If I'm not mistaken, part of the reasoning for making Yesler Terrace more mixed income is the lower income children would be exposed to higher earners and understand the interaction of learning, hard work, and perserverance to success.
"80% of median" is code for "completely unaffordable to people of color".
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I wonder how Bruce and Tim feel about this...
How about allowing taller buildings in SLU, but only if a portion of the upper-level residential units are allocated to the working poor?
Anything less is a giveaway to developers, but that's the council's stock in trade. A small portion of the new development will be slated to be affordable for 80 percent of median, which will make the resulting rent only slightly less than market rate.
The commuting costs for workers (both time and money), quality of schools for their children, and safety of the surrounding neighborhoods come in to play here.
Seattle Housing Group is redeveloping Yesler Terrace to include subsidized and market rate housing. I haven't heard much about the social engineering aspects of this lately. If I'm not mistaken, part of the reasoning for making Yesler Terrace more mixed income is the lower income children would be exposed to higher earners and understand the interaction of learning, hard work, and perserverance to success. If this is true, then wouldn't the same hold true for SLU? Or is it not the case because instead of putting richer people in poorer neighborhoods, we're talking about putting poorer people in richer neighborhoods?
O'Brien's right that there's more to this than dollars. There is real value in having complete neighborhoods that house a variety of income levels. But dollars should be a very large part of the equation, since they directly equal number of families served.
But the problem of the wealthy hollowing out the central core of cities for themselves is endemic to ALL CITIES, not just Seattle. Take a look at the class maps of American cities (Houston) that Richard Florida has been putting up over at Atlantic Cities: every single one has a core of purple "creative class", surrounded by vast belts of red "service class" and occasional blotches of blue "working class".
For all the talk of South Seattle, I think people forget about the large areas of lower-income people in other parts of the city, like the long stretches of apartments running up Greenwood Avenue. In some ways those people are worse off, since they don't have light rail, or much retail (aside from car-oriented Aurora). I'd put the huge and shabby Rite Aid at 130th and Aurora against anything in the South End for the sheer stank of hopelessness. And, you know, the well-off white people are colonizing the South End, too, as far as Columbia City, and pushing the poor even further.
That's probably an inevitable process; there's certainly little the city can do about it. What they need to worry about most is the soul-deadening effects of too many rich white people; when the last hardware store shuts and gets replaced by a twee handcrafted hair-barrette shoppe or artisanal cocktail lounge ($13 and up), rigor mortis sets in. When everybody is hip, no one is.
Credit where credit is due.
Umm, yeah....I think you are pretty mistaken. I'm sure you didn't intend your statement to sound condescending; but it was a page right out of a Reagan-era "welfare-queen" policy paper.
The point is not to expose those children to the "superior values" of the upper-middle class. Rather, the point is to create the potential for access to the social networks that those higher earners represent. In many cases, the parents of those children respect education and hard work as much if not more than your average MS middle manager pushing a jogging stroller around Green Lake. The problem is that they can't depend on mommy or daddy's buddy letting them know about an internship opportunity on their team at Amazon.
The large majority of the people we are talking about are not lazy, gang-bangers and otherwise criminal. They are working poor, and most likely recent immigrants or historically screwed-over minorities. They are structurally not morally disadvantaged.
Not sure where you are getting your facts from:
"The plan includes 661 “extremely” low-income units to replace the 561 currently in the neighborhood as well as 290 “very” low-income units and 850 “workforce” units. In addition, the plan calls for 3,199 market-rate units, mostly in high-rise condo and apartment buildings."
That's more like 36%...not 10% as you claim. Also, there will be 100 more "extremely" low-income units than before...not even counting the "very" low-income and the "workforce" units.
Good job crying wolf.
@9 Seattle Housing AUTHORITY (and no, I'm not nitpicking, it's a critical difference) and the reason Yesler Terrace is mixed income is so they can make this economically profitable.
Every neighborhood should have low income housing.
You think I don't know that? That's what I'm complaining about. The council is in a position to get at least slightly better concessions from developers, not that it will help much, but even a negligible amount of affordable housing is better than none.
True mixed development mixes upper range, mid range, and lower range housing ON THE SAME FLOOR and IN THE SAME BUILDING.
And lower range is 40 percent of minimum wage income for a place that is big enough for 2 adults and 1-2 kids.
All that being said, I'm not sure if Rainier Valley is the best value. Maybe Aurora and 130th (as someone suggested) makes more sense. I could see it rapidly turning around if they add more sidewalks and more transit options. The transit options could become outstanding, actually. Conlin (of all people) has pushed for a rail stop at 130th and 5th NE (north of Northgate). There will also be bus rapid transit up Aurora. The rail stop will probably lead to a fast, frequent bus along 130th, which means that someone from Bitterlake could easily and quickly get downtown, to the U-District, Lake City Way, etc. This sounds like a better spot and it wouldn't surprise me if it is actually cheaper.
Additionally, losing million dollar views while living in squalor, and replacing it with non-million dollar views and safe and habitable spaces, is far from a preferred option.
APodments are the very definition of slums and slum living!
Sawant will be kicking off her campaign against the 16-year incumbent Richard Conlin. Learn how you can get involved, and hear from Kshama Sawant, community and labor organizers about why we're building a left challenge to big business control of City Hall.
As a South Seattle resident who lives near light rail, I think what Conlin said makes a whole lot of sense if the intent is to provide affordable housing in Seattle. I have never understood the philosophy that we have the right to expect to live where we work, on such a small scale. I work on the 17th floor of a building downtown with a view of the space needle. I couldn't afford to live right here if I wanted to, unless I rented an apartment the size of my office. I don't have a problem taking the train to South Seattle where I can afford to own a home. Frankly, I prefer it to some North Seattle neighborhoods that would be much more expensive, and I actually save a ton of money taking transit. If a certain neighborhood is becoming "hot" and is able to expand (within reasonable zoning limit increases applied to wider areas rather than specific projects) and attract highly paid residents who will pay high rent and spend lots of money at local businesses rather than skipping off to the nearest suburb, we should welcome the added tax revenue that might help the city build affordable housing where it's affordable to build housing. I wouldn't consider my neighborhood a ghetto, but it is much more affordable than South Lake Union will be. It's not reasonable to take a small section of a city and expect that everyone who works within that boundary, from the corporate executive down to the night security guard who works two jobs, is going to afford an apartment in that neighborhood.
If Union Gospel Mission said that there is need for 1,000 evening meals and that they could feed 500 people a spaghetti dinner or 50 people steak and lobster, which would you choose?
We have tens of thousands of people in Seattle in need of affordable housing. The Washington Tenants Union estimates that 27,000 people in Seattle live in unsafe/substandard living conditions. Why is Conlin wrong for asking how we can maximize the number of people that can be served by our limited public funds?
We should have more of this sort of interchange. The original zoning and planning in Seattle mixed larger houses and smaller houses throughout most neighborhoods. This was not an accident. The goal was to keep people of differing economic strata living in close proximity, so they interact with each other.
To me, this remains a good idea, although the thread of it seems to have been lost at some point after WWII, when red-lining came in hard.
It's the same reason why I think it's a good idea not to concentrate all the homeless shelters in the same neighborhood.
That is why I don't see any contradiction between supporting more regs for aPodments while also thinking that we should be building affordable housing in SLU.
Without more regulation of aPodments, we'll just get a big concentration of them in neighborhoods like Capitol Hill.
If aPodments are limited, perhaps supply and demand will cause more people to look to the south and take a chance on living in Beacon Hill, Columbia City, Othello, etc. (especially after the light rail goes to Capitol Hill and the U-District).
The point of putting light rail down MLK in the South End wasn't to just recreate the same situation that was there before it was built. The stretch of MLK between Rainier and Columbian Way is already a loaded with subsidized housing and non-profits. Aside from St. Dames and a couple of other businesses, most of the commercial space is rented to social service type stuff. Don't get me wrong, that stuff is important, but if MLK is to really achieve some sort of transformational revitalization between Columbian and Othello, this public subsidized sort of development and use needs to be augmented by more market-rate housing (and the sort of retail that will service this sort of housing).
Wasn't thatthe whole point of tearing down Holly Park and attempting to replace it with a mixed income development?
Seattle's and Rainier Valley areas already stink from the fumes that exit from the sewer line covers.
Didn't an "old' sewer line break by City Hall a few weeks ago.
Even in the best of times Seattle and King County and the State of Washington itself is very restricted on the taxes that can be raised to support public housing.
It seems to me the thought was that the desire of the developers to go higher could be harnessed to provide some additional low income housing.
If the housing was part of the development the cost would result in few units, if it were in other locations it more units could be built.
The concept would a like Cap And Trade in the CO2 reduction strategy.
Those of us concerned about the needs of the poor have spent a lot of time howling at the Moon about the injustices in Seattle's housing policy and we have yet to achieve close to the number of units we need.
There are many places where housing could be developed for a lower unit price than the South of Lake Union (SOLU) area.
An approach that might satisfy the people angry about the city council remarks would be to let the people on the waiting list for public housing vote on the trade between the number of units that could be obtained in the SOLU area and in other locations around the city. They seem to me to be a proper community of experts to get into the discussion about the trade between the social justice of being able to live poor in SOLU and being able to live poor in other parts of the city.