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City Council hosting ‘Seattle Housing Gap’ meeting

Tuesday night, Seattle City Council member Teresa Mosqueda will give over the meeting of her Housing, Health, Energy, and Workers’ Rights Committee to a special public hearing on Seattle’s housing gap:

On Tuesday, Feb. 20, a special meeting of the Housing, Health, Energy and Workers’ Rights Committee (HHEWRC) will find out. From 6 to 7:30 p.m., a panel composed of housing and homeless service providers and advocates will inform City Councilmembers what structural obstacles exist to creating enough affordable housing for everyone in Seattle, and what steps could be taken to overcome these challenges. A slide presentation will show how the loss of housing for very-low-income households is part of the broader affordability crisis. Discussion among panelists and Councilmembers will be followed by public comment. This event is hosted by Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda in collaboration with the Housing For All Coalition, and co-sponsored by Councilmembers Lisa Herbold, Mike O’Brien, and Kshama Sawant.

“Last fall the City Council passed Resolution 31782, expressing their intent to pass an Employee Hours Tax and use the revenue to ‘assist people who are homeless or at a high risk of becoming homeless in obtaining and retaining stable housing,'” an announcement on the hearing from the Housing For All Coalition reads.

“The Progressive Revenue Task Force thus created in January is now close to finalizing its recommendations on the details of that tax, including its size. The Housing For All Coalition expects legislation to be introduced sometime in March. But how much would be enough? Not only to ameliorate the latest wave of destitute Seattleites, but to decisively reverse the tide of unhoused poverty and stabilize the dissolving social fabric of our city?”

Tuesday night’s meeting is slated to begin at 6 PM in City Hall’s council chambers.

The special meeting panel is planned to include:

  • Katie Wilson, Transit Riders Union and Housing For All Coalition
  • State Rep. Nicole Macri, Downtown Emergency Services Center
  • Miguel Maestas, El Centro de la Raza
  • Johnny Schilling, REACH Program
  • Gerald Donaldson, Leschi Elementary School
  • Alison Eisinger, Seattle King County Coalition on Homelessness

CHS wrote about the Progressive Revenue Task Force earlier this year.

Earlier this month, Kshama Sawant held a hearing on the loss of funding for groups that provide emergency-style overnight shelter services as City Hall turns more of its focus on longer-term housing solutions.

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8 thoughts on “City Council hosting ‘Seattle Housing Gap’ meeting

  1. “But how much would be enough? Not only to ameliorate the latest wave of destitute Seattleites, but to decisively reverse the…”
    We have a serious homeless problem in out city. But two studies funded by the city concluded that we are spending enough, just not in the right places. Before we tax businesses more, it would be prudent to make sure we are using the money already collected is helping. More money isn’t necessarily the answer.

  2. And yet no developers or real estate professionals to inform the council members how the city might streamline regulations, permitting, etc., to make building affordable housing cheaper and easier. Seems to me these members have already reached their conclusions, tax businesses to create “thousands of units of publicly owned affordable housing.” This fact finding is really meant to endorse and enable that conclusion not determine if it is the most appropriate course of action.

    • As the class divide continues and deepens, thank you for speaking out bravely in support of developers and real estate professionals. They are a truly underserved population in great need of assistance in wringing the most money out of the populace while delivering the least value.

    • @Max: Glenn’s reply doesn’t seem to be defending developers as much as it is saying that the panel doesn’t include “developers or real estate professionals to inform the council members.”

      Whatever one’s view of developers and real estate professionals, it seems like they’d be involved in, probably even critical to, creating additional housing. If that’s true, then understanding their position seems like it helps all stakeholders.

    • They don’t care what developers have to say. Your big clue is here: “This event is hosted by Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda ….and co-sponsored by Councilmembers Lisa Herbold, Mike O’Brien, and Kshama Sawant.” You can guess what the tone will be.
      BTW, I’m not defending developers. We need to hear from developers who want to, or maybe are, building ENTIRE buildings of below-mkt rate or “more-affordable” apts (whatever “affordable” is now, anyway). Not just the 10-20% to qualify for big tax breaks, but the entire building. Are any doing it? Streamline for THEM– give THEM priority. There are plenty enough luxury buildings already.

  3. I thought this was the purpose of HALA.

    Better policies will help us end unsheltered homelessness. Not more money. And on the other end of the spectrum, I don’t think ANY amount of money will be enough to stabilize poor families within the Seattle city limits.

    I’d like to know what this money would go for, exactly.

    • It will go towards building publicly owned housing. That is what Sawant, O’Brien, Mosqueda, and our recent temporary city council member and co-chair of this committee (forgot her name) want. Of course building public housing takes lots of time, money, and expertise, and comes with it’s own set of problems. While it could be a small part of a long term solution it is not the answer.

    • So, is it like a fundraiser for SHA then? Should it be? If not, how will the City manage these funds?

      I have a lot of questions.