Post navigation

Prev: (07/24/17) | Next: (07/25/17)

Capitol Hill Community Post | Affordable Seattle: Housing for People, Not Profit!

From Kshama Sawant


The for-profit housing market is failing the majority of Seattleites: 92% of new units built in the last 10 years have been Luxury units! We need a Seattle that benefits the many, not the few on Wall St. 

To fight skyrocketing rents we need to build a movement, like we did to win $15 an hour minimum wage, to challenge the big developers and landlords.  Kshama Sawant and Socialist Alternative initiated Affordable Seattle to organize our communities to fight for a Seattle affordable for all.

Come join us at 1:00 on Saturday, July 29 for our official campaign launch at Washington Hall (153 14th Ave) to learn how you can get involved! 

Since the beginning of June, the Affordable Seattle Campaign have gone to hundreds of doors across the city to build support for three demands for addressing the affordable housing crisis:
1. Make Landlords Pay for Economic Evictions

Stop the displacement of low-income households! When renters are forced to move due to major rent hikes, landlords should be required to pay moving costs.

2. Massively Expand Affordable Housing

Build tens of thousands of quality city-owned homes, paid for by taxing big business.

3. We Need Rent Control!

As a first step, require at least 25% of new private sector development to be affordable. Organize a movement for tenant collective bargaining rights to lower rents.

We have the power to win these demands!

With the help of Kshama Sawant’s council office, working people in Seattle have been able to win major housing victories in the past year by organizing themselves against the corporate landlords. From the cap on move in fees to the Carl Haglund bill, it’s obvious: when we come together in a mass movement, we win!


As a first step, we need people in city hall who are going to be responsible to our communities, and not to corporate landlords. Mayoral Candidate Nikkita Oliver and City Council District 2 Candidate Jon Grant are the only two candidates who endorse the three Affordable Seattle demands, and the only two to refuse to take any cash from corporate donors. Big money will have its way in this election unless working class people get out and vote

Contribute to the Campaign!

Affordable Seattle doesn’t rely on money from corporations or wealthy donors. Instead, we are built on the contributions of people like you who believe in the work we’re doing and want to be part of the movement. Click here to pledge $10, $50, or $100 to building a powerful grassroots force!

Please RSVP, share on Facebook and invite your friends, if you can make it to the campaign launch on July 29, or are otherwise interested in getting more closely involved. Let’s fight for a city that invests in housing for people, not for profit!



Organizer, Affordable Seattle

Subscribe and support CHS Contributors -- $1/$5/$10 per month

15 thoughts on “Capitol Hill Community Post | Affordable Seattle: Housing for People, Not Profit!

  1. FYI, here’s three things that make rents high in Seattle.
    1. Over two years to get a building permit, with lots of fees along the way.
    2. 10.1% sales tax on construction.
    3. Very high property taxes.

    • Correct! The city of Seattle is screwing over its own citizens and placing blame some where else. They have not hired any new inspectors after the great recession for their own job security, and making it harder to get permits to build more apartments and keep cost low or just affordable.

    • It can’t be THAT hard to get a building permit in Seattle. Just look around….there are new buildings going up everywhere!

  2. 92% of new units are luxury because they can fill the building and luxury commands the most rent per square foot. There’s sufficient demand.

    Fast-track permits for housing, increase height limits, remove onerous requirements like parking that some residents might not want.

    • I agree that “some” residents will not want parking, but many still will (until Utopia arrives). There needs to be at least some parking spaces in EVERY new building (including apodments), depending on the expected demand in the area. Otherwise, developers (with collusion of the City) are just making life harder for the existing residents, because limited street parking availability will be even more limited. To not include some parking is a very selfish decision.

    • yeah – and “some” residents, like the ones that *already actually live* here want height limits to stay where they are and parking to be available…

    • What I find to be “onerous” is that some people want to force me to be encroached upon by massive buildings built next to my very small home all but taking the small amount of light, air, and privacy I have and making parking that a competitive sport… How about we change the parking permit system so that you cam only get as many zone passes as you have spaces? My house on it’s tiny 2,100 sq ft lot hasn’t got any place for off street parking and only one space in front of it and I have only one vehicle. You want a 10 unit building that only has one or two spaces in front of it – then only one or two tenants can get a zone two pass. Sounds fair to me. The rest who will invariably have a car, if not several, can pay for parking in a private lot somewhere in a 5 mile radius…

  3. Go look on Redfin at buying a duplex or an apt complex – you are lucky to make 5% and that’s before maintaince and the open ended risk of renting to the first in line.

    Who are the landlords that will want to put hard earned money into housing after we are done with rent control et al ?

  4. Maybe Savant would like to risk her life’s savings (assuming she has any) on buying a rental unit or two, then renting it out at- cost, and seeing how that works out for her? Try that for a year or two and get back to us. Remember– Housing for people, not for profit!