 Matt the Engineer commented on One Simple Way Washington State Can Address Its Housing Crisis.
@8 Let's start with your claim that rent control will stop people from being displaced. Great, those people that get rent control stay where they are. But having not added any roofs over heads, and still having more demand than supply, who will be displaced in their place? The rich? Ha, good luck with that one. It will be other poor people that would have not otherwise been displaced. They'll be outbid by the same people that would have outbid those that you saved.

About these "out of control profits" you speak about. Do you have a source for that? Developers tend to make a profit, sure, but not an overly high one. If it was so lucrative to build then a flood of companies would come in and build until you get back to standard profits.

Rent is set based on demand (how much people are willing to pay). This has shot up because we have a lot of new jobs. If we were able to build enough to satisfy that demand, rents would come back down. But instead we have only 13% of our land area devoted to multifamily housing with 65% saved for one unit per 5,000 square feet (single family homes). That's exclusionary, racist in its roots, and the absolute reason that construction can't keep up with demand and drop rents back to affordable levels.

Want government to seize properties to build? Great. Try that. But considering our government doesn't even have the guts to let people build apartments on our precious rich single family homes, I think you'll have a bit of trouble finding enough backbone to seize property.
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Jan 3 Matt the Engineer commented on One Simple Way Washington State Can Address Its Housing Crisis.
@6 Surely you see that housing is a limited commodity, and controlling rent doesn't put an extra roof over anyone's head. The many studies done have shown it does the opposite as you've reduced the incentive to build more housing.

Which brings me to what I came here to say - all of these anti-discrimination measures are great. I'm all for them. But at what point to we start tackling the real problem: severely limited housing supply in the city, as we can only build multifamily housing on 13% of our land?

I want to see rowhouses. I want to see apartments throughout Seattle, not just concentrated in a few neighborhoods. That's the one thing that would really make Seattle more affordable: having enough housing for our people.
Dec 30, 2016 Matt the Engineer commented on The Morning News: Seattle Corporation Wants to Put Warehouses in the Sky, Seattle Burglars Only Want Tech, Seattle Is About to Get Very Cold.
It looks like the blimp design is driven by the FAA. Their new rules for commercial drones require line-of-sight. I thought that ruled out use in cities, but if you have a blimp up high enough, you could have line-of-sight to most homes. Requiring a team of employees (sorry Charles) sitting around bored, watching drones flying around.
Dec 20, 2016 Matt the Engineer commented on Seattle Arts Leaders to Ed Murray: Work With DIY Spaces to Make Them Safer.
@7 The building doesn't make the art. What's great about old buildings is that they're cheap enough for artists to use to make art. But that's less true with our high demand and low supply. And if we let our death traps be redeveloped there's plenty of good old but less deadly buildings to use, which will drop in price (because now there are better spaces for the more-rich to fight over). We will never be Bellevue.

Taking a step back, this same argument is true for all of our unreinforced concrete buildings that will come tumbling down in the next earthquake.
Dec 20, 2016 Matt the Engineer commented on Seattle Arts Leaders to Ed Murray: Work With DIY Spaces to Make Them Safer.
"Developers are finding properly-zoned land all over the city on which to build." At what cost? Show me a run-down building, and I'll show you the height and residency restrictions that keeps it from being redeveloped to a code-compliant building.
Dec 20, 2016 Matt the Engineer commented on Seattle Arts Leaders to Ed Murray: Work With DIY Spaces to Make Them Safer.
As to the content of the regulations: They sound very helpful and well thought out. #2 is especially great and the status quo is insane " Currently the [Seattle Fire Marshal’s Office] can only advise venues to meet full code compliance."
Dec 20, 2016 Matt the Engineer commented on Seattle Arts Leaders to Ed Murray: Work With DIY Spaces to Make Them Safer.
Rents are set based on demand, not the cost of the structure. The component of rent that are beyond the annualized cost of a building go into the landlord's pocket.

My point? Seattle is severely limiting what we can build. This leaves us with low supply and high demand, i.e. high rents. If we allowed much more building (upzones, reduced setbacks, reduced *seattle process*) then in the current market a lot more construction would happen. Older, unsafe buildings would be replaced by new buildings. At the same time, because demand is closer to being satisfied rents would go down compared to status quo.

What we're left with today is unsafe buildings with high rents. Where we could have safe buildings with lower rents. This is a choice we are making, and it may cost us not just money but lives.