Will Proposed New Developer Rule Create More Family-Sized Apartments or Kill Cheap Housing?


We've had this song and dance blown up our asses here in Seattle for 20 years with a series of Stranger writers cheering it on.

And look where we are now. So here's the spoiler: this will kill the last bits of cheap housing we have left in Seattle. Deal with it and move to Kent!
@1 Whatever, as a poor person, may I say: microhousing should be fucking illegal. Every person should have the right to a fucking complete kitchen in their goddamn apartment. It's not. that. fucking. expensive. If all we have are Micro-apartments, we are still going to lose a ton of people to Kent, especially families. We can't all afford monetarily and healthwise to live on frozen food, you asshole.
ROTFL! Libetards have been talking the shell game of “affordable housing” for 20 years while promoting their identity politics, “scream and the sky events” and “resist campaigns” all the while being on the verge of homelessness themselves. At this rate it won’t be long before Stranger articles are written on public library computers by homeless folk. Maybe Ed Murray or Hillary Clinton can help- not like they are doing anything at the moment.
@1 Cato the Younger Younger: What good is moving to Kent if there aren't enough sustainable wage jobs and affordable housing available, and crumbling infrastructure issues aren't properly addressed let alone funded by King County there, either, upon your highly recommended "Deal with it and move to Kent!" diatribe to incoming tidal wave of priced out ex-Seattleites? How many ex-Seattleites can live on pumping gas or working drive-thru at McDonald's? Good luck making the rent there in Southeast King County, too.
@2 kasa: 20 years later, after a one-bedroom with one garage parking space ($560 /month, way back when) in Ballard, I can't imagine living in micro-housing! What has become of Seattle is beyond sad.
Again the City Council is trying to "manage every aspect of the housing market"...ergo More Nanny State politics.

If the City Council and the "left faction" would simply:

a) quit trying to micro manage the out come of every development
b) get out of the way and let the builder build housing as the market demands
c) reduce regulations, red tape and costly administrative bungling
d) use a market driven approach to get a desire result...ergo a tax credit for two bedroom units

Then, the city, just might ....I say possibly might, get the much needed housing in a more expedited manner and at lower costs to both the builder and renters.

Its not rocket science.
Missing from this article are any actual statistics on how many multi-bedroom rental units are currently available, planned, etc. (I'm typing this from my two-bedroom apartment in Belltown, where our complex alone has several multi-bedroom apartments on offer right now.) After that, the article gets the hate on apodments, because gawd forbid we get creative with our housing solutions in the midst of a housing crisis*.

...use a market driven approach to get a desire result...ergo a tax credit...

A "tax credit" is not a "market driven approach," it's simply another way for government to prefer one outcome over another.

*Usage note: this is not the world-wide definition of "crisis", wherein immediate threat to human health or safety is implied. This is the American definition, meaning, "some white people have been slightly inconvenienced, even though they did not commit the crime of being poor."
@ 6 I applaud your first observation of the "lack of basic stats by the author" before crying we have a crisis--standard procedure of sensationalism "alla The Stranger".

If there is indeed a shortage of multi-bedroom units, aside from perhaps a two blocks radius from the authors window, then, my suggestion was utilization of a targeted tax credit, wherein one utilizes a market driven, economic method whereby one incentives the builders to create the stock of houses the city needs as opposed to a clumsy, non market driven edict or Nanny State command which is inefficient at best in achieving the desired result.

A "targeted tax credit" is just another way of the government motivating the market to do something. (Paving roads is another example, since more development tends to occur along paved roads than along the unpaved kind.)

My entirely nonscientific observation on Seattle's current state of housing says our biggest constraint is the worldwide supply of construction cranes, since we seem to have most of them employed here in town right now. Maybe the free market can get in on that action, tax credits or no. :-)
@5 mistral: I disagree with your argument to deregulate the current Seattle building code. Revise it, but otherwise deregulation is a bad idea. Currently, what with all the luxury condos going in at rapid speed @ $2+ million a pop downtown, the only direction is up, up, up and in more ways than one. This is a glaring contribution to why only the wealthy can afford housing in Seattle. $750,000.00 for the most basic single-family home is nothing but profiteering capitalist bullshit.
@8 & 9 The point is to get provide more housing units.

To that end we need policies both in terms of zoning and development/construction incentives to create a larger stock or supply of housing units.

1) The first problem is a City created disaster of very poor zoning...or a complete lack of political will to up zone to meet the demand. As I've often opined, the City Council will exhaust all options until they do the right thing. We should have been up zoning 10 years ago in a logical manner to meet the current demand. So the first problem is the zoning and just simply saying "no ...we are up zoning" to the NIMBY FOLKS.

2) The second issue are overly complicated regulations, fees, an antagonistic relationship with the business community and builders....as aptly illustrated by @9 comment:

" is nothing but profiteering capitalist bullshit."

As if the builders are some type of primeval slim because they make a living being builders.

This results in "so called social do good schemes" which are very ineffective, economically retarded and seldom lead to the desired result. This is why I suggested to let market forces do what they have always done....equalize the supply to the demand.

We need more building cranes...not less and it wouldn't hurt to have some "brains" in the urban planning department instead of consensus takers.