Oh good, they've hammered out all the details except how to finance them. Surely they'll be able to wrap this up in no time. By the way, does anyone hear tires screeching to a halt?
So what? Just like The Stranger says: neighborhoods change so if you can't afford to live in Seattle then you shouldn't live in Seattle!!
I'm glad to hear that this group is so focused on outcomes. It gives me hope that they can hammer out a plan that might actually work, even if it really isn't anyone's favorite idea.
Rent control is not a good policy.
Traditional rent control is stupid and does not work. Having reasonable rent escalator clauses in leases helps somewhat.... this way a tenant can live in a place for a long time without fear of the next renewal (or the next onslaught of douchebag Amazonians). But ultimately, regardless of what you do, supply vs demand will set the rent level. Landlords can't charge what nobody can't/won't pay.
Good to see that according to the discussion here, there are no children that live in SF houses. That means we don't need to build any more schools, maintain playgrounds, or youth programs. Whew! Children are such a blight in our cool new city.
People grow up in apartments too.
This idea of linkage fees is at least 5 yrs overdue. And it will take so long to implement that it will result in -- almost nothing. Kinda like Bertha only for $5 or $6 billion less
nothing essential changes.
Given the fact that we are very limited in how much money we can raise, and that rent control is ineffective (and illegal) the most important change we can make is to zoning. Nothing else comes even close. We could change our zoning laws for just one type of zoning (ADUs) and it would probably be a more positive change than anything else they will come up with. This paragraph here starts out OK:

I think it's fair to say that sustainable ways of increasing density are a natural by-product of the kind of urban growth that Seattle is experiencing. In the Seattle of the 21st century, I'm not sure the best use of 5,000 square feet of urban land is to house two adults.

But then there is this:

We are seeking to ensure that the neighborhoods near amenities, including transit, are accessible to people at a variety of different incomes.

Why limit yourself to that? What exactly does that mean, anyway? You are going to change the zoning for a handful of areas that you consider to be "near amenities" but leave the rest of the city alone? Will you change existing codes, so that they are more like other cities (like Vancouver)? Will you continue to insist on ridiculous FAR limits, and parking requirements, which make it damn near impossible to build anything affordable? Is the general plan to continue to force out middle class renters, but build a handful of low income units, so that we can feel good about ourselves?

I'm guessing it will be the last one. Ask developers to pay a little bit of money every time they build more units (thus ensuring that market rate housing continues to skyrocket) while we simultaneously ask renters to pay for parking (which they might never use) and make sure that houses never have a cottage out back or an attached apartment (or, heaven forbid, get converted to an apartment). So if you are lucky enough to qualify for one of those cheap apartments (and get to the top of the waiting list before you are forced out of the city) then hurray! But for everyone else who rents, you are screwed.
@7 Yes people grow up in 2 and 3 and in NYC I've even seen 4 BR apartments, but they don't grow up in apodments.
I wonder what rent control would look like that people couldn't drive a truck through? CA's notorious Ellis Act makes a mockery of rent control, but gouging rent seekers love it because it gives them "flexibility."
@11 people don't raise children in one bedroom apartments that cost $60 a square foot, true. That's what aPODments are. Expensive rip offs masking as affordable solutions.

However, literally BILLIONS of children have been raised perfectly well all over this world in tiny apartments, not to mention in tenements and favallas. In fact that's how most people in this country used to be raised. In small one and two bedroom apartments. In Paris. In London. In Rome. In Milan. In Amsterdam. In New York. Everywhere.

There's nothing wrong with encouraging small living spaces. It works long as you have all the other necessary amenities. Like good rail transportation, parks, walkable neighborhoods with plenty of small retail spaces for local entrepreneurs. And affordable rents.

But Seattle doesn't have any of that. Making bullshit like aPODments even more a mockery of livability.
People keeping saying "rent controls don't work" like it's some immutable fact. Bullshit. Post war rent controls elevated two entire generations into the middle class.

It's not like the mighty market always works. The God damn market got us where we are now. There are no single magical solutions.
There is more evidence in America of rent control failing than there is of it working. This is fact. Please feel free to find long term evidence of success in the states and you will come back empty handed. You will find long term evidence of failed building practices. Apartments that become slums because landlords don't have the money to improve buildings.

We have a system (that needs improvement) but low income housing projects do help. The city just needs to do a better job of managing. The rest of us will commute or move. It is as simple as that.
>the god damn market got us where we are now

No. What got us where we are now are half-century-old zoning rules dictating that 92% of Seattle may NEVER have any form of multifamily housing, not even duplexes, combined with industry adding 20,000 jobs in Seattle every year.

It takes a 2 block walk to get from Othello station, on our massive multi-billion dollar rapid transit system, to houses-only zoning. Is it any wonder newcomers are scrabbling over shitty run-down apartments wherever they exist, driving their prices up?

Got a news flash for you: New buildings do not cause increasing area rents. Increasing area rents cause investors to build new buildings.
@16 - a voice of reason finally speaks up! Well done.

Study supply and demand friends. If the NIMBY/Preservationist crowd does not step back and let development happen, there will be continued limitations in the supply of housing - affordable or not.

Please wait...

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