How Lisa Herbold Wants to Save Seattle's Affordable Housing

Comments

1
VOA sold the Theodora, too. Way to carry out that mission! http://www.voa.org/about-us
2
@1 Actually, I fucked up while editing this post and mixed up the Theodora and Lockhaven. VOA owned and sold the Theodora (Ansel covered that here: http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archive…) but not the Lockhaven. I've corrected it.
3
Why don't we lower the cost of housing for everybody instead of a few random people?
4
Great. So we tax new housing, which raises the rents for everyone, in order to freeze rents for a lucky few. How about we use this money to build new housing, rather than "preserving" housing that in this case wasn't even being destroyed. She's just choosing which people are allowed to live there - in this case the existing residents over whoever was going to pay more. Those others aren't just going to give up and be homeless - they'll outbid someone else for some other apartment.

The most important factor is the number of housing units we add to the city. This adds zero.
5
I'm having a bit of trouble visualizing the balance sheet for this.

The graphic shows a fraction of a sliver of the general fund, but that's for $000.375 million, and in the following paragraph the money available for the program somehow jumps to $201.000 million?

What's up with that?
6
@5 The $201 million refers to the portion of the proposed housing levy that would fund new and preserved affordable housing units. (More here: http://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departm…). The levy will be voted on this August and is separate from Herbold's bonding idea.
7
Rents are going up for a number of reasons, one being new levies every voting cycle. If you want affordable housing, you'll have to figure out a way to have everything associated with housing be affordable (land costs, taxes, maintenance, building, paperwork, application costs, all of it). The costs are always passed along. Hence rents go up. Also At some point, to achieve affordability, voters will have to say "NO" to something regardless of how wonderful that something is.
9
Maybe take some of the Pronto money and find this instead?
11
Tearing down affordable housing to build luxury housing seems to work only in the most macro of macro economic models.
Dollar for dollar; co2 for co2..
What is the cost of the pace of density ?
C'mon algorithm nerds!
12
@4, you're an idiot, and in fact a heartless idiot. Perhaps you could actually read the article, but then since you're heartless, that actually wouldn't do any good.
13
@11 There's 10x the number of construction permits compared to demolition permits, and new buildings almost always have far more units than the old ones.
14
@11
Wow, they are building on raw land; in the city of Seattle?
News to me.
What a deal!
15
@4 You get the prize for heartless narcissism. Yes, the low-income people living there would get priority, just as the 461 low-income tenants of Yesler Terrace got priority. The Tenants Union tracked many of the poor, disabled veterans who were forced out of the Theodora, and they could't afford to rent in Seattle. Some became homeless. Last January, I personally counted 19 RVs parked next to the VA, many with homeless vets needing medical services. There is a need for 40,000 low-income units renting for less than $1,000, and the Mayor's HALA plan only provides 6,000. What about the others?? This is not about you.

Lisa Herbold released a chart that compared the cost of preserving an affordable unit (renting for $650 - $1,000/mo). Preservation costs about 1/3 as much as building new. The cost of preservation is a bargain. The city could sell Pronto to Bellevue. The check Kubly wrote could fund it for a year. The Mayor declared a housing crisis and restoring the Growth Fund is part of the solution, per HALA, which he signed on to.

Instead of lobbying for another tax giveaway to developers, why not start a movement to repeal Eyman's 1% cap on property tax increases? Let's get this on the City's and the County's legislative agendas. It's way past time.
16
Sarajane has nailed it.
17
Another example of what the City of Seattle SHOULD NOT BE DOING.

1) The city of seattle isn't in the residential housing rental business and frankly looking at the way it runs facilities with massive cost overruns and losses it would be a poor candidate.

IT CAN'T EVEN MANAGE PRONTO-- THE BIKE SHARE PROGRAM.

2) If the city would like to ASSIST, then it should work with the private sector, developers and builder to promote the building of low income housing.

-- provide tax credits
--ease height restrictions
--reduce permit and fee costs

in return for a binding contractual obligation to rent a percentage of the units at specificed low income rates .

3) A very simple method is to provide rental vouchers which low income tenants can apply to any unit they wish to rent.

The scheme of taxing developers and new construction to buy and build units is really, really stupid. The small, variable tax base it is predicated on is peerless at best and unstable. Just think economic cycles.

Further it doesn't even address the cost of running, maintaining etc of the units once acquired. --Again cast your eyes back to Pronto bike share program!

18
@15 Easy on the name calling. We're on the same side here. We just disagree about whether "preservation", especially through taxing new construction, leaves us with more or fewer roofs over struggling renters' heads.

I think you and Ms. Herbold are being short sighted, or possibly don't understand the overall impact. If you think it's me that doesn't understand the overall impact then please explain it to me. Where will those other renters (the ones that would have rented the "preserved" units) end up living? What other low-income residents will they displace? Where's the program to save these other low-income renters' homes?
19
Oh, and I'm strongly in favor of removing that 1% cap. The best way to pay for subsidized housing is a city-wide property tax. Taxing only new construction gives all of the single family homes a free pass, while their home values keep doubling.
20
Here's a public housing program that works for lower and middle incomes and commands a significant portion of the market:
http://www.governing.com/topics/economic…