We are creating a new public entity to build housing for people making $97,000 annually?!


I agree #1

There are many thousands of seniors and disabled who are stuck on waiting lists for 3-5 YEARS for subsidized housing (30% of income). A local who is facing homelessness can be usurped by some opportunist from CA or even out of the country because of federal rules.

It will be chaos if somebody making $97,000 a year is competing for any of those units. Managers will certainly house them first to get more money.

I am sick and tired of the emphasis on the criminal repeat offenders getting all the attention and millions when they have no intention to change their addiction.
Meanwhile, good neighbors, citizens who have been voting for housing all their lives, have no options when their building is demolished for million dollar condos to go in.

Safe shelter is a human right. Price gouging for housing is acceptable now.


"McCoy said she anticipates one particular snag to draw concern: The campaign did not include a mechanism for new funding to actually build the housing."

That's not a 'snag' - it's a critical design flaw rivaling anything Boeing has produced in the past decade.


Yeah not loving how “low income” is defined. 30% of housing costs for those making 120% AMI is $2,400/mo. Which are market rate apartments.


Yes, but get that money pinned down.


If they intend to implement a Vienna Model, I'm all for it.


You need the wide range of AMI percentages for the units to be self sustaining. A $97K/yr income paying 2400/mo (with Zero siphoned off as a landlords profit) will support multiple ELI (Extremely Low Income) residents. And the "Manager" of a Social Housing complex would have no motivation (and in fact probably an anti-incentive) to pack high income people into the units. The Manager doesn't take a cut, so to speak. It is publicly owned and operated housing, whose stated purpose is affordability.

As for the "But there is no method to fund it" snag/flaw @3, I would refer you to the "Compassion Seattle" initiative that was deemed illegal by the courts because of that very reason. There are limits to what a city initiative can do in Washington.


But I thought the point of 3-5 year waiting lists for housing assistance was to force all the poors to leave Seattle permanently so our corporations can buy out the housing and rent it out at 4 times what they paid for it ...


@7 - if that's a limit of what a city initiative can do in WA, then a city initiative isn't a viable soluton for this particular problem. They should offer the right tool for the job instead of trying to sell us a wrench to hammer a nail.


@8: that's not how it works. that's not how any of it works.

there is a waiting list because there are more people who qualify than there are units available. SHA units don't get "bought out" by corporations.

there are also waiting lists in Port Angeles, Port Townsend, and anywhere with a Housing Agency.


This is great but as has been pointed out there are flaws. If voters approve this with no funding mechanism I don't see how it ever gets off the ground. It's overly optimistic to think pols will just shower money on this. Frank Chopp is too busy siphoning money to his buddy Sharon Lee and Sawant is completely beholden to SHARE. The city itself will be facing budget headwinds over the next couple of years and standing up an agency that has no funding to do anything would seem to be low on the list of priorities especially when next year will be an election year for the majority of the council.

The other issue i see here is that will do nothing to help the visible homeless who are occupying parks and drive most of the conversation in Seattle. Most of them are completely incapable (at this moment) of living independently and would need supportive housing with wrap around services. If you want to rally public support start there where you can make a noticeable different both for those impacted but the overall livability of the city.


@1 - totally agree. We need to house the people who are actually something even close to being poor first. $97k is not that.


This sounds like a big bag of bullshit. No funding. No ballot language available to read. Wishful thinking on who supports it (did anyone actually call Chopp?). I'm a no. I have no confidence that the proponents of this initiative know how to make it work.


Moreover, doesn't this exactly duplicate the Seattle Housing Levy, which has been building affordable units for years? What's the point of creating another, duplicative development authority? Especially if it's not funded.


@13, 14,


"...a charter amendment campaign that proposed an unfunded shelter initiative."

Wrong. The "Compassion Seattle" Initiative would have dedicated 12% of the city's General Fund to housing. The 'HON' initiative simply does not address the question of funding at all. And, @3, this is a feature, not a bug. Real Change intentionally refuses to present voters with the full price tag, because that would defeat the sale.

But, as noted @11, this refusal to provide a revenue stream dooms HON's initiative to irrelevance, because even if it passes, there will be no real change (ha, ha) in the housing situation; no politician is going to make the effort just so HON and voters can get the credit. Therefore, this is likely a cynical fund-raising and organizing strategy for Real Change, who can collect bucks and support with a populist 'defeat the developers' cry, without actually having to spend the money on campaigning. (They can claim they're saving funds for the developers' court challenge if the initiative actually passes.)

(Plus, if anyone who works for Real Change somehow actually does not know that Substance Abuse Disorder and mental illness, not rent increases, drive homelessness in Seattle, then that person is breathtakingly unqualified to speak on the topic.)

"Compassion Seattle’s message lived on after its financial backers installed a slate of conservatives in city government."

The message "lived on" because voters had spent half a billion dollars since the start of the homelessness crisis, whilst watching the situation visibly deteriorate on their streets and in their parks. It was the voters who elected a REPUBLICAN to city-wide office for the first time in decades; it was voters who terminated Nikkita Oliver's alleged political career, and put a small-business owner on the Council, instead of Oliver. (But don't give all of the credit to others, O writers at the Stranger. Considering the overall results your endorsements obtained in November, wouldn't taking some measure of credit for actually getting someone elected feel really, really good?)


What should have been proposed was petition to fix zoning obstacles, increase allowed density, adding micro-apartments, and citywide multiplex housing allowed anywhere citywide. The city could offer various programs like: allow low income families or first time buyers an option for buying via special city backed loans at 0-1% interest. History over the last 100 years has shown social housing does not do well for the people living in them. It creates segregation and doesn’t lift people out of poverty.


Holy Crap... Here we go again.

A bloated, ineffectual, economically pathetic, lethargic government agency, at taxpayer expense will not only build "social housing", but manage the units.

Give private developers a housing credit to build lower income units and stand back as the supply will grow at records levels, rationally, effectively and efficiently.

Increase the building heights by "selling the air space" to private developers, who will in turn building lower income units.... stand back and watch the supply of units grow at record levels with economy.

Point to any effective, well run, economically run "public housing project" in any major city which is viable..... They are across the board Class A shitholes to live in, breed poverty, crime, apathy and waste human lives.

Is this what we mean by "social housing".

Please wait...

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