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Also, notably, Sound Transit is working to change the state rules concerning the sales of "excess" property around light rail stations (used for construction) for below market value, if the properties are used for low-income housing. This move will also add thousands of new, low income units along the highly valued transit corridor.
I'm all for more low-income housing, but lets not fool ourselves. This 2% minimum requirement for expensive projects in downtown Seattle barely scratches the surface of the amount of low-income housing that is already in and going in, our area.
The developers will cry and file lawsuits, but when it's all said and done they'll keep building and they'll still make a ton of money.
NYC is well studied and their mandates increase rents substantially (PDF)
Now visit another former CC candidate who ran during that last same cycle -- but appears to be sharing some of the most sensible views about community, neighborhoods and the issues standing in the way of having Seattle solve some of our problems. Here's his explainer on MHA and affordability from today:
I don't think there's any question who the more serious political observer is on the Seattle scene. No way do I trust somebody obscuring the issues rather than illuminating them. As Michael Maddux says, "...Throwing out 25% as a number without explaining the whole story is troubling and misleading."
I totally agree...
So it seems like I need to get in touch with Teresa Mosqueda's campaign... Oh snap, she was recently endorsed by Rob Johnson. Nice!
When the city council adopted the incentive zoning ordinance DCLU was required to report annually on the results of program, but I've only been able to find two such reports. Maybe the city didn't want anyone to know this program was such an abject failure.
When people have to pay half or more of their income on rent, they don't have a lot left over for food, doctor bills, medicine, school supplies, etc. Anyone who thinks Seattle gives a fuck about poverty isn't paying attention.
Want to lower rents and allow developers to start building at lower price points? Open up some of our vast tracks of single family zoning. We cram multifamily into just 8% of our land, so of course it's expensive.
Your assertion that there is no such thing as luxury housing is a sign of your callous disregard for people who live in poverty, but nonetheless need an affordable place to live. People are willing to pay $1000 per month to live in in a single room in notorious shitholes like the Georgian Hotel, which Seattle is subjecting to mass eviction tomorrow, because that's all they can afford, so please spare everyone your bullshit urbanist bromides about how housing is just housing.
The reason we're seeing higher-priced new homes is because of land prices, which comes from scarcity. That's the same scarcity that's making $1000/mo shitholes.
Let's find common ground. I'm a strong supporter of subsidized housing - let's build more of that. But can we at least agree that reserving our single family zones for only households that can afford 5,000sf, while we cram everyone that can't into 8% of our city is harmful to our renters?
* Complete speculation on my part. But I've heard many times how unfair it is that using "65% of Seattle's land is zoned single family" is. And they did have a point, but it was the best data we had. Now that it's separated out they can say that less than half of Seattle's land area is reserved for those rich enough to afford 5,000+ square feet of land. But that's still 49% compared to 8% for those that can't (roughly half of our population).
Jon Grant has demonstrated leadership on the issue of affordable housing for a decade. Everyone running for the citywide seat says they support affordable housing but Grant gives the most specifics.
There is no justification for upzoning single-family zones, other than developers' greed. Midrise zones have many time the buildable capacity and are more than sufficient to meet demand. What we need is to change Low-rise 1 to a family housing zone, to provide the "missing middle" as a transition surrounding urban villages. To make homeownership more affordable, we need to overhaul our state condo liability laws. Where's the outcry?