A quick fix for affordable housing in Seattle

Seattle’s Mayor Murray is still hot on his quest to create 20,000 more affordable housing units in his city by 2025. Part of this quota, he hopes, will come from rent-stabilized apartments financed through a Multi-family Tax Exemption (MFTE). This sort of exemption provides 12-year tax breaks for new or rehabilitated buildings if the developer […]

Seattle City Council makes first move toward 20,000 affordable units

Seattle’s City Council has made its first move to create 20,000 units of affordable housing (of 50,000 total proposed new units) by 2025. The city is selling a small parcel of land corner lot to Stream Real Estate for approximately $1.4 million, or fair-market value. Stream plans to construct approximately an approximately 150-unit building on […]

Saving bungalows and creating affordable housing in Seattle

A former librarian in Seattle is proposing an excellent addition to the mayor’s recent housing goals: rather than raze historical bungalows (and other single family houses) in favor of condos and low-density buildings, convert portions of existing homes into rental units. This is far from a revolutionary idea, but it is one that is often […]

Seattle’s new and wonderful housing plan

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is trying to revolutionize affordable housing and the way cities engage with and care for their low and middle-income populations.  My two favorite proposals are the elimination of detached single family homes (rowhouses, duplexes, triplexes and other low-density buildings are acceptable because they are more space and resource efficient) and reducing […]

The case for linkage fees

The Seattle City Council is trying to fast track a measure that would add automatic linkage fees to new development throughout the city. This means developers of new¬†buildings would pay between $5 and $22 per square foot into an affordable housing trust fund. This tax would vary depending on the economic strength of the neighborhood, […]