Housing Developments: Park it for today’s SCC meeting

Seattle City Council Might End Mandatory Parking Minimums for Affordable Housing Today

ICYMI at our Learn at Lunch last Friday, Seattle City Council may vote as soon as today on off-street parking reforms with a big impact on housing affordability in the city. The proposed legislation includes some notable changes for local housers, including:

  • Landlords of certain new developments must unbundle parking from rent, so that tenants who don’t have a car aren’t required to pay to store one.
  • No mandatory parking minimums on housing affordable to households earning 80% AMI or below.
  • Increased requirements for bike parking.

Seattle’s current off-street parking policy is out of line with demand in a time of unparalleled need for urban space, say reform advocates. They note that current requirements are higher than actual demand, leaving about a third of private parking spots in the city unused according to a recent study conducted by the city. At about $50k a piece, those are some expensive vacant stalls. The proposed legislation would allow those spots to be available to the public.

Today’s public hearing begins at 2. If you can’t be there and would like to support the bill, you can send an email.

Other developments…

  • HDC Members: This Friday is the deadline to submit an event for Affordable Housing Week! Check out the website for ideas from last year and use this form to submit yours.
  • Do you know who ‘Kenny’ is? A man who called the streets of the U-District home for over 25 years needs help getting medical services and housing, but can’t access those services because he doesn’t know his name. Do you?
  • King County felt the brunt of property tax increases at the state level, and some homeowners say ‘enough is enough.’ 
  • A judge struck down Seattle’s first-in-time law, but the city is likely to appeal. 
  • Rep. Joan McBride of the 48th Legislative District announced herretirementCurrent Kirkland Mayor Amy Walen will campaign for the spot. HDC thanks Rep. McBride for being a champion for housing during not only her time in the legislature, but throughout her entire career.
  • No decision yet in Firs Mobile Home Park appeal. Residents continue to wait as a judge works through the case’s “voluminous record.”
  • “The Central District is a place whose geography is familiar, but whose people and features are increasingly strange and unrelated to who I am.” Artist and CD homeowner Inye Wokoma’s story brings into sharp relief the impact of systemic racism on housing and wealth building for families of color to this day.
  • Sammamish has begun collecting input to update the city’s housing strategy plan. Good people of Sammamish, your feedback is requested here by April 10th.
  • The Washington State Convention Center expansion comes with a lot of community benefits- including $29 million for affordable housing. One council member wants more, but the negotiators aren’t so sure. 
  • Your next Seattle apartment is being built in Boise
  • Seattle’s public hearings on mandatory housing affordability continue with a public hearing for districts 3 and 7 is on April 16th.