Let’s get partisan. CHS has covered the major races and issues from a Capitol Hill point of view — but there is plenty left to say. With ballots arriving in mailboxes, it’s time to make your mark. Make your pitch in the comments for candidates, initiatives and propositions or provide links to any useful endorsements you believe should be top of mind when your neighbors are filling in their bubbles.
- What went down in Barboza at the McGinn (2 gongs) vs. Murray (3 gongs) forum
- CHS mayor survey respondents say McGinn better for Capitol Hill — and predict he’ll lose
- Candidate Murray counts Hill home turf, establishment endorsements among his support: As a 29-year resident of Capitol Hill representing central Seattle for 18 of those years in the state legislature, it’s hard to deny Ed Murray knows his neighborhood.
- Can incumbent McGinn charm Hill voters again? He’s a political establishment outsider from New York, and prior to his Seattle victory he had never held public office. Nevertheless Mayor Mike McGinn persevered in 2009 to become the city’s mayor.
- Sawant and Conlin square off on rent control at Capitol Hill’s Seattle Central
- NIMBY heaven or real representation? Seattle City Council district proposal heads to ballot
- Seattle weighs support for GMO labels
- Like to stay alive? King County Medic One levy will be on November’s ballot
- Panel: Should Seattle election campaigns be publicly financed?
1) What is your answer to keeping rent in a neighborhood like Capitol Hill affordable?
McGinn: Capitol Hill is popular. Rents are going up because more people want to live there than the current housing supply can support. To keep prices affordable will require new market rate housing, supporting new housing types like micro-apartments, supporting subsidized affordable housing projects, and providing incentives to new development to incorporate affordable units. As long as Capitol Hill remains vibrant and exciting, we will have to employ a variety of strategies to keep housing more affordable. In that regard, we have worked with Sound Transit and the Capitol Hill community to bring affordable Transit Oriented Development around the new light rail station. We have also made the East Precinct parking lot available for the new 12th Avenue Arts Center, which incorporates affordable housing. With the dramatic improvement in our economy, it’s also time to review our expectations for new development. That’s why I worked with Councilmember Conlin to put together a new committee that has brought together community members, affordable housing providers, developers and other experts. We’ve asked Tom Tierney and Morgan Shook to co-chair the committee. Tierney is recently retired from his position as Executive Director of the Seattle Housing Authority and Shook is a member of the Planning Commission and a Senior Associate at BERK Consulting. You can learn much more about this committee by visiting my website: http://mayormcginn.seattle.gov/next-steps-on-affordable-housing/ I am a supporter of micro-apartments, but am also working with Councilmember Conlin to address some concerns about the review process for these projects. Finally, we will continue to support new market rate developments so long as they meet our expectations for design, historic preservation and other public benefits.
Murray: Rental rates are increasing throughout the city, and vibrant, urban neighborhoods like Capitol Hill have been hit particularly hard. Although we are experiencing a record surge in the development of new rental units, demand has remained high due to the influx of thousands of new employees for businesses like Amazon. We must not allow Seattle to become a city where only the affluent can afford to live.
We have to increase our stock of affordable housing, particularly in denser areas like Capitol Hill. We have the ability, as a city, to offer incentives to developers and impose restrictions upon them in order to get them to include affordable units in new projects. There are other tools the city can use, like Community Benefit Agreements that can spur the creation of more affordable and workforce housing. And we need to encourage the development of micro-housing, which is a popular housing option for younger, lower income and single people, though we also have to ensure that such developments are properly regulated. As Mayor, I will pursue all of these options.