Capitol Hill Community Post | Just another soul pushed off the hill

I am not writing to gather sympathy, only to express and reach out, it finally happend to me. I have lived on Capitol Hill since 1986. Lived behind Shop-Rite and next to the bakery on 14th and Pine. After graduating from Cornish College, which used to be on this hill I got my first job at The Ritz Cafe. Once I found 15th, I found my home. It was slower, safer, and more of a community than the hustle bustle of Broadway. But I loved Broadway and became a member of the BIA and worked with merchants to improve our district. I found solace in The Pilgrim’s Congressional Church where they proclaimed ‘ God Loves Everyone ” and found acceptance.I was in the arts and my family did not support me. The Hill became my family in a sense. Now thirty years later I am single and struggling to pay almost two thousand dollars a month for rent. I have searched for months and what I can pay will only afford me a studio. Never before have I seen such an obscene rise in rents. So one by one, nameless, faceless, lonely people are being thrown out of their homes. The Amazonian young somethings have come to our town and pushed us out

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25 thoughts on “Capitol Hill Community Post | Just another soul pushed off the hill

  1. I’m sorry you have to move, but you’ve lived in Capitol Hill for 30 years and opted never to purchase your home, despite the fact that the neighborhood was very affordable for the vast majority of that time.

    Also, a cursory look at Craigslist shows a number of one bedroom apartments below $2k/month.

    • The fact that you think $2000 per month for rent is reasonable for a single person is part of the problem. That’s more than half of my take home pay and I have a working class, union job. Paying more than half of your net income for rent is not considered a good financial decision but it’s one many in Seattle are now forced in to.

    • I only used the $2k figure because that’s what the OP cited. I lived in a lovely one bedroom on Summit Slop for $1150 on Summit Slope until last summer when I moved to West Seattle (where my partner and I pay $2225 for an updated 2 bedroom with a view).

    • Those prices 30 years ago may look affordable to you. But to those of us who were struggling with student loan debts, illness, and trying as an artist in a tech world to get a job it was not doable to buy a house.

    • Preppy, 30 years ago it was very difficult to get a mortgage. It was hard even to get a bank account; a lot of financial rules are different now than they were back then. The 80-90K prices for condos back then may look affordable now but we’re talking about 200K in today’s dollars, not to mention if you bought back then you’d likely be looking at an energy-inefficient place that wasn’t retrofitted for earthquakes–so it would have needed some major investment as well. Anyway, there weren’t that many condos on the Hill then. A good 75% was apartments–I’ve lived here as long as the OP and I’ve seen a lot of conversions.

    • Over 75% of the renters in Seattle are not tech workers and it is unsustainable for professionals who are necessary for the function of a first world city to be increasingly forced to pay over 50% of their income on rent due to a focus on tech workers who comprise no more than 25% of adult workers in King County. Ron Sims said it best when he said Seattle leadership focused on housing tech workers with no thought as to what that would entail for the city. All for what? Alexis? Is that all this misery has created?

    • Your “I am better than you” attitude is exactly why so many people are pissed off at tech workers. I’d like to think you are the exception, but I’m not sure you are.

    • Wow. Really? Let’s see how long you last when your job is automated. Are you fit enough to survive that? If you think you’re safe there, don’t count on it. Bezos is all over that stuff (and I used to work for him too, so I know how things work there).

      Seriously–don’t be a jerk. It’s easy to be defensive with so much blame going toward tech workers, but do you want to prove what everyone already thinks about you?

  2. It’s happening everywhere. I grew up in the CD from 1964 until now. My mom grew up on the hill. I bought my house in the CD in 1987. After a divorce I downsized to a smaller house and started the 30 year mortgage cycle again. 13 years in to the 30 year mortgage and with 2 kids still in college my property taxes are now so high I’m paying more than $500 per month just for the tax, and then the mortgage and insurance on top of that. My wage has been stagnate for years other than the occasional COLA because I work for the City and hit the cap on my wage 5 years in. I’m 18 years in to my job now, having finally paid off my own student loans and am trying to help my kids with theirs. I will have to move WAY out of the city to afford even a small apartment. Meanwhile my house, if I can hang on to it, will be rent to the highest bidder which of course won’t help renters any. I’ll have to rent it for a high rate because I still have the mortgage payment and the property tax just keeps going up and up. If I last long enough to pay off the house, which I doubt wil happen, maybe my kids will be able to live in it. Otherwise they’ll never be able to live in the city where my family has lived since 1896. That’s EIGHTEEN ninety six. It feels like San Francisco, where only the rich or the homeless seem to live.

  3. to The Amazonian young something:
    The person who uses Survival of the Fittest as an explanation or statement. Is basically saying ” I am an giant Asshole and don’t care about the welfare of others”
    Real survival depends on cooperation and compassion.
    At a cellular level, when cells don’t cooperate and the they only work for themselves… that is called cancer.

  4. I am sorry this is happening to you. These prices are really unfair to those who feel at home here but just can’t afford what “competition” brings. I am sorry for your loss. Is there anywhere else truly like this?

  5. Things change and we adapt. Do you really want to live in a neighborhood full of a-holes? Move somewhere affordable where you will find kindred spirits. Don’t tell anyone how great it is or you will be displaced again.

  6. I hear you. I’ve lived in seattle as a working professional for 10 years. Rental increases of 15-20% each year year simply aren’t sustainable. I’m leaving the city at the end of May to take my talents elsewhere…

    • Sad that people like yourself are backed into this corner. I fear I will soon be following. Best of luck to you wherever you go next. May it at least be affordable to a working adult.

  7. I am a waiter. I bought my house (3years ago) on a single income. it is possible I just had to move. I am 12 miles door to door to Westlake and 25 min with a car 45 by transit. My mortgage for my 3bed 2bat fenced yard on a corner lot is 850. living on the hill would be great but….
    Coming from the Bay area Seattle is almost twice the size of Seattle but using that as a comparison is stupid. SanFran doubles the Square Footage to include Oakland to San Jose and Seattle includes Seattle.
    in San Francisco terms I live in the Richmond (Sea Tac) not to shabby.
    we grow up and often have to move

  8. I’m very liberal and willing to be taxed heavy given I make a good wage.

    However, I’m not in favor of supporting an exercise that suggests people need to work where they live. An artist should live in Federal Way if not further and commute to the city.

    We all make life choices. I make good money but likely live more frugal than those who are asking for assistance.

    Travel the world – cities build up then out. And even with that methodology which is more advanced than our inner cities, people still have to commute.

    Look at Paris, London, Tokyo, Shanghai, etc…. people have to use public transit to get into and out of the city.

    So, put more pressure on the city to improve public transport. That said, if you chose a career or no education, you should be expected to have at least a 1Hr per direction commute.

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